A Brush with Art

Art proves to be binding force for friendship

As human beings we meet, spend time together, experience life together, and sometimes part ways. If we’re fortunate our lives reconnect at some point. When that occurs, our friendships seem to resume where we left off.Two North County artists, Valerie Sorrells and Marjorie Fox, recently experienced such a reconnection after three decades of separation.Valerie and Marjorie met as teenagers living near Mission Bay. The girlfriends experienced much of life together, including the milestones of marriage, motherhood, divorce, as well as artistic endeavors. Marjorie and Valerie scouted San Diego County together, drawing buildings scheduled for demolition or relocation.

Artist Valerie Sorrells’ banner “Saint Maggie.” Courtesy photos

Over time their paths separated, causing the friends to lose touch for thirty years. Through unusual circumstances, the artists recently reunited at the Pannikin, a building they had sketched together many years ago. They discovered that common themes involving art, technology, and helping others, had run through both of their lives during their three decades apart.

Valerie, in addition to an accomplished career as a database administrator, had been an art instructor for the Carlsbad Unified School District, the City of Carlsbad, and Peace Corps volunteers. She was instrumental in introducing after-school programs in Carlsbad as well as activities programs for at-risk youth. Seeing art as vital to individual development, Valerie states, “Art teaches keen creative problem solving skills much needed in a world that under funds K-12 education.”

Marjorie Fox’s banner “Primary Resource”

Valerie’s blog Sandiegograndmas.com encourages interaction of grandparents and children through cultural programs available throughout San Diego. She also reports updates on the search for her son who has been missing since October 2011.

Valerie’s banner “Saint Maggie,” a collaboration with Beverly Goodman, is on display in front of Coast Highway Traders.

Marjorie Fox, Encinitas resident for over 20 years, has diverse professional experience of three decades spanning media, government, and businesses in both the for-profit and nonprofit arenas. Throughout her career, Marjorie has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and committees for local, national and international organizations. She has worked extensively with early childhood development, education, human rights, and environmental organizations.

For nearly a decade in the 80s, Marjorie was the host and associate producer of a local television show, which led to her active role in the achievement of human rights in China.

She led the production of the PBS special, “The Earth Summit,” featuring United Nations delegates, which culminated in the development of the first electronic UN resource directory. Inspired by this project, she founded A Resource Development & Organizational Network (ARDON) and Resource San Diego, which facilitate the exchange of resources for nonprofits online at


In addition to her accomplished professional profile, Marjorie has remained active in the arts, exhibiting and winning several awards for her paintings. She says of her creative experience: “Painting is an interaction between the paint, the canvas and me. They do most of the work, and I get to observe and influence.”

Marjorie’s banner “Primary Resource” is displayed across from Moonlight Plaza.

Kay Colvin is an art consultant and director of the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. She specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists and bringing enrichment programs to elementary schools through The Kid’s College. Contact her at kaycolvin@lstreetfineart.com.


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1 comment

Chelsea April 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Such a sweet story on a great friendship. Thank you for sharing!

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