The Eye Care Center (ECC) at Western University of Health Sciences has partnered with the dA Center for the Arts in downtown Pomona to showcase three artists.

"The art exhibit is an example of the University’s commitment to promoting health and humanism in our community through strategic partnerships," said College of Optometry Dean Elizabeth Hoppe, OD.

The exhibit is in the ECC, on the first floor of the Patient Care Center, 795 E. Second Street, Pomona, Calif., 91766. It is open to the public, and is expected to run through January 2015, when three new artists are expected to be showcased.

The partnership was established after Hoppe and Educational Partnership and Outreach Manager Helen Musharbash discussed options for filling the hallway of the ECC with art during a WesternU Community Engagement Committee meeting.

"We had a lot of blank walls in the Eye Care Center that needed something to be attractive and visually stimulating and interesting for our patients," Hoppe said. "Because Helen is the liaison with the art community in Pomona, we were able to work with the dA and put together this wonderful exhibit."

The three artists are:

– Patricia Gomez, coordinator of affiliated patient care services for the Eye Care Center, exhibiting her photographs.

– Michael LeVell, who draws furniture and architecture in perfect perspective, and uses this ability to produce intricate sculptures in clay.

– Joy McAllister, exhibiting her abstractionist paintings.

A reception was held Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Guests viewed the artwork and had an opportunity to get free vision screenings from supervised students. The College of Optometry’s Sylvia Pederson and Kelee Pletich-Visconti, and University Advancement Director of Development Amanda Behnke, helped plan the reception.

Gomez said that when she began taking photos, she never thought they would be displayed for others to view.

"It’s all surreal, considering I don’t consider myself to be an artist," Gomez said. "My enjoyment is taking photos and seeing what we missed as we go along in our daily lives. I want to capture in my photos the beautiful and amazing things all around us, that even with 20/20 vision we don’t see or we totally miss. Working in the Eye Care Center, meeting patients with eye conditions or limited vision, I appreciate all the comments I have been receiving and all the compliments from more experienced photographers."

The dA Center for the Arts President Chris Toovey reflected on how the dA started out as an outpost in 1984, and College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific students would wander around downtown Pomona and stumble upon his gallery.

"Our mission statement is to bring the arts to the community, and what we found was when the Arts Colony kind of got started, we were automatically the hub," Toovey said. "Now we go out to different places and create partnerships to install a show or do some sort of artistic collaborative, and with this show we have created a nice outpost."