History museum examines Mormon pioneers

By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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Take a step back in time to view Mormon California history at the Folsom History Museum. The California Pioneer Heritage Foundation held the 2010 Pioneer Heritage Art Competition recently and this year’s participants and ribbon winners are on display at the Folsom History Museum through May 9. “We are thrilled. This is the first year and we want to do more in the future,” said Shenna Mealey, art committee volunteer. This year’s competition theme is “Mormon California History in Art” and was open to all Mormon artists, 8 and older who lived within the boundaries of The Sacramento Temple District. Mealey said there were 70 entries total for the competition with additional items exhibited in the museum. “The California Pioneer Spirit in Art” museum exhibit is divided into three parts. The first is the competition display including artwork ranging from paintings, quilts, photos, paper sculptures, pottery and others. The artwork is displayed in separate categories according to participant age. The second is a special mural portraying California Mormon pioneers throughout time, which was designed, planned and created by volunteer artists from local Churches of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Local artist and LDS church member Ted Allebes is one of the volunteers for the exhibit. He volunteered in many areas including mural artist, art committee member and art contest judge. “This is all fun work,” said Allebes. “We are having a good time with this.” The third part of the museum exhibit includes displayed quilt work from Allebes’ late wife, Emma Allebes. She passed away in October 2009. Emma was a well-known artist in the community and art committee, according to organizers. Her quilt work was displayed in various locations including the California State Fair. “Her art will be featured for the last time in this exhibit,” said Mealey, Emma’s daughter. Museum director Mary Mast said she is excited about the exhibit and encourages people to come out and visit. “I’m extremely pleased with the result. It is period correct and I think this is a great community effort,” Mast said. “I appreciate having it here not only to represent their faith, but also the pioneer history.” For more information on the exhibit, call 985-2707 or visit