The first time I visited the Prado Museum in Madrid, I followed my Spanish art history professor around the hallowed but stuffy galleries. The actual masterpieces, El Greco, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Goya, became part of a tumultuous year I spent at the Complutense University of Madrid.

In those times, Franco, the Fascist dictator who controlled Spain fought anyone who wanted to end his tyranny. University days were spent running from police on horseback swinging clubs hitting anyone in their path, until the government closed the university -for four months. I learned that leadership matters, that society is not separate from politics and I pursued a major in political science. I went on to graduate school to study Latin American politics at Stanford University.

I’ve traveled many miles since then (102 countries or so) and took including some detours, but I always came back to the art and the love of all things Hispanic. As a wife and mom, I left research in politics and opened an art gallery in San Diego specializing in Hispanic art and never looked back.

I have served on art museum boards to support and spread the joy that visual art has brought me. Art provides aesthetic pleasure, introduces us to fascinating personalities, and informs us about histories, cultures, and struggles of the times in which it was created.

When I am not traveling or attending an art exhibit, I can be found in San Diego or Kauai watching films, reading alongside my husband who collects 18th and 19th century travel narratives, and sharing photos of my grandchildren with my wine-drinking book clubs and bridge, golfing and writing pals.