Come Visit our two Gallery Locations
Sophie’s Gallery & Gift Shop, Downtown El Cajon
NEW GALLERY COMING IN 2020!
140 E. Main St.
El Cajon, CA 92020
Monday – Friday
9:00am – 4:00pm
Located right inside the St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Building
2119 East Madison Avenue.
El Cajon CA 92019-1111
Monday – Friday
9:00am – 4:00pm
In the 1970s, SMSC expanded its curriculum to offer its first art classes. With these first classes, an untapped wealth of talent was revealed.
Many students who had not been able to express themselves through traditional means were sharing their once hidden feelings through vibrant, original works of art on canvas, wood, glass and other media. The program became so popular that it outgrew the available space. In 1999, with generous community support, the art program moved to a storefront in Downtown El Cajon and was named Sophie’s Gallery and Gift Shop. In 2007, we expanded the original storefront space to 4,400 square feet that allowed us to serve more students and add more classes. Every week, our students are taught a variety of media, such as print-making, jewelry-making, painting, charcoal, pastels, fabric arts, and more. All of the classes at Sophie’s Gallery are taught by professional artists – our art program was the first in our region to offer this enhanced benefit.
In 2007, we opened a satellite gallery and gift shop, called Sophie’s Too, in our new Education Center on our main campus. And, at the end of 2009, we opened a third venue located at the NTC Promenade/Liberty Station where our students showed their work alongside artists from the general community. This third site provided an effective way to raise public awareness about our programs and engaged the support and interest of artists from the general community. As of January 2014, Sophie’s Gallery NTC/Liberty Station has closed its doors and moved to Kensington to establish Sophie’s Kensington Gallery & Gift Shop.
Our Sophie’s Gallery location in Downtown El Cajon has an annual exhibition season that is launched with opening night receptions that often draw 200+ people. At the Sophie’s Gallery location on NTC Promenade, we also hold monthly exhibition openings for local artists who show their work alongside our students’ work.
In 2010 Sophie’s Gallery El Cajon was voted San Diego’s Best Gallery (to buy) through the San Diego Union-Tribune and signonsandiego.com.
Along with our annual exhibition season at Sophie’s Gallery in Downtown El Cajon and NTC Promenade, our students also show their work at venues regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our artists have exhibited their work at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; showed and sold jewelry, prints and painted scarves at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Gift Shop in Washington, D.C; and are participating in an exhibition entitled “Neurodiversity” at The Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine. These venues are in addition to more than a dozen shows they have each year, including Bread & Cie in Hillcrest; UCSD; Sho Sho Me Gallery (Borrego Springs); and Princeton University Medical Center (New Jersey), to name just a few.