Promoting art in Whittier and surrounding communities

Archive for April, 2011

Preserving Our Colorful past

Before I became more involved in the Whittier Art Gallery, I thought the building housing our gallery was, well, a house converted at some time into a place for artistic exhibitions. Not so. Last week, a letter went out to our artists and friends. It relayed some interest back-history we may want to keep in mind the next time we visit the gallery.

Our Colorful Past: The Whittier Art Association was formed in 1934 by a group of very dedicated artists who had a dream of someday having an art gallery in Whittier. On the heels of the Depression, these artists formed the Whittier Art Association and raised enough money to begin construction of a gallery located on the corner of Painter and Mooreland Avenues. Built on donated land, the Whittier Art Gallery was dedicated on Monday, April 10, 1939. By 1945, the Association received its non-profit status, and that same year, the members were pleased to have Norman Rockwell come to the Gallery to judge a show.

Norman Rockwell, self-portrait

Among the Gallery’s 500 members, were many very prominent early California landscape painters. During the 1940’s, the beautiful new Whittier Art Gallery enjoyed a prime location between the galleries of Los Angeles and the new Laguna Beach Art Association.

The Whittier Art Gallery Gallery provides monthly shows, programs, art classes, and art scholarships. Our Gallery is one of the few that is totally owned and supported by the members, and it does not receive financial support from the City of Whittier.

April 10th marks the 72nd anniversary of the dedication of our Gallery building.

The gallery, circa 1940s

The gallery today

And there you have it. While the gallery may feel homey, it was not a home in the beginning. It is always good to know and appreciate the work of those who have gone before so that we can more fully enjoy the legacy they labored to pass on to us. We are also reminded that maintaning our legacy may from time to time require that  gallery members and supporters to pitch in as we try to preserve our heritage:

The Gallery’s Board of Directors would like to give members and the people of our community the opportunity to make a donation to help repair and maintain the Gallery building and grounds.  This year, our special projects are to replace all of the old plumbing, install a tankless water heater, and complete the needed termite work.           

All donations are tax deductible and donors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation for tax purposes.  

Donations can be made by cash, check, or credit card.

You may come by the gallery during our regular business hours, Wednesday-Sunday, Noon-5 PM, and pick up your own copy of this donation letter and a donation form.


More Spring Show photos

Here are some additional photos from Saturday’s reception, courtesy of one of our Gallery artists

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Photos by George Rodriguez, Copyright (c) 2011, all rights reserved

Ongoing and future shows

If you missed the opening and reception for the Spring Show, there is still plenty of time to come by the gallery during regular hours. A lot of great work awaits you here.

Spring Show art

And don’t forget to put the upcoming May Patterns of Perception show on your calendar.

Patterns of Perception

Spring Show reception

The Spring Show reception took place today. Here are some photos that captured the ongoings of a wonderful afternoon with friends and colleagues.

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Photos by Eduardo Suastegui, Copyright (c) 2011, all rights reserved

More photos…

Take-in for the Spring show

This past Sunday, local artists came by during our “take-in” period to drop off their work. Over the following two days, our crack volunteer staff got busy hanging the art work and getting the gallery ready for the show. Join us for our reception on Saturday, April 9, 2 – 5 p.m.

Photo by George Rodrigues, (c) Copyright 2011 Artists bring in their pieces on April 3rd
Photo by George Rodriguez, Copyright (c) 2011, all rights reserved

Our new blog

At the Whittier Art Gallery we are in the process of refurbishing our Web presence. Our new blog is part of this effort, and in the weeks to come, we will work to add interesting news, topics and discussions for artists in the Whittier and surrounding art community.

Stay tuned and subscribe to our RSS feed so you can stay in touch with us.