1st Street Gallery Art Center of the Tierra Del Sol Foundation
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Artists

Dru McKenzie

Drucilla McKenzie, born in 1957, has been making art at First Street Gallery since 1997.  Dru’s signature style of people with thin extended arms and legs with solid colored bodies has expanded to include a menagerie of animals, insects and mundane objects. Her bold stylized imagery makes strong graphic statements with an equally bold sense of color. Dru’s work was featured in the exhibition “Created In California” at the Berenberg Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, and in November 2001 she was featured in a solo exhibition, “Paintings,” at the First Street Gallery and 9 from Outside at the Gensler Architect offices in Santa Monica, California.  Dru resides in Ontario, California.

Hector Oviedo

Hector Oviedo started attending First Street Gallery Art center in 1990.  First Street is an art program for adults with developmental disabilities dedicated to the proposition that human potential for creativity and artistic expression is not limited by physical of mental disabilities. Hector’s stylized drawings reveal an array of images in original and complex compositional designs. Common themes include animals and iconic figures, often inspired by old master paintings or religious souvenirs. No matter what the imagery, Hector’s work always exemplifies his passion and devotion for art. His favorite medium is colored pencil, though he occasionally paints with watercolor and often works in ceramics. Hector has exhibited widely throughout the United States including 9 from Outside, at Gensler Architect, Santa Monica, CA, Joy Moos Gallery in Miami, and the Folk Tree in Pasadena. Hector’s first solo exhibition, God Drawings, was in 1997, at First Street Gallery Art Center. His drawings were recently published in “Faultline,” an annual journal of art and literature distributed by the University of California, Irvine. Hector was born in 1972. He resides in Southern California and is an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

Helen Rae

At First Street Gallery, Helen Rae produces paintings, drawings and ceramic pieces that are animated and full of character.  Often focusing on portraiture, Helen’s dynamic work displays a graphic yet expressionist style she creates from observations of her environment and reinterpretations of found images. Helen, born in 1938, has lived in the Claremont area her entire life and has created art at First Street Gallery Art Center since 1990. First Street is an art program for adults with developmental disabilities dedicated to the proposition that human potential for creativity and artistic expression is not limited by physical of mental disabilities.  Her work was featured in the traveling exhibit Barrier Free Art Summit, which was viewed in post offices in Okinawa, Fukuka, and Miyazaki Japan. Her work has earned her an Award of Recognition from the Artists Beyond Disabilities Exhibition in Pasadena, California.  One of her prints is featured on a limited edition, commemorative poster published by First Street Gallery. Other exhibitions include shows in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Belgium and Scotland.  Helen has inspired a dedicated following of art lovers who seek out and collect her work.

Michael Levell

Michael has an innate ability to draw furniture and architecture in perfect perspective; he uses this ability to produce intricate sculptures in clay as well.  His devotion to the magazine Architectural Digest inspires Michael’s creative process. He often recreates photo spreads with his own original repeated visual motifs and color palette.  His work has been featured in the traveling exhibit Barrier Free Art Summit, which took place in post offices in Okinawa, Fukuka, and Miyazaki Japan.  Other shows include the prestigious Outsider Art Fair in New York City in 1996 and Created In California at the Berenberg Gallery in Boston. He was recently part of an exhibition called The View From Here, which featured artists that were visually impaired. The exhibition took place at LA Artcore in Los Angeles in 2004.  Michael is one of the original eight artists who helped found First Street Gallery studio program in 1989. Michael, who has been diagnosed with autism is deaf and legally blind, was born in 1964 and lives in Pomona, California.