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Sharon Austin named winner of

Biennial Open Art Exhibition 

Sharon Austin has been selected as the first place winner for the 12th Biennial Open Art exhibition sponsored by the Associates of the Ontario Museum of History & Art.


Her work, “Painted Face,” was selected as the winner among about 60 works entered in the contest.   

The other works received awards:

Second place:  Hannah Raykhenberg: “I Will Bury You in Flowers #2”

Third Place: Juan Varela: “Our Lady of the Angels”

Honorable mentions:  Sarah Arnold: “Echo Park Tree”; Chris Keung: “On the Verge”; Stephen Rybacki: “Unoccupied”; Lisa Tomceszyn: “Salt Marsh Daylight.”

City Council Liaison Awards: Dan Frembling: “Running Free”


Steve Thomas Photography/Conservation Award: Leah Knecht: “Double Exposure.”

This year’s juror was Jennifer Kane, an artist, arts organizer, and teacher from Los Angeles, who currently resides in Joshua Tree. She serves as the Executive Director of Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County. 


The Ontario Open Art Exhibition gives regional artists of all ages and skills the opportunity to display their artwork and a chance to win a cash prize. 


The Museum Associates is a non-profit organization that actively supports educational programs and community events at the museum through volunteer staffing, fundraising, and membership.

Yeu Q. Nguyen named new Museum Curetor of Exhibitions 


Yeu Q Nguyen as the new Museum Curator of Exhibitions is bringing, quite literally, a world of art experience to her position. 


A native of Southern Vietnam, Q immigrated to the US as a teen, bringing an unabridged compilation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, having been a real Holmes

fan. Her goal was to be able to read the entire

volume in its original language before her high school graduation; she accomplished this goal in her junior year.


Her first job as a teen was at Knott’s Berry Farm, where she painted pastel portraits of park visitors. She also won a scholarship in her senior year to attend a masterclass in figurative drawing at Laguna College of Art + Design. With the urging of her mother against a career as a “starving artist,” she decided to pursue a degree in literature, thinking she would become either a professor or a librarian.


Q attended UC Irvine on a research fellowship, and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and linguistics, having earned Phi Beta Kappa honors and awarded the School of Humanities’ Outstanding Researcher Award. Her research performed a critical close reading of Shakespeare’s tragedies through the lens of Hinduism and examined post-colonial influence in literature.


In the years after college, she has established herself as not only an expert on public art and community engagement, but also as a versatile artist with many exhibitions to her credit. Her interactive art installations and intricately crafted objects have been exhibited at such venues at the Southwest Museum, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, the Geffen Playhouse, and the Armory Center for the Arts, which earned her a feature in the LA Times.


Beyond her studio practice, Q is an accomplished writer, teacher, and curator. She taught regularly at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, led masterclass and workshops per invitation by organizations such as Otis College and Intersection for the Arts, and curated shows across California.


Most recently, she received significant press recognition in San Francisco with her expansive exhibit, “Jade Wave Rising: Portraits of Power” at the SOMArts Cultural Center. The show celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander women leadership, agency, and resilience in a multitude of manifestations. 


In her own words, Q hopes to “expand the capacity of our museum exhibitions to inspire and energize the Ontario and Inland Empire communities by showing how the arts and artists can play an essential role in affecting positive changes in our lives.”


Fun fact about her: She goes by the nickname “Q,” a name that grew out of another of her ambitious undertakings – rock climbing. During a multi-pitch climb in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, Q discovered that sounds echoed as they travelled through the canyons, and multisyllabic names could create confusion, delaying their response in times of emergency.


Thus, she became just “Q” when communicating with her climbing partners during their precarious ascents. 


Sharon Austin, "Painted Face"

Museum Programs




Feb. 15 to May 19

Conduit is an exciting exhibit that uncovers how water influences every aspect of our modern lives. Inspired by our recently opened permanent exhibit "Built on Water" and guest curated by Debra Scacco, this exhibit will critically examine the tension between urban growth and the natural world.

Cities world-wide are built around water sources, and the same is true of our own city. The rivers, lakes, wetlands and streams that sustained Indigenous peoples have undergone dramatic transformations, and have been dammed, piped and diverted beyond recognition. 


