Escondido, CA

Library features artworks inspired by Valley Center’s Rancho Guejito

The Valley Center Library and Valley Center Art Association are presenting an exhibit of the work of VC artists Barbara Scharnau and Gloria Warren featuring their works of art inspired by Rancho Guejito.

“The Jewel of North County,” exhibition features watercolor, photography and mixed media art inspired by the last remaining intact Mexican land grant in California.

“My Mixed Media paintings are often viewed as a photograph or oil painting, but they are actually made with fused fabric mosaic background,” said artist Barbara Scharnau. “This is a technique that quilters and traditional painters can appreciate as something out of the box.”

Rancho Guejito is a historic, Mexican Land Grant ranch which lies hidden near Valley Center Middle School and Bates Nut Farm off Lake Wohlford Road on the East side of Valley Center.

In September 1845 a customs agent, Jose Maria Orozco, was given the approximately 13,298 acres as a gift from the Pio Pico, who was the Mexican Governor of California. Rancho Guejito was one of 800 such land grant ranches. Today Rancho Guejito is the sole remaining Land Grant ranch.

According to the Valley Center History Museum Website, the ranch has had eight owners over the past century and has grown to 21,400 acres or 36 square miles. It covers a vast portion of the area once known as Bear Valley, the original name for Valley Center.

“Rancho Guejito is a major, iconic, privately owned historic ranch in San Diego County. I have had the privilege to gaze upon the ranch from my property in Valley Center for 40 years,” said Scharnau. “It is well known to many people and those who have not heard of it are happy and excited to learn that the Old West is still out there and alive.”

A reception for the artists was held on August 22. Speakers included Richard W. Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute, Joaquin Aganza, president of the board of Friends of Hellhole Canyon and Bonnie Wheeler, board member of Friends of Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve. Singer/ Guitarist, Pete Olson provided entertainment

For more information about Valley Center Art Association, art shows, classes and events please visit the VCAA web site at:<; or contact Barbara Graham at: 760 749-2923 or at:

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