History & Purpose

The San Clemente Arts and Crafts Club was started in November The San Clemente Arts and Crafts Club was started in November 1953, with Lilian Finlay spearheading the formation of a club to encourage an awareness of the arts. They called themselves “The San Clemente Club of Fine Arts.” – The dues were $1.00.

In the 1950’s the first major art exhibit 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 club members held yearly rummage sales to benefit a building fund to be used for a proposed Art Gallery. The Sketch Pad was first printed, and our first Art Fair was held.

In 1970, fire swept the Community Center. The rebuilding of the center made possible the addition of a gallery and with dedication of our members, the club planned and furnished the Sandy Martin Memorial Gallery. A record crowd of 400 attended the Winter Exhibition and our membership peaked at 386.

In the 1980’s members donated 42 paintings to the new library. The club was now paying $1,000 for the use of the gallery and $3,500 per year for rental of rooms.

Each year we honor deserving graduating high school seniors with scholarships as to help further their art education. The association also provides funds for art supplies to support teachers in our San Clemente schools.

As San Clemente has grown, we have played a viable part in its cultural maturity. Our gallery is now called the San Clemente Art Gallery to make it more identifiable within the community. SCAA held our Plein Air and Paint San Clemente Competitions with $13,000 in prizes awarded and one hundred artists participating. We have put San Clemente on the art map, with national recognition in Southwest Magazine. We have joined with the city of San Clemente to make these Partnership Events. These endeavors are steps toward growth in our purpose to stimulate, inspire and promote the execution of the highest form of all the arts and crafts. By so doing, we hope to foster the appreciation and development of San Clemente as an Art Community. As members of the San Clemente Art Association, we invite and encourage your participation and support in all our activities.