By Eric Heinz

Subtleties like “SONGS” (San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station) engraved in an anchor or sea life pointing to a seemingly innocuous barnacle are part of the shrouded mysteries within Trevor Mezak’s paintings.

Recently, one of Mezak’s paintings that he hid 10 years ago was discovered by a family that had attended preceding art shows in which Mezak had left clues in his work at the RockStars of Art Gallery in Corona Del Mar. The painting was hidden at Trail 5 at San Onofre State Beach in a crevice of a bluff.

Clockwise from far left: Trinity Noll, park ranger Cindy Marsh, Jed Noll, Taryn Medina, and Coda Noll hold up a painting hidden by Trevor Mezak that had been stuffed in a bluff for 10 years. Photo: Courtesy of the Noll family
Clockwise from far left: Trinity Noll, park ranger Cindy Marsh, Jed Noll, Taryn Medina, and Coda Noll hold up a painting hidden by Trevor Mezak that had been stuffed in a bluff for 10 years. Photo: Courtesy of the Noll family

“At the time I hid the painting, I was kind of trying to get people off the internet and off their phones,” Mezak said. “I wanted to create something real, with value, and put it out there.”

The last set of clues was displayed about two weeks ago, which led the Noll family of San Clemente to its destination. Other people searching for the painting, Mezak said, were way off.

Jed Noll, his daughter, Trinity, and her friend, Taryn Medina, led the search along with his son, Coda, and wife Candice. The family spent about a year piecing the clues together before the last painting came out. Clues such as Las Pulgas and other hints were enough for them to find it.

“It took us quite some time of romping around,” Jed said. “The night before, they put all the notes in front of me, and I kind of helped them piece it all together.”

Other subtleties that would be known to locals, such as locations of restrooms with regard to other small landmarks, made it easier for the family that’s lived in the area for generations.

“I’ve seen some of the numbers and clues just from surfing there for years,” Jed said. “We definitely will try to figure out (the next painting). This one was probably the most accessible for us, but it was super rad to search around with the kids.”

The name of the hidden painting that was found was “Hidden Journey.” His paintings are acrylic and applied with palette knife.

As far as this modern hunt goes, Mezak said it’s just the way he wanted it.

“The kids are actually getting the parents involved in this, which is exactly what I wanted to have happen,” Mezak said.

Mezak said he plans to do two more hidden paintings, one that will be fairly easy for people with a keen eye to find, but the last one will be so difficult that Mezak said he hopes it’s never found, or at least stays hidden for a long time. The paintings with the clues will be debuted in the next month and will be announced on www.rockstarsofart.com.

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