involves the dedication of many: instructors and volunteers; membership, artists and support groups; staff and board members, to provide state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities. Everyone in our community benefits: from youth to the elderly; physically or cognitively impaired individuals; professional artists and Sunday painters alike.
It is appropriate that PVAC’s Community Engagement Director, Gail Phinney be assigned to research and write an in-depth article about the history of Palos Verdes Art Center. For the past 24 years, this Palos Verdes resident has dedicated her career to developing dynamic arts programming for the benefit of our community. Her story, “PVAC at 90,” is featured in Southbay magazine’s 2021 Arts Issue. Read an excerpt, below.
Scroll more for Student Paintings from Dael’s Abstract Mixed Media Class.
From “PVAC at 90,” by Gail Phinney
“If it seems like the Palos Verdes Art Center has been around forever, that’s because it has. Palos Verdes Community Arts Association was founded in 1931 as the cultural arm of Palos Verdes Estates. Since then, it has played a significant role in the development of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and in the lives of its people.
Perhaps your parents and grandparents are longtime members and you grew up taking classes and visiting the galleries on school tours. Or maybe your elementary school children enjoy quality art instruction through Art At Your Fingertips, PVAC’s venerable school-based volunteer outreach program. Throughout its 90-year history, Palos Verdes Art Center has been more than an educational resource to the community; it has been a cultural touchstone to generations of its residents.
The story of the Palos Verdes Art Center begins in the early days of the Peninsula’s development. When Myron Hunt was commissioned to design a public library in 1929, it was determined from the start that the building would include an art gallery. The Committee on Art Exhibits and Art Functions was formed when the Palos Verdes Public Library and Art Gallery opened in 1930, organizing early exhibitions and events.
Within a year the committee determined that a non-profit membership organization should take over responsibility, ‘for the advancement of knowledge and study of painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, music, drama and the applied arts.’ Annual membership dues would begin at $1.00.
On May 11, 1931, the Palos Verdes Community Arts Association (renamed the Palos Verdes Art Center in 2000) received its state charter. What followed was a series of exhibitions, programs and community events that set a standard of excellence for the next 90 years.”
Read the complete story in Southbay magazine HERE.
Gail Phinney is an educator, art historian, curator and writer. A passionate advocate for arts education, she is inspired to make the arts accessible through innovative programming and creative collaborations. She enjoys a rewarding career as PVAC’s Community Engagement Director. To read her Artful Daze reflections, CLICK HERE
Student Paintings from Dael’s Abstract Mixed Media Class
Abstract Mixed Media, a class created and taught by Dael Patton, continues to be offered through The Studio School.
Various materials combined with acrylic paints will be presented and demonstrated weekly in this course. Students will be introduced to the world of acrylic abstract and non-abstract mixed media techniques. While referencing contemporary, influential artists, students will investigate the different approaches to media. Dael Patton encourages individual creative growth through representational and non-representational artworks of each student.
The following galleries are examples of students’ work influenced by Dael’s instruction.
To view the current online exhibition Dael Patton: 90/90: CLICK HERE
ROBIN SARNER, JOANNE GOODMAN, EVE PERICICH, MONIQUE DUINKER
Robin’s work is about the expression of ideas that are caught in her mind.
“It’s my goal to create a body of work that visually defines my feelings.”
She uses an intrinsic selection process of materials, bases decisions on their layering quality, color, texture, how well they will harmonize together on the canvas, and painting her emotions. When standing in front of her work, Robin’s wish is for the viewer to not necessarily see peace or conflict, but to simply evoke emotion.
“The opportunities for improving my craft were easy at PVAC. Finding Dael’s class fine-tuned and expanded my skills quickly and made me into an artist with intent. Dael has an undeniable gift and ability to challenge the artist to think outside their comfort zone and provide constructive, practical advice that enhances one’s creations. Her friendly, down-to-earth personality makes everyone feel special, and that combined with her ability to improve any artist makes for the perfect teacher. I’m honored to be her student. “
I have been creating art my entire life and I enjoy experimenting with different materials and mediums. About ten years ago I enrolled in a mixed media class with Dael Patton, and that is when my love for abstract painting began. I am a graduate of Syracuse University’s Visual and Performing Art School with a BFA in Computer Graphics. After moving to California that same year I worked on the original movie production of Tron.
As my children grew up I continued to experiment with art by helping my children engage in their own art. I also Chaired both the Art at Your Fingertips and Hands-on Art programs for their schools. When my children left the house for college a hole developed in my heart and soul that could only be filled by creating art.
Thanks to a recommendation from my teacher, Dael Patton, I became a member of the faculty at PVAC in 2018. As the instructor of online collage, I am grateful to be part of a brave new adventure in communication.
Via Zoom, the class shares techniques (“Try scrunching up onion skin paper.”), insights (“So that’s how Sister Corita Kent taught her students to see art all around them.”), and discoveries (“I never realized that collage could be created with so many things I already have at home.”)
Best of all is that being on camera intensifies the focus on our art and our idea, which we share liberally. We marvel at the countless possibilities of our medium and wonder, “How could anyone ever be bored with collage?”
I was born in Holland and grew up in Chile and Argentina. I studied in Switzerland and worked for an international luxury company, travelling the world for 15 years.
Painting being my passion, it was a must for me to take art classes during my trips, whether it was a drawing class in Rome, a sculpture class in Paris, a painting class in Amsterdam. After 10 years running a fashion business in Athens, Greece, I moved to Los Angeles as a full time artist and have been exhibited in various juried art shows.
Taking mixed media art classes with Dael Patton at the PVAC since 5 years has helped me develop my skills and understand color and composition in abstract art and most of all she gave me the confidence to be the artist I am today.
ANN BOYT, TERI HOGAN, LOIS OLSEN, HERLINDA GIANDALIA
It seems I am wildly crazy about strong vibrant color and bold abstract design. That’s what really excites me most. There is nothing subtle about my work and I attribute my joy in this freedom to our beloved instructor and mentor Dale Patton. She is truly one of the hero’s in my life!
My love of painting began about 25 years ago when I took my first watercolor class from Elsie Grace in La Quinta, CA. From watercolors I moved to pastels and have been commissioned to paint over 40 animal portraits of friends and family. I became quite proficient at that but then I found Dael and fell in love with abstract art and mixed media. I find it a love hate relationship sometimes as it is challenging to know how to start a painting and then to know when to stop a painting. Dael is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration and fun!
You can see some of my other work on Instagram. #terihoganart.
I won art awards in high school and was encouraged to study art at UCLA. I taught high school art classes locally and helped raise funds through Art for Fun(d)s sake to build the PVAC, and was an original volunteer for Art At Your Fingertips and helped found Art for Educators.
I have enjoyed many classes at the Art Center from outstanding instructors. One of the most influential, is Dael Patton. Dael’s classes have given me the ability to fully explore abstract art, and incorporate it in my painting.
I am a mixed-media artist. My style is influenced by the abstract expressionists who believe that non-representational painting could express spiritual and emotional truths.
I enjoy using acrylic paint with its rich and dramatic colors. The language of color is profond in my exploration of the painting process as I am influenced by my California birth place and Mexican heritage.
My favorite technique is using layers of paint, collage, transparent and opaque textures on the surface of a painting which is very rewarding for me.