When the National Endowment
for the Arts initiated an artist-in-residence program in 1969 at
the high school level, San Diego High was chosen as one of those
throughout the United States to participate. Jackson Woolley became
the first artist-in-residence involved locally.
The Archives of American Art,
with headquarters at the Detroit Institute of Art, introduced a
program to collect data about regional artists, past and present,
throughout the country. Warren Beach enlisted the aid of painters
Jane Fletcher and Mina Pulsifer to assist him with this worthwhile
During the early 1970's Warren
Beach served on the Board of the Guild even though he was no longer
the Gallery Director.
Warren Beach gave an oral
interview to Myra Alleger, recorded by the San Diego Historical
Society on March 19 & March 28, 1980. The following is a transcript
from that interview:
MA: "I wanted to ask briefly about the San Diego Art Guild.
I see it mentioned often, and
WB: (Have fun.)
MA: We're almost through here. It seems to be a somewhat closed
corporation. What is the membership? I don't mean the numbers; I
mean what kind of people are in the guild itself?
WB: Hopefully it is an organization of artists who are basically
professional artists. The main activity is painting or sculpture
or graphics, or what have you. I think that's true to a large extent.
During most of the time I was at the Gallery the only thing you
had to do to get in was to pass a jury of peers, usually I think
five people who would look at some of your work and whatever background
material you had, and decide whether they thought you were good
enough. And then they got a little tighter and require now, if it's
still true, that you get into a certain number of exhibitions they
recognize as quality shows, nationally, or locally, or what have
I, myself, due to my years
in the gallery was made an honorary life member. I don't think it's
even called honorary, but nobody has asked me to prove that I've
gotten in a certain number of shows. Every couple of years or three
years there's a review of this sort of thing. Also the relationship
of the gallery is that they are a committee of the Fine Arts Society
because of the tax set-up.
Usually we lent the space
and gave them practically all the support that they received and
help in sending out mailings and what have you. But they have as
of recent years become active in a program that does raise funds,
fun affairs and speakers and things of this sort that there was,
just before I left the gallery, and the questions did come up of
the financial relationship. So the budget actually comes under the
overall computations of the Fine Arts Society. They also are an
eleemosynary institution just as the whole museum is. That's a good
It was reported in the November
20, 1969 minutes that at the annual meeting, the adopted bylaws
of September 25, 1966 amended on April 19, 1969 were presented.
Henry Gardiner the new director was introduced. "The chairman
(Earl Saunders) reported that there was $1,158.18 in the treasury
as a result of the fundraising campaign 'Illusions '68' and the
California South VII Show."
Discussion took place about
criteria for Guild exhibitions and creating a new Art Education
Project with San Diego City Schools. Guild members could be guest
speakers in art classes or host to small groups of art students
on a volunteer basis. The purpose for this "Artist for the
Asking" program was "To provide a personal encounter service
between the professional creative artists and craftsmen in San Diego
and art students in San Diego City Schools."
Recorded in the minutes of
April 17, 1970, the project with the schools was called "Artists
for the Asking" and thirteen artists participated. Art Specialist
for San Diego City Schools, Dr. Leven C. Leatherbury, provided materials
through his office.
On May 20, 1970 this was written
in the Guild minutes:
"As a fundraiser for
the late summer 'A Fashion Show' will perhaps show some zany ideas
by artists and Fellini type setting. To be held out of the Gallery."
On June 17, 1970 this was
written in the Guild minutes:
"Mr. Gardiner stated
that the first prize winner (with his approval) to have one-man
show at Fine Arts Gallery - 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place will have
a combined show
On July 15, 1970 this was
written in the Guild minutes:
Diego County Fair Art Show -
was judged as not acceptable for Art Guild membership because two
complete shows were exhibited as one. Also, Milford Ellison had
said it would be pre-juried against pornography" (During the
Board meeting on August 12, 1970, the statement about prejurying
was stricken from the record, "since we have no evidence to
Naomi Baker wrote this article
for the Evening Tribune on July 21, 1970:
"The guild's autumn show
has added significance because Henry Gardiner, director of the San
Diego Fine Arts Gallery recently announced his offer to give a one-man
show as an award to the artist whom the juror selects as first-place
winner in the guild exhibition.
Winners of the second, third,
and possibly fourth places, as selected by the juror, will have
the privilege of participating in winner's group shows, Gardiner
said. All of these shows will be at later dates and the exhibits
will be selected by Gardiner, his curatorial staff and the participating
Naomi Baker wrote this article
for the Evening Tribune on July 24, 1970:
Exhibition to Include California and Hawaii
"For the first time in
its history, the San Diego Art Guild will have a competitive exhibition
open to artists in the entire states of California and Hawaii.
Stan Newcomb, guild chairman,
said today that the Fine Arts Society's trustees board has approved
the guild's proposal to extend the juried show to permit artists
from the two states to submit entries in the 1971 spring show to
be held in the Fine Arts Gallery.
The suggestion of the expanded
exhibition came from Eric Bass, the guild's representative on the
society's trustees' board.
The new plan will be in lieu
of the guild's former California: South exhibitions, limited to
entries submitted by artists from Santa Barbara south.
Newcomb expresses his delight
with the trustees' action which will increase the guild's stature."
Henry Gardiner traveled to
Hawaii and San Francisco as the selected juror for this exhibition.
In the Guild minutes of August
12, 1970 it became official that the California South Show (Spring
Show) expand to become the "California-Hawaii Regional".
The minutes of September 16,
1970 again recorded, that accepting the Art Institute show was discussed
and "although it is by far their best show to date, it is still
not quite up to standard and therefore not an accredited show."
The Stan Newcomb Fashion Show,
called the "Style Show" was held by the Guild on August
19th and 20th, 1970 at 12:00 noon at the Travelodge Tri-Arch Hotel
on Harbor Island. The proceeds were used to underwrite guild exhibitions
at the Fine Arts Gallery. Mrs. Leslie C. Hill was the chairman of
this luncheon event. Guild members designed table decorations and
fall fashions along with hand-fashioned gold and silver jewelry
were modeled. (The Guild, under Stan Newcomb's guidance held another
fashion show on August 26, 1971 and another on September 14, 1972.)
On January 15, 1971, Richard
Allen Morris opened his prizewinner one-man show at the Gallery.
This was recorded in the minutes
of March 17, 1971:
"Mr. Gardiner reported
that the artists who entered works in Hawaii were among the best
artists in the area and were very pleased to be included in a 'state-side'
He commented that since Hawaii
has a state sponsored educational program in the arts they have
Henry G. Gardiner was the
judge for the California-Hawaii Regional of 1971. He selected Hawaii's
exhibits in Honolulu and juried the Northern California entries
form slides. Southern California entries were juried here. From
578 entries, 84 were accepted; four works were selected to receive
a $500 cash award each and two purchase awards were given. Henry
said this about his jurying criteria: "I wasn't thinking of
diversity. My objective was to select work of excellence in the
various categories." Stan Newcomb, Guild Chairman said: "The
San Diego Art Guild, is pleased to be part of this project to introduce
the art of our Westernmost state of Hawaii to California for the
first time and to be able to include all of California as well for
the benefit of San Diego art admirers."
On April 30, 1971, the Guild
approved a June, July, and August competitive show to be held at
the Unitarian Church. At that time Guild membership was 156.