Catalina Island News

Catalina Island Museum Presents a Gallery Talk by Noted Collector Roy Rose

Catalina Island Museum

Catalina Island has long been a destination for painters. Its natural beauty has made it a favored locale for working en plein air, or “in the open air.” At any given time, you can walk the streets of Avalon and come across an artist forever capturing that moment in time. Those moments are at the heart of an exhibition at the new Catalina Island Museum entitled, To the Wind that Will Blow Tomorrow…  Lifelong island resident and noted collector, Roy Rose, organized this exhibition and will give a Gallery Talk on Saturday, July 2 at 5:30 pm.

The Catalina Island Museum recently sat down with Rose to discuss plein air painting and his vision for the exhibition. The following is an excerpt from that conversation.

To the Wind that Will Blow Tomorrow is not your average plein air exhibition.  As the Guest Curator, what inspired your vision for this exhibition?

Catalina Island has an historic connection to plein air painting but that faded away in the early 1930s. However, a resurgence of plein air painting occurred in the late 1980s when a group of artists began traveling to the island to capture its beauty. After years of painting Avalon’s iconic buildings and beautiful landscapes, they became more familiar with Avalon. When they would return each year, many residents recognized and remembered them. Because of this, the artists became more interested in the island and sought out different views of Avalon. As demonstrated in the exhibition, we have paintings depicting alleys, kids playing in the street and some of our funky buildings. The object of the show is to say yes, people live here, and this is how we live. Our culture is different than a lot of other places. It is a tourist destination but we also have a year-round community. It is unique and charming.

How did you go about selecting the pieces for this exhibition?

I wanted to avoid pretty pictures. We succumb to that in a couple of the works like the beautiful sunrise that Andy Evensen did in watercolor, but I rationalize that by the fact that we take walks in the morning. This is what we see. This is part of the way we live.  I loved showing our streets. They are narrow. They are crowded. Phone poles interrupt the views. I like that. There was a lot to choose from. I have quite a few in my collection, but I knew of others. Many of the pieces came from collectors in town.

What do you hope the viewer will take away from this exhibition?

For the locals, I hope they will feel a sense of pride. It is easy to kind of let layers go over the eyes and not see its beauty. I’d like the locals to remember that we do live in a beautiful community.

For the visitor, I want them to know that, yes, people live here and for them to see how we live. We have a great mix of people here. We have generations living together and that makes life better for everyone. It embodies the sense of the small community that the country was built on. It is getting lost in other places, but we have it here.

The Gallery Talk by Rose takes place Saturday, July 2 at 5:30 pm. He will discuss the history of plein air painting, his connection to the artists that have been coming to Catalina Island for the last thirty years and the exhibition itself. Following the talk, you are invited to meet Rose during a wine reception in the SAPAP Plaza. Tickets are available now: $6 for museum members and $10 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased at the museum, online at or at the door.