Helen Gallio collection focus of special exhibit

August 13, 2004
Santa Paula News

To say that Helen Gallio was a talented artist and activist on behalf of the arts is a given.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesTo say that Helen Gallio was a talented artist and activist on behalf of the arts is a given. Gallio, who died last May at age 92, was not only a founding member of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts but also served as the organization’s first president.Gallio was also a noted art collector and that collection is the focus of a very special display debuting this weekend at Blanchard Community Library.“Helen not only was a prolific artist for over forty years but she always found time to work for the society in any way she could,” said her longtime friend, Virginia Gunderson, also a noted artist.Aside from being the SPSA Founding President, Gallio stayed active in the society throughout the years: “One of Helen’s joys was the many years that she served as the SPSA Scholarship Chairman, for both SPUHS and Ventura College. . .not only finding the students but always thinking of ways to fund their scholarships.”Gallio’s own artistic studies included classes with Arthur Beaumont, a national art authority and one of America’s most famous water colorists, according to Gunderson. “Years of painting with Betty Palmer, a local teacher in Santa Paula, led to the formation of the Society of the Arts,” noted Gunderson.Many years of going out to paint ‘en plein air’ with Douglas Shively, a well known local artist of renown and Gunderson’s uncle, added to Gallio’s expertise in oil and acrylic.
Gallio’s work has been exhibited in numerous art shows in Southern California and she has had many one-woman shows in the galleries of the many groups in which she had membership. Aside from the SPSA, Gallio belonged to the Santa Barbara Art Association and the Buenaventura Art Association.The then-Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Annual Art Show – now overseen by the SPSA - would always attract Gallio’s participation including her numerous stints acting as Chairwoman of the show as well as jurying the show’s entries, an acknowledgment of Gallio’s own strong artistic talents.Besides being an active artist, Gallio amassed a personal art collection in excess of 500 paintings by artists of national reputation as well as artists active throughout the Western States, and, “of course, many done by local painters,” noted Gunderson.Gallio’s former longtime home on Holly Road in The Oaks was a favorite gathering place for artists and art lovers alike and Gallio was always generous in sharing her personal and acquired artworks.Gunderson said that Gallio family is “putting together a number of Helen’s paintings for a Memorial Show to be seen on the Shively Memorial Wall at Blanchard Community Library.”The exhibit will be hung through mid-October at the library, 119 No. 8th St.For more information on the Gallio exhibit or the Santa Paula Society of the Arts, call 525-1140.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.