For those of you whom are art lovers and have not yet ventured out to Galleta Meadows, prepare yourself for a stunning experience unlike anything else in our city. This amazing site is home to nearly 200 metal sculptures depicting prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth. Keep your eyes peeled because these gigantic installations are scattered across 3,000 acres. Each sculpture is the product of the artistic genius of sculptor Ricardo Breceda.
Avery was heir to the Avery-Dennison label-making fortune, but he blazed a distinct path of his own in San Diego. He was a Cal Western Law School graduate who for a time worked in the San Diego City Attorney’s office and later served as an associate dean for the law school, but much of his attention was devoted to Borrego. He purchased the land with the intention of preventing it from ever being developed.
At some point while traveling back and forth visiting his children at college in Riverside, Avery happened on the Perris studio of Mexican born and self-taught sculptor Ricardo Breceda. The studio was called Perris Jurassic Park, and the men quickly discovered a mutual love of dinosaurs.
Breceda received his inspiration from watching the movie Jurassic Park with his daughter. When she asked for a T-Rex for Christmas, Breceda endeavored to please her and a major era in his artistry began.
In 2008 Avery commissioned Breceda to create iron sculptures of a variety of prehistoric beasts for Galleta Meadows, an appropriate site since Borrego is home to one of the richest troves of fossils in North America. When Avery died in 2012, there were approximately 150 pieces in the collection and there may never be more. He left behind an endowment to pay Breceda for repairing weather related damage to his pieces.
A tip to photographers: the real magic happens at night here with a backdrop of a million stars.