In the 1970s, St. Madeleine Sophie's Center expanded its curriculum to offer its first art classes. With these first classes, an untapped wealth of talent was revealed. Many students who had not been able to express themselves through traditional mea … show more
In the 1970s, St. Madeleine Sophie's Center expanded its curriculum to offer its first art classes. With these first classes, an untapped wealth of talent was revealed. Many students who had not been able to express themselves through traditional means were sharing their once hidden feelings through vibrant, original works of art on canvas, wood, glass and other media. The program became so popular that it outgrew the available space. In 1999, with generous community support, the art program moved to a storefront in Downtown El Cajon and was named Sophie’s Gallery and Gift Shop. In 2007, we expanded the original storefront space to 4,400 square feet that allowed us to serve more students and add more classes. Every week, our students are taught a variety of media, such as print-making, jewelry-making, painting, charcoal, pastels, fabric arts, and more. All of the classes at Sophie’s Gallery are taught by professional artists – our art program was the first in our region to offer this enhanced benefit.
In 2007, we opened a satellite gallery and gift shop, called Sophie's Too, in our new Education Center on our main campus. And, at the end of 2009, we opened a third venue located at the NTC Promenade/Liberty Station where our students show their work alongside artists from the general community. This third site is proving to be an effective way to raise public awareness about our programs and engage the support and interest of artists from the general community.
Our Sophie's Gallery location in Downtown El Cajon has an annual exhibition season that is launched with opening night receptions that often draw 200+ people. At the Sophie's Gallery location on NTC Promenade, we also hold monthly exhibition openings for local artists who show their work alongside our students' work.
In 2010 Sophie's Gallery El Cajon was voted San Diego's Best Gallery (to buy) through the San Diego Union-Tribune and signonsandiego.com.
Exhibitions: Along with our annual exhibition...
Not many people are familiar with this little gallery, but you have to check it out here and at Liberty Station. All the artwork is created by developmentally disabled. See beauty through their eyes. Amazing!!!