February 4, 2016

Newport Art Collectors Bring Beauty to Pacifica Campus

Art - Riley Life Guard Tower

Newport Beach art collectors, Janet and Mark Hilbert, are bringing beauty to the Pacifica campus this winter. The Hilberts have generously donated 17 beautiful giclée framed prints of paintings inspired from their private collection. The paintings were installed throughout the campus this week.

The Hilbert collection is world-class and one of the largest collections of California Scene Paintings in the United States. The collection consists of more than 1,000 paintings—mostly works in watercolor and oil created from the 1930s to the 1970s. Artists in the collection include Millard Sheets, Emil Kosa Jr., Phil Dike, Milford Zornes, and Rex Brandt.

Pacifica put together a group of art aficionados to sort through the many paintings. Serving on the committee was Pam Emery, Mark Hilbert, Darrellyn Melilli, and Leslie Vance. The group’s purpose was to choose a range of paintings that represent Pacifica’s mission of teaching young people to live well.

“Our painting collection represents positive and uplifting images of everyday life in California, during the last 60 years,” said Mark Hilbert.

“Displaying these beautiful paintings on our campus is a privilege for Pacifica and we are very grateful,” said David O’Neil, Head of School. “The paintings are inspired by moments of everyday life and capture Pacifica’s desire to appreciate beauty and to teach our students to live well—wherever God puts us.”

The appreciation and cultivation of beauty are significant to a Pacifica education—, especially within the Arts Department. G.K. Chesterton said:  “Art is the signature of man.”  Art is a distinctly human endeavor:  of all God’s creatures, only humans express artistic creativity.  Only humans, from the disordered raw materials around them, try to create beauty.

The Hilbert Selections at Pacifica will serve as daily reminders of the beauty present in everyday life whether at work, play, or rest. Each painting teaches students that every aspect of their lives matters. It is for good reason the apostle Paul exhorted the faithful to look at—abide in—beautiful things:  “Finally, brethren … whatever is lovely … dwell on these things.”  What we experience, what we taste and see, shapes who we are and who we will become.  Our students must not merely read about beauty, but must dwell on it in order to appreciate and internalize it.

Pacifica’ s goal is to make learning a joyful endeavor.  Surrounding our students and teachers with beautiful art inspires them to find joy in all facets of life.  G.K. Chesterton articulates this concept clearly:  “Men do not produce art in order to become joyful.  They are joyful, and, therefore, produce art. Men do not dance to be happy.  They dance because they are happy.  Art is not the mother, but the child of beauty.”

“The Hilbert Selections at Pacifica bring beauty to the places where students think, live, learn, create, engage, and do ordinary life.”

The Hilberts have recently donated more than 200 of their watercolor and oil paintings to Chapman University, along with the funding to build an on-campus research library and museum to house the works.  Pacifica is honored to also benefit from the Hilberts’ generosity. 

The school is scheduling tours for those interested in viewing the art and to learn more about a Pacifica Christian High School experience.


Rex Brandt After Class - Campo


Wayne LaCom - Santa Monica

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