When is a gym also an art gallery? When it’s San Marino’s Mission Fitness Center, a beautiful old space with high ceilings, huge picture windows, and plenty of wood and brick, in San Marino’s Mission District, just east of Garfield Avenue in South Pasadena.
The center’s walls are currently covered with collages by Monrovia fine artist Richard Scully. Scully says he initiated the series as a way of breaking through an artistic block. Each is a patchwork of assymetrical shapes, sizes and textures, executed in paint and paper on canvas. “I arranged and balanced the elements, allowing the viewer to figure out what was the figure (positive) and what was the negative space (ground), and allowing the elements to change positions with each other,” Scully says. “Shapes, forms and color blend together to create harmony and dissonance.”
Scully has been an artist for more than 45 years. He was born and grew up in South Bronx, New York. His father was a janitor, who would occasionally find abandoned books. Scully especially liked art books, and would try to copy the work inside. He worked as a mailboy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, allowing him not only meet curators and other art lovers, but also to spend his lunch hour drawing the works on exhibit. He went on to attend art school, and create a large body of work. Scully draws, paints, sculpts, as well as assembling collages; his topics include human figures, animals, plants landscapes and city views. His smallest works are the size of a sheet of writing paper; his larger ones can take up an entire bedroom wall. Many of them can be seen on his website, http://www.RichardScullyArt.com.
A reception in his honor will be held on Saturday, March 9, from 3:30 to 5:30. Scully says he’s delighted to have a showing at Mission Fitness. “Art is not meant only to be seen in museums and galleries. I enjoy getting fresh feedback from whoever looks at it. And I get a very good,vibe from meeting [Mission Fitness Owners] Wendy Grace and her husband, Chris. Also, they have a great space and their community outreach skills are excellent."
There is no charge to view the exhibit. Located at 2451 Mission Street in San Marino, the gym is open Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Scully’s work will be on display through the end of March, and they are available for sale. For more information, go to missionfitnesscenter.com, call 626-799-0977, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.