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Paintings by Monique Santander, right, and Lidia Stecher, left.
Paintings by local artists Monique Santander, right, and Lidia Stecher, left. The artists will showcase their work in a duo exhibition through Jan. 15 at Art Scene West gallery in the Cedros District. Courtesy photos
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Solana Beach artists collaborate in duo exhibition ‘La Vida en Color’

SOLANA BEACH — Two local artists are showcasing their work in a duo exhibition at Art Scene West gallery in the Cedros District. Titled “La Vida en Color,” which translates to “life in color,” the exhibition will be available for viewing through Jan. 15.

The exhibition is a collection of abstract paintings depicting artists Monique Santander and Lidia Stecher‘s take on different aspects of life around them.

“La Vida en Color basically shows our particular emotional responses to nature, to life events and to everything around us,” Stecher said. “Each painting has its own little story.”

For Santander, her work in the exhibition “captures life as reflected by the ocean.”

A piece by Monique Santander titled “Azure” (acrylic on canvas)
A piece by Monique Santander titled “Azure” (acrylic on canvas). Courtesy photo

Santander, a Chilean American artist who is well-known for her abstract work, moved to the U.S. in 1979 where she attended Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Before moving to Solana Beach in 2015, Santander exhibited in Chile, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Canada and at various galleries in Miami Beach, Manhattan as well as throughout the Hamptons. This is her third exhibition with Art Scene West.

“I started very young. I’ve always had art; I always felt like I was doing art,” Santander said. “When I moved from Chile to New York, you can imagine all the energy there, and that inspired me tremendously… but I’ve always been an artist; I haven’t done anything else.”

Stecher, born in Santiago, Cuba, moved to New York City to study psychology at Marymount College, and, later, New York University.

“I took many art classes and I remember writing papers about Turner and Rembrandt and just feeling like I was in awe and in love with art,” Stecher said. “I really never thought of myself in those terms, but much later in life, after I had my kids, I started fooling around with a brush one day and I just never stopped painting.”

A piece by Lidia Stecher titled “Mi Favorito” (oil on canvas)
A piece by Lidia Stecher titled “Mi Favorito” (oil on canvas). Courtesy photo

A self-taught artist, Stecher has now been working professionally for about 12 years. She moved to Solana Beach about 5 years ago where she and Santander met and quickly developed a close friendship and mutual respect for one another’s art.

“We have a lot in common. The styles are different in the paintings, but the essence of our method is very similar,” Stecher said. “We’re both abstract painters, so our compositions are not bound by abstract form. They’re mostly driven by our familiar understanding of the world around us.”

The exhibition will run through Jan. 15 at Art Scene West in Solana Beach.

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