Victor Valley Museum Announces New Exhibition Opening in June

AMTV/VICTOR VALLEY, CA, Jun 9 – The Victor Valley Museum announced today its next exhibition, Ahead of His Time: The Life and Art of Ramón Contreras, which will feature five exclusive works of art and a large-scale mural by artist Ramón Contreras, opening June 22, 2023.

A complimentary evening reception open to the general public is scheduled for Thursday,
June 22, 2023 from 5 to 7 p.m. sponsored by Manny Serrano, San Bernardino County Museum Association board member. Light refreshments and entertainment will be available.

In 1935, Contreras entered the National Higgins Ink Drawing Contest, earning fourth place among more than 3,000 entries. For two years he represented his school with a one-man exhibit at the annual exhibit of the Pacific Arts Association for public school and college art.

In 1936, Ramón painted a mural for the San Bernardino High School library. Measuring
70 x 4 feet, it depicted the everyday life of old Mexico. This mural was later moved into the school’s auditorium and is shown here for the first time to the general public. This same year, Ramon painted other murals: at Glenn Ranch, California; the Desert Inn in Palm Springs; and the Los Angeles Public Library. His art was shown in San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and Hollywood. He was the only student ever accepted in major galleries such as Stendahl Galleries of Los Angeles, Laguna Beach Art Gallery, Barker Bros. of Los Angeles, and the Desert Inn Gallery.

In 1937, Ramón returned to visit his birth country of Mexico where he met Diego Rivera. Rivera said, “Ramón —you must go on as you began, study by yourself, observing and listening to your own.” He graduated from high school in the winter of 1937 and began studies at Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles on a two-year scholarship.

Ramón was the youngest artist ever invited to attend the San Francisco International Exposition, held in 1939 and 1940. He showed “Going to Church” at both expositions. His last painting, it took him nine months complete.

The exhibition will run through December 2023. More information and exhibition updates are available on the museum’s website at

Victor Valley Museum’s current exhibition, George Air Force Base: Commemorating Its Legacy 30 Years Later, will officially close on Sunday, June 11, 2023.

The Victor Valley Museum is located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military/senior), $7 (student), and $5 (children ages 6 to 12). Children 5 & under and Museum members are free. Parking is free and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Victor Valley Museum’s exhibits of regional, cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

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