Nothing ‘Uncanny’ About Talented Local Artists

By Scott Craig   |   May 24, 2022
Inga Guzyte’s “Over the Rainbow” (photo by Brad Elliott)

The abundance of accomplished artists from the Tri-County area is on full display at the annual juried exhibition in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. Westmont alumnus and hyperrealist painter Robin Eley ‘01 juried the show, Uncanny, which is available May 19 to June 18. A free, public opening reception for the exhibition is Thursday, May 19, from 4 to 6 pm at the museum. More information is available at

“Robin selected a fabulous exhibition featuring diverse styles and a wide range of subjects,” says Judy L. Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director. “Works range from captivating painting, sculpture, video, printmaking, and assemblage. The show puts a spotlight on the talented community of artists who work in our Tri-County region.”

The exhibition features 45 pieces from 33 local artists, including Inga Guzyte and alumnae Alyssa Beccue, Jenna Grotelueschen, Sharon Schock, and Josephine Tournier Ingram. The works of Westmont Art Council members were also chosen, including Sophia Beccue, Susan Read Cronin, Ruth Ellen Hoag, and Marcia Rickard.

Eley was born in London and grew up in Australia. He came to Westmont to play basketball under Coach John Moore and to pursue a degree in psychology. But an art class with Tony Askew changed his life. “My decision to major in art was based on passion rather than specific career objectives,” he says. He decided to become an illustrator after hearing Professor Scott Anderson talk about his own career.

His solo exhibitions include Loss/Less (2017), Prism (2014) in Los Angeles, and Idolatry (2013) and Singularity (2012) in Australia. Group exhibitions include In the Flesh (2014) at the National Portrait Gallery in Australia, 21st Century Hyperrealism at the Daejeon Museum of Art in South Korea, BMG First Look (2013) at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York, and Journeys at the Ridley-Tree Museum (2012). 

All the pieces in Uncanny are for sale, with 30 percent benefiting the museum. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and 11 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. It’s closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.

Recognizing Generous Donors

Westmont has named its new ABSN Nursing program the Westmont|Grotenhuis Nursing program in honor of Dave and Anna Grotenhuis, who, along with Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, have given generously and played a leading role in partnering with Cottage Hospital to see this dream become a reality.

“We’re incredibly grateful for Dave and Anna Grotenhuis and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, whose timely gifts have helped establish our nursing program in partnership with Cottage Health and made the purchase and preparation of the building at 26 West Anapamu an ideal location for this new initiative,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “These longtime, active donors all love the college, love the community, and faithfully support Cottage. In addition to providing all the start-up costs for our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, they also have provided generous scholarships for financially under-resourced students.”

Anna Grotenhuis added, “Lady Ridley-Tree was the catalyst for Dave and I getting involved in this wonderful initiative. Leslie cares so deeply about Westmont, about Cottage, and is always looking for ways to strengthen our community. It was her creativity that captured our imagination and we’re so pleased to join her in seeing this vision become a reality.”

The 16-month ABSN program launched in January 2022 with its first cohort of nursing students. The college expects to enroll a new cohort of 24 nursing students for fall 2022 and succeeding semesters.  


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