Historical Society highlights prominent artists

March 17, 2000
Santa Paula News
The Santa Paula Historical Society vows to preserve, protect and perpetuate the history of the Glen City and and an example of fulfilling those ideals is now on display at the California Oil Museum (COMSP) of Santa Paula. The SPHS’s latest exhibit at the museum - “Santa Paula Art Show and the Santa Paula Collection” - showcases just a sample of the over 300 outstanding paintings collected by area public entities over the decades.The exhibit is two-fold: to present some of the lesser seen paintings and to highlight the historical society’s Adopt-A-Painting program.The Santa Paula Collection itself is one of the finest accumulations of California Plein Air paintings in existence. The works were acquired by the city, Santa Paula Elementary and High School districts, Santa Paula Memorial Hospital and Blanchard Community Library from winners of the annual Santa Paula Art Show, founded in 1937.The public entities no longer collect paintings but what they have is a treasure trove of famous artists, many of whom used local scenes for landscapes. Many of the paintings that are hung throughout the city are not often seen by the general public, and the exhibit offers a chance to view outstanding examples of the California Plein Air school of art.Now on exhibit in the “Santa Paula Art Show and the Santa Paula Collection” are works by the late John Stroh as well as artist Sue Gerding, both Santa Paulans. Paintings by Cornelis and Jessie Arms Botke - who with other noted artists founded the annual Santa Paula Art Show - are hung, as well as a work by Robert Clunie, another famous artist with a strong Santa Paula connection.The exhibit wouldn’t be complete without a painting by the late Douglas Shively, who was an artist, rancher, banker and traveler whose own love of nature and the outdoors is evident in his work.Other paintings in the exhibit include an outstanding work by Dan Toigo and Dillon Lauritzen.
Many of the paintings in the Santa Paula Collection are in need of restoration - cleaning and/or frame repair as an example - and the historical society is urging that supporters Adopt-A-Painting so the works can be brought up to top condition.All donations to the Adopt-A-Painting program are 100 percent tax deductible and any amounts are accepted; contributions can be made in memory of or in tribute to a loved one.Checks must be payable to the Santa Paula Historical Society and note on it that the donation is for “Adopt-A-Painting; mail to, Santa Paula Historical Society, PO Box 842, Santa Paula, CA 93061.For further information, call 933-0076.The California Oil Museum - the former Santa Paula Union Oil Museum - is located at the corner of 10th and Main streets and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the exhibit, call 933-0076.

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