The yellow house at 37 Sudden Street in Watsonville may appear to passersby as simply an old, charming Victorian building. Those who know its value, however, know it to be the Lamborn House – a historic landmark dating back to 1900, as well as the busy headquarters and bright gallery of the Pajaro Valley Arts Council (PVAC).
The PVAC is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to promote arts in the Pajaro Valley and south Santa Cruz County regions by engaging the community in cultural events, exhibiting local artwork, and supporting arts education. The organization is comprised of a board of directors, volunteer committee, and administrative staff who develop opportunities for the public to experience art inspired by local cultural diversity, historical heritage, and the natural beauty of the Central Coast.
The council opened the Lamborn House gallery in 1986, and since then has been presenting rotating visual art exhibitions in both the gallery and affiliate locations. The gallery hosts around seven exhibits each year featuring work by hundreds of professional local and national artists. Art exhibits represent cultural diversity, historical perspectives, and current social and environmental issues. Two highly anticipated annual exhibits are the “Collective Membership Show” and “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa” – showcasing Latino art and culture.
To further encourage the public to become active participants and supporters of art, PVAC sponsors guest-curated exhibits in the gallery each year. A Gallery Committee comprised of previous and current exhibiting artists and curators invites guests to attend meetings, where they are assigned a mentor to assist them in the process of envisioning, planning and designing an exhibit.
In addition to connecting people to local artwork through the gallery, PVAC promotes diverse art forms by supporting exhibits and events in other venues, and fostering relationships with other cultural and environmental organizations, as well as with the regional arts community. The council manages the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts, and collaborates with Watsonville’s Sierra Azul Nursery and Gardens for an annual outdoor art show – “Sculpture IS”. Now in its 10th year, this show features 30-40 California artists whose mixed media sculptures are displayed around 2-acres of lush demonstration gardens, from June through October.
PVAC also supports arts education and provides outreach to children by partnering with a variety of local schools, the city of Watsonville, county departments of Parks and Recreation, and the YWCA/YMCA. In addition to youth-oriented programs, the council holds free public symposiums and student workshops, raises funds for art supplies, and hosts gallery tours.
The Lamborn House gallery’s current exhibit is entitled “HOME”, and features work by approximately 80 different local artists. This mixed media installation explores the multi-dimensional concepts of a home, including creative expressions reflecting what it means to have one, make one, be a part of one, or lose one. This exhibit will be running July 6 – August 7, 2016.
Find out more about PVAC and upcoming gallery exhibits and community events by visiting their website.