Carol Mills
Photo courtesy AAI

Carol Mills’ legacy is as enduring as it is endearing. She is remembered for many things: her beautiful art, her support of all forms of art in Idyllwild (an early proponent of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, ISOMATA and Idyllwild Arts), her music, her spirituality, her smile and founding the Courtyard Gallery.

AAI established a gallery and art visitors center at the Courtyard Gallery, and opened on March 24. “Abstraction,” an exhibit of Mills’ work, opens at the gallery with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29.

AAI Director and the exhibition’s curator Cyn Grady said, “We are thrilled to put on an exhibition at the Courtyard Gallery showcasing the abstract art of Carol Mills. It is just one small way we can honor her dedication to the arts and her talent.”

A consummate professional, Mills received a Bachelor of Arts in painting from UCLA, and a master’s in fine arts from University of California, Berkeley. She was deeply inspired by Hans Hoffman. She also studied at La Esmeralda Art Academy in Mexico City, and spent a year living in Paris.

As an illustrator at Disney studios, she worked on “Lady and the Tramp” and then at an LA architectural firm, producing watercolor renderings. An abstract expressionist at heart, she painted and sketched for the next 60 years in oils, acrylics, watercolor and pen-and-ink. Her life and work are memorialized at

Carol’s artistic legacy also is carried on through her children, Evan and Robin Mills. Evan’s artistic inspiration manifests itself through photography. Robin’s unique jewelry creations may be admired at the Courtyard Gallery.

Enjoy coffee, tea and cake while browsing the many fine art pieces at the gallery during the reception. The exhibit remains until Sunday, May 20.