Holly Hungett, "Breathe with the Earth" | Credit: Courtesy GVAA

It’s time to raise a glass in honor of the Goleta Valley Art Association’s (GVAA) 60th anniversary on March 11 with a luncheon celebration and special exhibition at the Goleta Valley Library. Under the leadership of Warren Fuller, the GVAA was founded by a small group of artists in 1963, with their first show at a bank in Goleta that year. Douglass Parshall was elected as the first president, and the organization’s first meeting place was the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce office. Back then, there were just 16 members; today, their membership is composed of more than 200 local artists. 

“We are delighted to be able to gather with fellow members and friends in the community for our first annual luncheon since 2019 to celebrate 60 years of fulfilling our mission to bring art to the community,” said GVAA president Elizabeth U. Flanagan, who began her service in 2017. She’s one of 46 people to serve as president over the 60 years. 

“Porter Trail” by Mirella Z. Olsen | Credit: Courtesy GVAA

GVAA maintained its activity during the COVID pandemic by presenting shows and sales on their website. They’ve presented exhibitions at the Goleta Valley Library, Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library, La Cumbre Plaza, Camino Real Marketplace, and various galleries in Santa Barbara.

For many years prior to the pandemic, GVAA members provided stellar after-school art instruction to students in the Goleta Union Elementary School District. As the community returns to this type of pre-pandemic activity, members are hoping to resume their volunteer roles, providing this important instruction to young people in the community.

The anniversary event will feature highlights of the organization’s past 60 years, and Goleta City Councilmember Kyle Richards will present a commemoration from the city honoring the organization’s 60 years of “Bringing Art to the Community”.

The luncheon will take place at the Frog Bar and Grill at Glen Annie Golf Course and feature a buffet lunch, said Flanagan, who offered thanks to a wide variety of people who have contributed to GVAA’s success over the decades, including the GVAA Board, longtime and new members, all past presidents/former board members, volunteers, and all who have provided support from other arts organizations, S.B. Art Association and SCAPE. —Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro

For further details regarding the event, please contact Patricia Heller at (805) 636-4725 or patheller@cox.net. For more information about the organization and how to join, visit thegoletavalleyartassociation.org.


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