September 18, 2001 - A retrospective of paintings of early California post-impressionist artist and teacher, Veda Fero Dayton, will open on October 6 in the Rasmussen Art Gallery of Pacific Union College, where this significant and prolific female artist first taught in 1914. The exhibit, entitled Veda Fero Dayton: “From the Mountains to the Sea” includes paintings in oil, tempera, and watercolor of landscapes throughout the West, done from 1917 through the 1960’s.
Veda Fero Dayton’s life and art reflects the transition from the early growth and developing art of the West, made by the first pioneering generation, to a time when more contemplative Californians could settle down and enjoy the land and life they had carved out for themselves. Born in 1891, Veda’s wide variety of subjects, skill in many media and techniques, and far-ranging travels parallel the growth of western artists, and particularly the emergence of opportunities for women painters, during this important and exciting era at the early years of the last century.
During her teaching career at Pacific Union College and through the 1920’s, Veda Fero Dayton was active in the artist’s community of the Monterey and Carmel areas, where she passed most summers, camping on the dunes and spending time on painting expeditions around the Carmel and Big Sur coast in the early days of auto travel. Veda’s artistic growth underwent a great change and liberation when she became the student of well-known Carmel painters Mary DeNeale Morgan, Frederick G. Grey, and William Adam during this period. The retrospective contains many works executed in oil with lively brushwork and pallet knife, watercolors, and temperas of the pristine coastal landscape.
Ms. Dayton became an instructor at College of the Pacific in Stockton at the end of the 1920’s and continued teaching art in schools in Sacramento until her retirement in 1956. She concentrated on landscapes of the Sierras and deserts and on works done on travels up and down the west coast, with some works done in the eastern states and Europe. The retrospective includes many works from her early and later periods, all done in her lively and impressionistic style, showing her masterful execution, passion for nature, and enthusiasm for her subject.
Veda Fero Dayton exhibited extensively throughout her life in shows of California artists and one-women exhibitions at the Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento, Kingsley Art Gallery, Lodi Art & Wine Show, California State Fairs, and many other art venues. Furthermore, she was a founding member of the Northern California Artists Association. Her work is mentioned in several art history publications highlighting the achievement of early California painters and women painters of the early American West. Veda Fero Dayton died in 1983, at the age of 91.