The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is 10 years old this year. This jewel of the Orange County Parks system offers panoramic views of Upper Newport Bay. Yet it is nestled so unobtrusively in the bluffs on the bay's north side that many local residents aren't that the 10,000-square-foot educational facility is there.
If you are a nature lover or a fine art lover, this weekend is a great time to discover or rediscover the interpretive center, when the sixth Biennial SOCALPAPA Paints Back Bay Art Show and Sale kicks off an ongoing celebration of the center's 10th anniversary. At the event a set of three stunning interactive exhibits, installed as part of a major remodeling of the entryway to the center, will "go live" for the first time.
SOCALPAPA stands for the Southern California Plein Air Painters Assn. Over the years the Bay has been a magnificent source of inspiration to its artists, who are often seen on the patio at the interpretive center, "interpreting" the richness of the ever-changing scenery through their brush stokes. A desire on the part of the SOCALPAPA membership to give something back to the Bay led to the now biennial show and sale of original fine art, held in collaboration with OC Parks, the Newport Beach Arts Foundation and the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends.