By February 10, 2021 Read More →

Arts Champion Tony Mistlin

Arts Champion – Tony Mistlin 

By David Schroeder

It’s been a rough year for all of us coping with COVID-19.  At Mistlin Gallery it has meant being open, then closed; making a schedule and then rescheduling; planning and replanning.  And still, there’s no clear end in sight.  But our mood remains upbeat and we look forward to resuming full operations whenever the virus retreats.  But the same could be said for everyone, in all walks of life.  However, there are a couple of things that bear mentioning that pertain specifically to our gallery.  The first is that our long-time benefactor, Tony Mistlin, recently passed away.  The second is to make people aware of new programs that have come into being as a result of COVID-19 which will enhance our interaction with the community now and when the pandemic resides.

Regarding Tony, he was our guardian angel.  It was because of his generosity that we have remained in the beautiful, centrally located space at 1015 J Street in downtown Modesto.  He was a shrewd negotiator and managed to get a 10-year lease for the Mistlin Gallery at a time when we had few resources and were in danger of losing the gallery. He remains in our thoughts and the gallery board is in discussions as to how we will continue to recognize and honor this amazing gentleman.

Because we have been forced to be closed most of the year, we have had to become creative about reminding our patrons that we are still here and continue to support the arts in our community.  Like other arts organizations, we’ve looked to social media to help us stay viable.  We’ve added a store feature to our website which will promote sales even though our doors are closed.  We’ve also gone online with our Expose Yourself to Art program, in which we invite artists for all genres to join us in discussions about their development as an artist and about their current projects.  These programs are streamed live via Facebook and You Tube and can be seen at later dates by going to the Mistlin Gallery/CCAA website.  Check out the list of participants on the site and tune-in!

The third program, which we will be airing soon is to develop an online gallery so that we can continue to mount exhibitions even when our doors are closed.  Our first attempt in this direction will focus on the fotoMODESTO photography event which takes place every February.  The planned event for this year was to focus on Themes, Projects, and Stories, emphasizing the focused work of local photographers.  The featured artist was to be Bill Harris and his collection of images from Circus Vargas, an annual event in Modesto’s past. The recent lockdown killed the gallery event but led us to see if we could take it online. At present, we are working on recording each of the invited artists talking about their work and will make these videos available on a regular basis throughout the month.  The list of photographers and their work include:  Bill Harris: Circus Vargas. Dan Souza: Historic Churches. Lorraine Nilson: Scanned Art. Anna Barber: Photofusion Cats. Larry Lew: Birds. Peter Lee: Still Life. Sam Shaw: Creative Water Abstracts. David Schroeder: A Night at the Opera. Phil Murillo: Modesto at Dawn.  Ed Mendes: Bach Roads & Foothills.  Alyn Brereton: Rodeo.  And Greg Savage: Women of Jazz.  We will be publishing a schedule of airing dates soon.  Stay tuned and join us online.  In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and have a great new year.

Tony Mistlin Photo – from

Circus Photo by Bill Harris

Mistlin Gallery

Central California Art Association

1015 J Street  Modesto


About the Author: