San Diego County Library and Aging & Independence Services present San Diego Legends: Living Well, an annual recognition comprised of painted portraits by local artist Mona Mills, photographs, and impact statements about local elders who lead by example.
The Legends exemplify lifestyles that embrace inclusion, spiritual integrity, humanism and healthy living. Their lives and accomplishments are a testament to the nobility of hard work, as well as respect for each other and one's self. As the exhibit is displayed at a new library each month, residents have the opportunity to meet the Legends, hear about their experiences, and participate in related programs.
Dr. Joaquin Anguera has been involved in the field of Aging for over 40 years. He is a professor of Gerontology and Aging at SDSU and was recently appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Governor Brown.
Mona Mills is a self-described survivor woman artist, a creative and spiritual being who has spent her entire life in pursuit of art.
Jerri Patchett is a servant leader and a library champion who discovered a life of purpose when as a girl she visited an orphanage to share the love of reading with other children. Patchett put her leadership skills to work to garner support for a new, award winning library emblematic of the Fallbrook community embracing art, culture, education and inclusion.
Dr. Charles Ross graduated from medical school in 1948. After his retirement, Dr. Ross directed his efforts toward working with the Laubauch Literacy Council of San Diego County which offers free tutoring to English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.
Vickie Velasco was one of the first to join the Peace Corps for multiple tours in Ecuador and Guatemala. She now promotes the importance of movement and exercise by participating in Feeling Fit.
Mona Mills has worked her entire life as a professional artist. She considers herself a "survivor" woman artist, as her career was launched at a time when a female artist had to sign with a man's name. Mills was born in Chicago and attended the Art Institute at the University of Chicago. Her murals brighten the walls of many San Diego County Library branches, and she has also served as an art instructor at many local schools.
"The paintings are no longer just portraits; they are symbols that are the individual, but, also, symbols that go far beyond any one individual. We need to teach with our murals. This idea makes art a necessity, not just a frill."