Beloved oil painting gifted to La Jolla Library


The La Jolla Riford Library has added to its permanent art collection thanks to a gift from San Diego-based landscape painter Erin Hanson. Titled Magenta Lights, the oil on canvas is a semi-abstract depiction of the oak-dotted dawn hills of a winery in Paso Robles, Calif.

“The painting really enhances the public experience of sitting here in our reading area,” said branch manager Shaun Briley. “Look at the colors and how it matches the scheme. It’s as if it was always intended to be in this spot.”

Arlene Powers, co-chair of the library’s art committee, added: “Everybody on staff has fallen in love with it.”

The painting had been on loan since the library’s Spring 2018 exhibition, Colors of Spring. While the library didn’t officially ask for the loan to graduate to a gift, Briley admitted commenting to Powers: “Gee, couldn’t this stay here a little longer?” That comment made its way back to Hanson, who was so happy to oblige, she even paid to have a title plaque made herself.

Hanson called the Friends of La Jolla Library — who in 2014 made her the focus of their first solo show — “one of the reasons” she relocated her life, and art gallery, from L.A. to San Diego two years ago. (Her gallery is in Miramar.)

“Everyone was so excited to have me there, I thought, ‘This is really cool,’” Hanson said. “So when I decided to move out of L.A., I decided on San Diego.”