The San Fernando Valley Art Club, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1943 to advance and promote the fine and allied arts in the San Fernando Valley (SFV) and surrounding areas. The SFVAC objectives are to provide the public with a fuller understanding and appreciation of the great value of art in everyday life, encourage the production of art and promote a friendly social atmosphere and mutual understanding between artists, art patrons and the public at large.
All persons applying for membership in the SFVAC are accepted as either Professional or Non-Professional artist-members. See our Membership page for details.
We welcome you to attend our next meeting as a guest where you can experience our friendly club in person!
Please also check out past issues of our Paint Rag newsletter on our Newsletter page.
The History of the San Fernando Valley Art Club
The Early Years
On November 17, 1943, a group of artists met at Roland Pennoyer’s home to form an art club. Roland was elected president and served in that position for two years.
The club’s second meeting was December 1, 1943 at the North Hollywood Library. This active group selected San Fernando Valley Art Club as their official name.
SFVAC assembled at Greiner Art Studio on January 19, 1944 for their first demonstration of a pastel portrait by Mr. Greiner.
On February 4, 1944, 24 artists with 83 paintings held their first exhibit with 200 guests in attendance. By July of 1944, they had formed sketch groups, modeling classes, ceramic groups and were exhibiting frequently . Their meetings continued to be held at the North Hollywood Library.
On November 4, 1945, Charles Hulett was elected President and, in 1946, the first “Paint Rag” newsletter was sent. Prior to that date, news was sent by postcard.
The San Fernando Valley Art Club participated in an exhibit in June of 1946 at City Hall. The exhibit was so successfully received that it was then transferred to Capistrano for a month long exhibit.
The club’s intense desire to own their own “Home” spurred these artists to create a “Building Fund.” They held bake sales, card parties, raffles, and dances raising quite a sum of money for those days. Unfortunately, the money collected through the years was never put to use purchasing any land when the price of real estate was low.
By 1947, Membership had reached 125 and Nina Duke Erler was elected president. The KGIL radio station featured an art lecture series hosted by Nina. Nina passed away during her second term in office.
Through the efforts of SFVAC Honorary Mayors, Bob Burns of Canoga Park, Everett E. Horton of Encino, and Andy Devine of Van Nuys, an “Art Week” was proclaimed. Rathburn’s Department Store in North Hollywood hosted many exhibits for the artist who now hold their meetings in the American Legion Hall of Van Nuys.
Thanks to those long ago club member historians; Mertal Jensen – 1945, Irene Vieira – 1946-47, and Gene Gillion – 1948, this information was preserved in the first History Book of the San Fernando Valley Art Club.