Artists readying entries for 80th Santa Paula Arts & Photography Show

February 22, 2017
Santa Paula News

It will be a gala 80th for the Santa Paula Society of the Arts Art & Photography Exhibit, founded in 1937 and the oldest such juried competition in the state“

The show will be held at Blanchard Community Library, March 7 through April 5 and offer thousands of dollars in prizes for the winners in various categories.

But artists’ can’t win if they don’t enter their works in Oil/Acrylic, Watercolor, Photography, Mixed Media and Pastels. 

In 1937, local banker, rancher and artist Douglas Shively convinced the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce to sponsor an art competition, which that year became the annual Santa Paula Art Show. 

Joining Shively in establishing the annual show was Jessie Arms and Cornelis Botke. Jessie became one of the most extraordinary decorative painters of the 20th Century; her husband was known primarily as an etcher and a block painter but was also a painter of note.

Offering “purchase prizes,” the show attracted regionally and nationally recognized artists. For decades, the Chamber of Commerce annually purchased the show’s winning artworks and presented them to the city, or they were acquired by local families and presented as memorials to various city institutions including schools, the library and later the hospital. 

Entries for the 80th Annual Santa Paula Society of the Arts Art & Photography Show will be accepted at Blanchard Community Library (119 N. 8th St., Santa Paula) at the back door on the north side of the building on Thursday, March 2 from 12 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Artists are asked to follow restrictions on the prospectus regarding hanging wire, size, category and days of entries.

Judges for the show are acclaimed artists Sherry Loehr and Gayle Childress (Oils/Acrylics, W/C, Mixed Media/Graphics and Pastels), Christopher Zsarnay (Photography) and Rex Kochel (Juror).

The artists’ reception and presentation of awards will be held at the library on Saturday, March 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. The Jury of Peers (artists’ favorites) and People’s Choice balloting will end at 5 p.m. sharp with the awards announced at 6 p.m. Voting starts March 7 when the exhibit opens.

Days and hours for viewing are: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The library is closed Fridays, Sundays and holidays.

Artists can pick up their work following the show Thursday, April 6, noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Work not picked up by the deadline will become the property of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts. 

You may request a Prospectus via U.S. mail by contacting the SPSA Email at — be sure to put “SPSA-2017 Art Show” on the subject line and include your snail mail address. 

And, for those who are looking for original art, many of the works in the show are very reasonably priced, and there are many subjects from which to choose.

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