History & Purpose

PURPOSE: To foster the appreciation of all facets of Arts and Fine Crafts and to assist in developing San Clemente as an art center and destination.

HISTORY: The San Clemente Art Association (SCAA) was founded in November, 1953, by artist Lilian Finley to appreciate all facets of arts and crafts and establish and support an eclectic Art Community in San Clemente. It was then “The San Clemente Club of Fine Arts ” with 7 charter members. Annual Dues were $1.00.

The first art exhibition was in May of 1954 and was hung in the local public library. Later, the City granted the Club the use of the upper floor of the Community Center. In the 1960’s, the Club held annual rummage sales to benefit a building fund to be used for a proposed art gallery. The Club newsletter, the Sketchpad, was first published and our first Arts & Crafts Fair was held. Both craft and portrait workshops have been an integral part of the Club since the 50’s.

In 1970, fire swept the Community Center, the rebuilding of which made possible the addition of an art gallery. The current gallery location opened in March, 1972. The new gallery was dedicated in memory of artist Sandy Martin, honoring his many contributions to both the city of San Clemente and the Club. A plaque in his honor can be viewed at the Gallery.

In the 1980’s, the members donated 42 paintings to the new library.