STOCKTON — Students at Oakland’s Golden Gate Atelier often take field trips to museums, with San Francisco’s DeYoung and Legion of Honor among the favorites.

The group even made a trek to The Haggin Museum, and Carolyn Lord, who earned a degree in art from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, in 1978 and continues to take classes, was thrilled.

“It has the largest collection of Bierstadts,” said Lord, who lives in Livermore and previously showed work at Lodi’s Knowlton Gallery. “The curator of the Irvine Museum loves the Bouguereaus. Those who know what (The Haggin has) love it. Others say ‘why would you go to Stockton?’ It’s a neat little surprise. You have some beautiful pieces. What makes it great is about two months ago, the Golden Gate Atelier took a field trip to The Haggin and I said, ‘Hey, you’re coming to my neighborhood.' It was so exciting. The heads of the school, one lived in Florence for 10 years and studied at the academie, learning anatomy and drawing and painting, and the other is an art historian who goes to Paris. It’s quite a compliment having people who are serious about academic traditions of l’ecole de beaux art come to Stockton.”

That class might be even more surprised to come now, because Lord’s oil painting, “January Oranges,” was named best in show in the 60th Stockton Art League Juried Exhibition, which is on display in the gallery beginning today. An opening reception is 6-8 p.m. today and the show runs through July 15.

“One reason I love the Stockton Art League show and especially that it’s at The Haggin is because I got to know David Rowland a couple decades ago. His father, Earl Rowland (former Haggin director) got the Lyendecker collection for The Haggin. I never met Earl, but I got to know David. Having a link to all things historical in Stockton, I always like going to Stockton. When Dale Latinen was the judge, that’s when the Stockton Art League show at The Haggin caught my attention. I wanted to be a part of that.”

Lord submitted two pieces this year, both painted in her garden. A watercolor is of her lemons. The oil that judge Sabina Turner selected as Best in Show is of her oranges.

“I have citrus in my garden and in wintertime, it’s a great excuse to paint oranges,” Lord said. “I like thinking this is what California is. We never get a break from painting outside. I’m a gardener and I enjoy painting, so I sit on my driveway. What’s not to like.”

What makes her painting unique — and Lord admits to going back to her beloved citrus frequently — are the colors, the light and the perspective.

“I wanted to see if I could work a secondary color triad: lavenders, oranges and greens rather than primary colors. And to give it light,” she said.

The piece features the oranges in the foreground with a suggestion of her lavender in the back.

The watercolor, of the lemons, features the fruit in the foreground with a narcissus in the background with similar winter light a prominent feature.

Lord’s piece was selected from 408 submissions from 18 states. Of those, 115 were selected for the exhibition.

Many local artists had pieces selected.

Shelley Garcia Castillo of Stockton won a special $200 donor award for Mixed Media. Jan Atwood-Ramey of Sutter Creek took first place in pastel and Lodi’s Tony Segale took second place in watercolor.

“This year we have a lot of new names entered,” Stockton Art League member Maria Flumiani said. “It’s fantastic. Word of mouth is getting out there. With social media, we’re hitting new resources, reaching farther. We’re using social media to our advantage.”

The show, held every other year, is a fundraiser for the Stockton Art League, Flumiani said.

“And, it puts our name on the map, having it associated with the Haggin,” Flumiani said.

The Haggin Museum is located at 1201 N. Pershing Ave. Hours are 1:30-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 1:30-9 p.m. the first and third Thursdays. Admission is free to all on the first Saturday of the month.

Information: (209) 940-6300 or


Contact reporter Lori Gilbert at (209) 546-8284 or Follow her on Twitter @lorigrecord.