Built on Water


Learn how water shapes our lives!  The new permanent exhibition, "Built on Water: Ontario and Inland Southern California" explores the history, present and future of water in Ontario and the surrounding region. Experience our new mobile app, listen to the voices of our community’s water guardians, and  see the power of nature through historic photos. 


Gem of the Foothills



This shares the story of Ontario's founding, 

people and organizations. Explore its roots, beginning with the Tongva and the Californio rancheros to the city’s founding by George Chaffey. Learn why citrus and grapes dominated the landscape or how the airport became a logistical anchor for the Inland Empire. Discover why Ontario is the “Gem of the Foothills.” 


                        First Thursdays:

Artists Discussion – Conduit

March 7, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Join artist Noe Montes and UC Riverside Public Humanities scholar Catherine Gudis to discuss Montes’ work focusing on Jurupa Valley Superfund site Pyrite Canyon. Experience First Thursdays at the Museum and enjoy extended hours from 5 to 8 p.m.


Artist Conversation
With Gerald Clarke

March 16, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Join Conduit exhibiting artist Gerald Clarke and guest curator Debra Scacco for a conversation about water rights, American Indian stereotypes and the role water plays in indigenous culture. Clarke is a visual artist, educator, tribal leader, cultural practitioner and an enrolled citizen of the Cahuilla Band of Indians.


Studio Saturdays:

Cyanotype Printing

March 23, 1 to 2:30 p.m. (ages 5 and older)

 3 to 4:30 p.m. (15 and older)

Eco-friendly cyanotype printing with artist and creative strategist, Danielle Giudici Wallis. Learn about some of the indigenous and invasive plants found in our area as we use them to create blue-toned prints that develop in water. Space is limited; reservations suggested  


First Thursdays:

Emerging Artist Meet Up 

Choosing and Crafting Color

April 4, 6 to 8 p.m. 

Color is a foundation of art making and art materials. Golden Artist Kathryn Elliott Duncan will teach the basics of color theory and how to create your own custom colors using just a few pigments. Experience First Thursdays at the Museum and enjoy extended hours from 5 to 8 p.m. 


Basketry and

Mother Earth Clan

April 7, 1 to 4 p.m.

For all ages. Curator and basket-maker Lorene Sisquoc will teach about Mother Earth Clan and participate in a Creekside round reed basket workshop. Sisquoc is curator of the Sherman Indian Museum, has taught basket-making and native plant uses and material culture/traditions at the Sherman Indian High School and throughout Southern California for many years. Sisquoc is a descendant of the Mountain Cahuilla and a member of the Fort Sill Apache tribe. Space is limited; reservations suggested.


Studio Saturdays: Earth’s Canvas

And Upcycled Art

April 20, Noon to 4 p.m.

For all ages.  Celebrate Earth Day at the Museum in collaboration with the city Integrated Waste Department. Meet Recycle Roo and learn about source separation, attend a composting demonstration, create upcycled art and make your own paper out of plants using a bicycle! Learn how artists are using art to talk about our earth’s resources in a special gallery walkthrough at noon with Conduit guest curator Debra Scacco and exhibiting artist christy roberts berkowitz.


First Thursdays:

Family Paint Night

May 2, 6 to 8 p.m

Bring the family and paint a citrus still life with artist Elide Sanchez out in the Museum courtyard. All painting supplies are provided, but space is limited, so reserve your spot! Experience First Thursdays at the Museum and enjoy extended hours from 5 to 8 p.m.  


Culture Fest:

Block Party Saturday

May 11, Noon to 4 p.m.  

The Museum presents Culture Fest, an annual celebration of the different cultural experiences that exist within Ontario’s diverse community. This year we’re highlighting the rich Chicanx diaspora which has called Ontario its home for generations. Take mall-style glamour shots with your friends, taste delicious local food and beverages, and watch talented performers express what it means to be Chicanx in the Inland Empire. During the event, be sure to explore the galleries and participate in hands-on art-making activities. 


Ontario Art Walk:

Evening at the Museum

May 18, 6 to 9 p.m.

The Museum will celebrate achieving accreditation; the highest national recognition awarded by the American Alliance of Museums. Explore the Museum, support artisan vendors and shop at the Museum store. Join artist and creative strategist Danielle Giudici Wallis for a zine-making workshop in conjunction with the Built on Water exhibition. Make your own zine to take home or contribute to a collaborative community zine about water. To find out more about Ontario Art Walk, visit






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