Monica Aragon was born in Tijuana, Mexico and raised in San Diego and Riverside County She has been living in Murrieta for more than 17 years. By profession she is a hair stylist, but painting has always been her lifelong passion. Monica is a self-taught artist that paints in oil and acrylic. She has never received any formal training and has not previously exhibited her artwork to anyone other than with her friends and family. Monica’s great joy is to conduct painting classes for friends who are eager to learn to paint. She believes that art should instruct, inspire and entertain to bring out the best in others.
Judith Craig is an artist who grew up in Ventura. She earned her BA in Art from Scripps College, and her MA in art from Claremont Graduate University. Judy studied painting for a year at the Brooklyn Museum Art School on a Max Beckman Scholarship. For 15 years, she taught first grade for the Fontana Unified School District. Over the last several years, Judy has been working on a series of prints at Division 9 Gallery in Riverside. She has exhibited her work at galleries in Claremont, Pomona and Riverside.
Jesus Cruz, Jr. is an artist specializing in creating fine art prints using the linoleum cut process. He was born and raised in Fontana and is a retired educator with a master’s degree in educational administration and 34 years of experience as a teacher in the Riverside Unified School District, including 18 years teaching kindergarten. Teaching kindergarten kept Jesus involved in art daily, as he integrated art with poetry and reading instruction. These prints are created with the traditional technique of using knives to carve blocks of linoleum, which are inked and run manually through a press. Cruz’s style is immediately identifiable by his use of thick and solid fields of ink. His prints often combine figurative and abstract elements with a clean and crisp look and include many cuts that create different degrees of gray and black. “About 50 percent of my imagery relates to the Day of the Dead,” he says, referring to the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 holiday in Mexico. “The rest is comprised of portraitures, floral designs and whimsical characters. The Day of the Dead imagery represents people and events in my life that I cherish.” His distinctive style was also noticed by Andover Fabrics of New York, which has licensed and developed four fabric lines using his work. Jesus has exhibited his prints extensively throughout the area as well as at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon and the Phinney Ridge Community Center in Seattle, Washington, among others. More of his work can be viewed at www.cruzprints.com.
Sydney Edmond is a painter with autism who was born in Orange, California and moved to Temecula in 2002. She has been painting since she was 21 years old and began receiving commissions and exhibiting her work shortly afterwards. Sydney has had solo exhibitions at the Merc Gallery, both libraries in Temecula, and has a painting and poem hung in Temecula City Hall. She has enjoyed exhibiting her work many times through Artscape and has provided artwork for dance performances by a Temecula dance company. Sydney is most proud of having four of her paintings displayed in the Oceanside Museum of Art earlier this year, along with other artists through the Art of Autism Organization. Sydney also enjoys writing poetry and she had a book of her poems published when she was 16. She is currently working on a second book that will include a selection of her paintings.
Ana Guerra is a painter and sculptor as well as a mixed media artist. She was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the United States at the age of 12 with her family. Ana has been creating art since her retirement 20 years ago. She shows and sells her work through different venues, such as Artscape, the Santa Rosa Plateau summer exhibitions, different social media outlets and from her studio. Ana is happily retired and wakes up every morning eager to get into her studio to create. Her quote is “I love to make affordable art because art can be healing.” She has many goals, one of which is finding a gallery that can show and sell her paintings. Ana has accomplished at least one of her goals as of now, and that is that she got her ceramic sculptures accepted at the Cottage Gallery in San Clemente, where in less than six months the gallery has sold at least 10 of her sculptures. She hopes to be able to do the same thing with her paintings.
Bonnie Gutierrez is photographer who started to re-explore Cyanotypes during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was raised in Anaheim but moved to Riverside six years ago. Bonnie enjoys creating art with the little free time she has. Being a mother, working at The Disneyland Hotel, and practicing Aztec dancing keeps her busy. Bonnie hopes to dedicate more time in exploring alternative photography processes.
Thomas V. Marquez is a traditional fine artist who is constantly inspired by the human form, the human heart, and all emotions and sensitivities surrounding humanity. This journey of love and passion began as a child. Drawing filled in both idle and not so idle times. Before middle school, he was showing pieces alongside artists many years his elder. In his pursuit of fulfillment, during his college years he uncovered the masterful works of Rembrandt, Cezanne, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Monet, Caravaggio, Sargent and just about all the 19th century American and European greats. From there, brushes started hitting the canvas, aspirations were born, and he even began taking on side work and commissions in portraiture and figurative. During a four-year stint as a traditional graphic designer and art director under the tutelage of Bertrand R. Trottier, Jr., a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, provided formal training in design and the process of making art. The opening of his studio and full-time dedication has rewarded this journey of love and passion with an accelerated mission. Painting works in oil and drawings in various charcoals are Thomas' preferred and current mediums. Thomas is a life-long resident of the Inland Empire.
Amanda Millar is a multi-disciplinary artist exploring the blending of mediums in translation of the processes of human existence and purpose. She is interested in the transference of spirituality and the constructs of society in relation to the mystery that is our human form. With a beginner’s mind, she seeks to develop holistic art methods for personal health maintenance and individualistic inspiration practices. Some of the core mediums she works in are textiles, painting, collage, stop-motion animation, creative writing, printmaking, book making and sculpture.
Matthew Montecino is a multimedia artist born and raised in the rugged city of San Bernardino. Matthew has been creating art as early as he can remember mimicking his father, who would make small drawings for his overly energetic child as a means of entertainment or reward. Taking all available art classes at his disposal Matthew eventually earned a degree in Art Education with an emphasis is sculpture from California State University, San Bernardino. Matthew has shown his work in a variety of mediums throughout the Inland Empire and parts of Los Angeles. He hopes to leave a lasting impression to all whom encounter his work and to eventually build towards a solo exhibition in New York or abroad.
Chris Napolitano is an artist who was born and raised in Riverside. Chris has been creating art since childhood and is currently a professional artist and art educator. Chris has shown his work in galleries and at events throughout Southern California. Chris' love of local history has influenced his work, and many of his pieces depict Riverside's unique landscapes and architecture.
Cecily Davis is a painter and mixed media artist who was born in Fontana but raised all over the Inland Empire. She came to Riverside in her senior year of high school, attending Poly Technic High School. Cecily has been creating art from the time she was in primary school and is currently attending Crafton Hills College, pursuing a degree in English and Literature. Cecily has shown her work in various art walks in the Southern California area, Riverside’s Back to The Grind, European and North American renowned pop-up art show Pancakes and Booze, as well as pop ups with RAWartists. When not creating art, Cecily is spending time with her husband and two children who she hopes to pass her creative abilities on to.
Juan Varela is a painter, mixed media & embroidery artist who was born in México. He came to Riverside County in 2018. He has been creating art from the time he was 39. His goal in art is to develop the "Arte Mixtlan" style (modern pre-Hispanic art). To learn more information, please visit: Instagram.com/artemixtlan_us/