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Art and soul food Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Apr 14 2012 12:00 PM

Of the myriad items that perplex me — women, sagging, America’s fascination with baseball, women,  opposition to universal healthcare, racism, women, opposition to same-sex marriage, Jerry Rindone’s hair, the Chula Vista tourism and marketing district, the success of all things Kardashian and women to name a few — the dearth of art galleries in Chula Vista is one of them. Has been for a while.

Sure, there have been flash galleries, spaces where artists exhibit their work for a weekend  or slightly longer, but nothing permanent. At least nowhere on Third Avenue or Broadway, arguably two of Chula Vista’s more heavily traveled streets.

I’m not an aficionado. My collection consists of a couple of gifts from family, friends and a store-bought print or two.

But I  enjoy looking at pretty things.  And I’ll stop and stare or even loiter in a gallery if something catches my eye.

And every couple of months I’ll find a place to eat near a gallery so I can peruse  an exhibit after eating a meal. Nourishment for the body and soul.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe in Chula Vista there are too many people like me — broke  artistically ignorant browsers who won’t drop a sheqel or two on something that moves them, hence no financial incentive to set up shop.

I’d rather not believe that’s the case. I’d like to believe there are enough people who live in this culturally diverse city who have the money and interest to support a gallery or two. Permanent ones.

For now we’ll have to be happy with the temporary gallery on the city’s bayfront. Yeah, it’s not quite on any traffic-heavy readily accessible avenues in downtown, but it’s a start. Heck, it might even be better.

The Gallery at the Chula Vista Marina celebrates its grand opening Sunday, April 15, providing yet one more reason to visit the city’s under-utilized bayfront.

From then on it will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I haven’t been to the space and I’m not familiar with any of the exhibiting artists. But it’ll be a worthwhile trip.

Spring is here. And despite the occasional rainy days that have  scampered across the county this week, an afternoon at the harbor isn’t a bad way to spend a few hours.

A plate of fish and chips at The Galley (or South Bay Fish and Grill) and a walk over to the gallery to take in some artwork.

Nourishment for the body. Nourishment for the soul. All at the foot of the ocean.

I better enjoy it while I can.

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