Solana Beach painter shares love of art with kids at SDSU Children’s Center

By Kristina Houck

Two at a time, kids at San Diego State University’s Children’s Center used oil paints to create a 38-by-46-inch painting. Solana Beach artist Judy Moffson set up her 9-foot tall easel at the center on March 21 as part of the annual “A is for Art” program.

“I did not lay one brushstroke on the canvas. I tried to give them some ideas by telling them to close their eyes and think about their favorite things,” said Moffson, who has lived in Solana Beach since 1976. “They lined up and were very excited to participate. It was just a really wonderful, fun experience for all of us.”

Founded by Associated Students in 1971, the Children’s Center provides care for up 200 children of SDSU students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The center’s “A is for Art” program brings together local artists and children ages 6 months to 5 years to produce art, enhance self-expression and build self-esteem.

“It’s important to encourage children to be creative,” Moffson said. “They did beautifully, and I really bonded with the kids.”

A Chicago native, Moffson started drawing and painting when she was 3 years old.

Although she worked as a registered nurse for 12 years, art always remained a part of her life. She also worked as a Telly Award-winning video producer, jewelry designer, clothing designer and interior designer.

With encouragement from her husband, Moffson returned to painting at the age of 55 in 1997.

Moffson once co-owned a gallery on North Cedros. She now works out of her coastal home and displays her work in local exhibits. She recently had an exhibit at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, and she is planning another show at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach.

A mother of three, Moffson, 71, now shares her love of art with her four grandchildren. She plans to work with the boys and girls at SDSU Children’s Center again as well.

“I get lost in it. It puts me in another place and I lose track of time,” Moffson said. “I get excited every time I step up to the canvas because I don’t know what’s going to come out. That’s the fun part — there’s no discipline.”

For more information about Moffson and her work, visit www.judymoffson.com.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of “A is for Art,” the SDSU Children’s Center is hosting a free gala at 5:30 p.m. on April 19 at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego’s Balboa Park. The event will feature live entertainment, refreshments and a live auction of the center’s artwork. Proceeds will benefit the center.

For more information about SDSU Children’s Center, visit childcare.sdsu.edu.

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