A Porterville establishment is closing.
The Porterville Art Association, which has existed in Porterville since 1966, will close at its current location at 151 North Main Street.
PAA is closing in part due to the COVID pandemic. “After two years of declining assets, PAA’s board of directors unfortunately took a unanimous decision to dissolve the company and close the gallery,” the organization said.
“We met with our lawyer, Robert Krase to help us with the dissolution process, ”said Peggy Woods of the PAA. “So we now begin the task of liquidating our assets and donating what is left over to another nonprofit as a beneficiary. “
PAA was formed in 1966 by local artists and the organization has an interesting history of serving the community. Meetings were held in homes and then at the Santa Fe depot. The organization was fortunate enough to open a permanent gallery, with small storefronts serving as gallery locations.
Larger spaces were needed as the association grew, and over the past 20 years the gallery has been located at various locations on Main Street, eventually culminating in its current location at 151 North Main.
The organization was incorporated in 2001 with its current location serving as the headquarters of its gallery and gift shop, all filled with works by local artists.
The courses for children and adults have been sponsored by PAA and PAA has awarded scholarships to students of Porterville College. Additionally, the work of local artists has been featured at Porterville Town Hall for years under the direction of Ellen Jordan.
“For many years, PAA has enjoyed wide support from local service organizations, generous donors and low overhead costs, ”the organization said. “He managed to achieve financial break-even. However, by moving to a larger space to accommodate more artists and their works, expenses also increased.
PAA said when economic times got tough, donors couldn’t be so supportive. “Many of our philanthropic donors have cut off their support for a variety of understandable reasons,” the organization said.
The PAA also said that its membership is shrinking every year due to relocation, aging, health and death. “Grants and fundraising efforts could not provide enough financial support as costs continued to rise,” the organization said.
“Then COVID has struck! The organization said, adding that Main Street was obviously affected, which also impacted the organization with far fewer people coming to the city center.
The organization said all furniture and equipment will be open to the public for sale at extremely low prices and everything will be liquidated. Display cabinets, office furniture, filing cabinets, computer, printer, picture frames, pictures, refrigerator, microwave, and art books will be available to business owners and the general public. public. Cash or checks will be accepted. No credit card will be accepted. After the Christmas holidays, the doors of the PAA will be open from January 5 to 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“PAA would like to thank the many artists who have worked diligently to provide stimulating works of art for the community and to thank the public for their support during all these years, ”said Joy Harvey of PAA.
PAA President Melody Gillespie said, “It has been an honor to work so hard for the community so that they can have something like the gallery. I will miss the sponsors who have contributed to our fundraisers.
“Thank you to all the companies who made it possible for us to continue a little longer. As president, I will miss the art gallery and everyone I have met.
Gillespie was also a PAA Friday Family Paint Night instructor and also taught art virtually and in person by appointment.
“I will miss my students, my clients and my community involvement. We would get together and paint with different artists. My husband Courtney and I were star performers, exclusive performers and we will miss the cheerful place of a fun environment.
PAA also sponsored a Judged Art Show and the Bad Art Show which was started by “Uncle Bill” Warner.
“He and I have been on the Judged Show, the Bad Art Show and all the special events the gallery has, ”Gillespie said of her and her husband.
Jenny Vasquez, who has served as a historian and a member of the PAA’s welcoming committee, also explained what the organization wanted to hear.
“It was a place to learn and talk to other artists, ”she said. “I learned a lot of techniques from many artists, especially Merrily (Davies) while playing the violin.
I came to the gallery as a student and worked my way up to become a historian and a member of the welcoming committee. I grew up in several ways.
Davies said she wouldn’t have gotten involved in art without AAP. “We have had many successes over the years at PAA, ”she said.
Many other local artists also spoke about what PAA meant to them. “AAP has been a very rewarding part of my life, ”said Jeanette Brewer.
“I really needed and enjoyed my stay there. I have met a lot of people, some who have become my friends and who have enriched my network.
Woods added that shutting down PAA would leave a big hole in his life. “It was a wonderful learning experience,” she said.
Harvey has been a member of the PAA for 30 years and has said that the PAA has been an important part of his social and artistic life. “It’s sad that PAA is not part of the community,” she said.
Other local artists explained how much they enjoyed being at the gallery. “I loved hanging out at the gallery. It was an important place to meet and learn from other artists, ”said Debbie Hutchinson.
“I’m grateful for the great people I’ve met, for a place to show my art and a place to see the diversity of art here, ”added Joy Collier. “Our community really has a talented and diverse group of artists.”
Ronnie Zanini had this question to ask: “Where do we now go to show our art to other artists?” Thank you board for keeping everything up for as long as you have. “
Manuel Abad said his experience with PAA improved his art. “I enjoyed meeting friends who will always be my friends, ”he said.
Che Hinojosa has played a pivotal role in PAA, holding many positions within the organization including as Vice President, Director of Public Relations, Professor of 2D and 3D Art and Arts and Crafts, and Editor of PAA’s Facebook page.
“My life has been busy contacting artists to be featured artists, writing news articles, contacting Channel 30 to cover the Bad Art Show, making live artist videos, taking photos, creating flyers, overseeing our first gala, sending e-blasts to our members, helping with fundraisers, helping with school art events, reaching out to students, mentoring them in various art forms, hosting the discount graduating and receiving our first children and volunteering countless hours at the booth during their studies, ”she said.
“I met a lot of friends along the way and learned different artistic techniques from them. I will miss PAA.
But Hinojosa added that she had another chapter to complete in her life which is her education. “As the saying goes, when one door closes another door opens,” she said. “I will follow my heart / my passion for art and I will also focus on my last semester at Porterville College.
“I look forward to continuing at university and devoting more time to my artistic groups that were created 15 years ago. To date, we have opened many chapters in different towns in the San Joaquin Valley. “
PAA thanked the following for their support: Til Porterville Recorder, Hopper In the Morning, Channel 30, Visalia Times-Delta, The Oak Pit, Subways, Nena Baez, Diana Mitchell, JoNell Mauck, Bank of the Sierra, Target, Walmart Distribution Center, J&R Meat Locker, Country Pleasures, Coordinating Council for the Porterville region.
David Horowitz, Glory Graphics, Mom’s U-Bake, Plano Jerky, El Tapatio, Stafford’s Chocolates, Elks Lodge, Nuckols Ranch, Terry Crews, Ralph Osbourne, Marilyn Meredith, Torrey Band, Eaton Piles Band, Ray Sr. and Princess Lee Lee, Danzantes, Paso Robles Winery, Save-Mart, Courtney Gillespie and the members of PAA, and the community for their generosity.
“This list is by no means exhausted, ”said PAA. “If there is anyone we haven’t listed, thank you for your support. “