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.
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."