|The San Diego Natural History Museum|
It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years already since the Society of Animal Artists 50th Annual Exhibition took place at the beautiful San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego, CA! With most of us not being able to travel and be together in person with the current pandemic, I thought it would be fun and refreshing to revisit memories from this great weekend! It was truly an amazing time and attending SAA artists and guests stayed busy from the moment they arrived whilst enjoying the numerous activities over several days!
|Helping with paperwork while enjoying conversation and laughter|
The highlight of the weekend for many of us was the day spent on the whale watching excursion. It was a gorgeous southern California day, and the scenery throughout our journey was splendid, starting off with getting to watch and listen to the California Sea Lions that call the harbor home.
|Heading out and anticipating an awesome day!|
|Nothing is sacred from a group of SAA artists armed with cameras... Ha Ha!|
Of course, seeing numerous birds of varying species inhabiting the multiple islands we cruised around was exciting and I'm sure the birds felt like the paparazzi was after them whenever our boat approached.
|Enjoying the sights and sounds of all the wildlife!|
|Watching and photographing the whales|
The day continued to amaze us with stunning scenery and of course getting to see and watch the whales was absolutely thrilling! Then on the return trip, we found ourselves amid a dolphin pod, who ended up stealing the show from the whales! The large group of aquatic ballerinas swam alongside us at a high rate of speed, jumping up out of the water and generally showing off, and the hundreds of camera clicks that could be heard sounded like firecrackers going off on the Fourth of July!
There was a large foam cushion covering most of the top deck of our boat, and we piled as many of us as possible onto it, during the second half of the trip. I think that many of us did more laughing than anything while listening to a couple of our animated and comical members tell stories, and ended up holding our sore sides from all the laughing, and I can remember most of us not wanting the day to end.
|The entertainment up there was superb!|
The next day artists and guests went on buses to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the following day were taken to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, where the day was spent exploring and photographing the varies animals and birds living at the zoo, and that evening were treated to a delightful buffet on the grounds of the zoo.
The hotel where everyone stayed was very nice and we enjoyed breakfast on the beautiful grounds before our member's meeting the last morning, followed by a presentation by SAA artist Robert Bateman.
|Artists enjoying breakfast and wonderful conversation|
That afternoon we went to see the exhibition at the museum, which looked truly amazing and spanned over three floors of the vast building and attended the Awards Banquet later that evening.
|Viewing the exhibition inside the museum|
Obviously, much of the fun of these opening weekends is being able to just hang out with other artist friends, and that was done by many of us every chance we had!
If you'd like to experience or relive some of the excitement of the 50th weekend, here's a video below which I think you will enjoy. Please forgive the less than stellar quality of the video, but that was before we had iPhones and a GoPro or the ability to upload in 4K.
If you'd like to read about and see more photos from the SAA 50th Annual Exhibition weekend, visit the links below:
Until Next time ~ SAA artist Rachelle Siegrist
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