Chula Vista Art Guild Celebrating 75 Years


By: Anita Chateau Historian of The Chula Vista Art Guild

Back in 1945 some Chula Vista artists met in an art class with the famous and well-known artist and teacher, Alfred E. Mitchell.  One of his paintings hangs in the Art Museum in Balboa Park.  Modern art was spreading and many of the exhibition places were being taken over by the abstract painters. (Today the Chula Art Guild accepts abstract painters).  Mr. Mitchell and his art students decided to organize a group that would not only continue to paint realistically, but they would also provide a gallery where realistic paintings would be exhibited.  With that in mind the Chula Vista Art Guild came into being and after 76 years we are still in existence.  We still have three past presidents who served from 1982-2010 who are still active members in the Guild.  Gloria Galbraith, Sharon Hyde and Robert Clement.

Early members hung their paintings at the Chula Vista Women’s Club and Local Library in Chula Vista.  We currently hang our paintings at the Civic Center Library on F Street, the South Chula Vista Library, and the Bonita Library.  Since the beginning we have been seeking a Gallery of our own.  The first Gallery was a place upstairs and behind the drugstore located at 278 ½ Third Avenue.  It was nicknamed the “Penthouse Gallery”.  Members had to climb two flights of stairs.  From there one stepped out on a roof top, crossed a few more steps and entered a large room.  Various exhibits and events were held there.

When it became necessary to move from the Penthouse Gallery, they then moved to the upper floor of the stage building which is in the Chula Vista Bowl in Memorial Park.  Business meetings where held every first Wednesday of each month, with demonstrations. All members were required to have a two-person show for a period of two weeks.  The shows were open to the public on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Today we have our business meetings on the first Thursday of each month.  We offer demonstrations by well known artists in the community.  We also have Workshops and Spring and Fall Shows.

In the Spring of 1968, it became apparent that the Park and Recreation Department of Chula Vista needed the stage building for storage.  The president and vice-president of the Guild met on several occasions with the City Manager and Parks and Recreation Director who offered the use of Rohr Manor after it had been restored.  They met there until it was time to move on.

In February 1966 the Guild became incorporated with its Constitution and By-Laws on record at Sacramento.  The articles of incorporation are on record as being dedicated to building an art guild whose membership is devoted to the service of cultural and artistic pursuits.  The policy of the Chula Vista Art Guild is to show only the conservative, the beautiful and the sensible in art.  All forms of art expressionistic, abstract, non-objective, futuristic, and other form of modernistic art are shown in the Guild or in any places of exhibit.  Affairs of the corporation are administered by the Board of Directors, six officers and 5 directors.  The annual year of the Guild begins in May at which time officers are installed.

Through-out the years, the Chula Vista Art Guild has participated in many community endeavors.  It has sponsored a “Children’s Art Show” which was held each February.  The Art Guild has sponsored the Developmentally Disabled Children.  The Guild supports the Chula Vista Historical Society and the Friends of the Library.

In the past the Chula Vista Art Guild was the only Art Group in the South Bay to be sponsored by the prestigious Grumbacher Company in their annual juried art shows.  The show was held in the Month of March.





Today the Chula Vista Art Guild is in collaboration with the Southwestern Community College.  Each Spring and Fall we donate for Art Scholarships, helping art students with needed tuition and supplies. We are also in collaboration with the South Bay Front Artists in Chula Vista, Ca. We are a non-profit organization.




We are now getting ready for our 75+1 Anniversary Community Art Show and Silent Auction.  The Reception will take place at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA.  October 23 from 5:30 -7:30. Open to the public. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10:00-4:00. Our show will run from October 9th through the 23rd, of October.

Information compiled by an Article written by Eldora Moses ,  member since 1964, President of the Chula Vista Art Guild in 1967-1968, part of a term in 1978, and 1980-1982.


For more information about the Chula Vista Art Guild go to: or visit their website at: