Theodore Payne Gallery

The 116-square-foot Theodore Payne Gallery at our Sun Valley headquarters is open to the public during business hours. Three exhibitions are offered each year, featuring contemporary, modern, and historic artists whose work is influenced by our state flora, landscape, and natural history.


Current Exhibition

Artist-in-Residence Julia Paull: Perfect Mason
Saturday, September 22, through Saturday, December 29, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 22, 1:00-3:00pm, with Artist Talk at 2:00pm – Refreshments will be served.

Perfect Mason is a new series of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist and 2018 TPF Artist-in-Residence Julia Paull, featuring native Southern California plants that serve as crucial sources of food for various species of Southern California butterflies.

With a nod to Dutch Still Life painting, Paull set up plant cuttings in simple American Mason jars and photographed them on her kitchen counter during the hour before sunset. The Mason jar serves as a nod to canning of food grown in home gardens, as well as the idea that native plants serve as building blocks for conservation and preservation of at-risk natural habitats. Butterflies and many other insects are currently experiencing rapid declines in their populations. Declines in both native flora and fauna became all the more pressing for Paull when, shortly before beginning her year-long residency at the Theodore Payne Foundation, the La Tuna Fire came far too close to the Foundation, and the subsequent Creek Fire burned her childhood neighborhood. These events brought a new level of urgency to Paull’s residency research on native plants that support at-risk fauna.

Above right: Julia Paull, Perfect Mason
(California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica; and Tidy Tips, Layia platyglossa)
9.25 x 14 inches, pigment print

Paull is a grant recipient of a USC Advancing Scholarship in Humanities and Social Sciences initiative, Documenting the breeding of Endangered Species (Galapagos Island, Costa Rica, Panama, and California); as well as a Durfee Foundation grant recipient for Project 21, a Pictorial History of Kagel Canyon, CA. In addition to her residency at TPF, she is a resident at the Hambridge Center in Georgia. Paull is a former resident at the Santa Fe Art Institute International Water Rights Residency, New Mexico. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Double Life, Corridor 2122, Fresno, CA; The Sum of the Sun, Calame Studios Presents, Los Angeles, CA; Drawn in Nature, Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico; In Harm’s Way, Central Booking, NYC; and On the Distant Horizon, BLAM Projects Los Angeles. As a gardener, Paull grew Site #28 for Wildflowering LA, the seed-planting initiative spearheaded by artist Fritz Haeg in partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation. Julia received a BA from the University of California Santa Barbara, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She is an Associate Professor at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Learn more about the artist at

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Sean Francis Early, who gave so much, including many jars of canned preserves.