This means a lot to me because I have a strong attachment to the art of one of the founders : William Wendt . He was an amazing landscape painter whose way of seeing the landscape as shapes has really inspired me. Coincidentally, he and I share a birthday, February 20th! What are the odds?(Well actually 1 in 365!)
The academic side of being an artist has always been important to me, studying the past so I can learn from it. I have an east coast art and art history education, so when I discovered all the wonderful California landscape painters from the turn of the century , it led me to the contemporary practitioners of traditional painting.
A traveling exhibit from the Irvine Museum to the Oakland Museum was a revelation. On the east coast, just before moving to California, I began exhibiting at the Copley Society of Boston, which to me is the east coast equivalent of this Club.
My friend and artist I admire deeply Carolyn Lord is an Artist Member and has encouraged me to join this group. If you go to the California art club web site and look at the members' work , it is like an education of what realistic painting should be. Mature artists with distinct styles and compelling visions .
Here is the History on the club from the web site:
THE HISTORY OF THE CALIFORNIA ART CLUB The California Art Club (CAC) was established in 1909 by the early California Impressionists or Plein Air Painters, and was developed from the Painter's Club of Los Angeles, which was founded in 1906 as an informal group of male artists. A significant impetus that helped form the California Art Club was the objective to allow women artists to participate in group exhibitions and in fellowship. Instrumental in the founding of the CAC were the artists, Franz Bischoff (1864-1929), Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947), Hanson Puthuff (1875-1972) and William Wendt (1865-1946) , whose wife Julia Bracken Wendt (1871-1942) was a sculptor of high merit.
William Wendt (1865 - 1946)2nd (1911-1914) and 4th (1917-1918) CAC President
Under the leadership of William Wendt, who served as president for six years, the California Art Club quickly became a powerful and prestigious institution that was recognized as a cultural authority on the west coast.
Here is the mission Statement(again courtesy of the web site)
The California Art Club's primary purposes are to promote the fine arts in the fields of painting, drawing and sculpture referred to as traditional and representational art, with a special emphasis placed on the academic traditions and craftsmanship established by the founders of the corporation; to produce and promote art exhibits that foster understanding and interpretation of the traditional art heritage; and to furnish educational opportunities in the fine arts. Additionally, the corporation may engage in any activities that are reasonably related to or in furtherance of its stated charitable and public purposes, or in any other charitable activities.
Here is an link to the Califorina Art Club web site: http://californiaartclub.org/
The press release regarding all the new members is here: http://californiaartclub.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/congratulations-to-the-new-cac-artist-members/