Become an active participant in the Palos Verdes Art Center. If you are an artist, several artists groups help you improve skills and make new friends. If you appreciate art, the Docent Council helps you learn more and share your new knowledge with gallery visitors. If you want to make new friends and participate in art-related activities, The Associates and The Circle put the fun in fundraising.


The Associates

Since its founding in 1978, The Associates has raised in excess of $1 million dollars for Art Center programs. Currently, the group’s annual fundraiser is Celebrate Chefs & Cellars, a fabulous food and wine tasting event at a picturesque estate in Palos Verdes in July.

The group meets the fourth Thursday of the month (except July, August, November, and December) at 6:00 p.m. at the Art Center for food, refreshments, artist guest speaker, and general meeting. There are also off-site excursions to museums and art exhibits coordinated by the members. Annual membership is $40. Members must be an active member of the Art Center, purchase one annual fundraiser event ticket, and help by working on a fundraising committee. Contact Sharon Ryan for more information about joining 310-378-3370. 

The Circle

Since their first china and cookware sale in 1975, the women of The Circle, the Art Center’s other fundraising group, have also contributed about $1 million to the Palos Verdes Art Center. Currently, The Circle’s primary event is Homes Tour Extraordinaire scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, 2012. To learn more about the Homes Tour or to purchase tickets, click here. The Circle meets every other month for luncheon and a speaker. Membership is by invitation.

The Friends

The term docent is from the Latin docere, meaning to lead or to teach. Members of the The Friends, organized in 1981, do just that, acting as knowledgeable guides to the Art Center’s 20+ exhibitions each year. The Friends help gallery visitors find meaning in art. They also lead student tours and bring art experiences to the differently-abled clients of Canyon Verde in Redondo Beach.

No prior art background is needed, only a desire to learn and share. The Friends meet the first Tuesday of each month (except July and August) at 9:30 a.m. at the Art Center. Members also participate in exhibition “walk-throughs” with artists and curators and can take one half-price art class each year. The Friends, who must be Art Center members, work in the galleries at least three hours each month and assist with other events including tours and openings. For more information, contact or call 310-541-2479, ext. 305.


Founded in 1958, Surfwriters is an informational, networking and support group for professional writers and those aspiring for publication. Members include fiction and non-fiction writers, journalists, poets, and those specializing in children's literature. The group meets the fourth Friday of each month (third Friday in November; luncheon meeting in December) at 10:00 a.m. at the Art Center *.

Members periodically share work in progress, and the group invites guest speakers four to five times each year. In April, Surfwriters sponsors Poetry and Music in the Gallery at the Malaga Cove Library. June through August, the Surfwriters group does not meet. Prospective members must first join the Art Center . For additional information, call (310) 378-8098 or visit www.palosverdes/ *Temporary meeting location during Art Center renovation is the Malaga Cove Library (Community Room), 2400 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates, 90274.

PVAC Artists

Palos Verdes Art Center Artists includes eight artists groups affiliated with the Art Center. Together, these groups organize the Malaga Cove Lawn Art Shows and Sales, held one weekend a month from April through September, and two annual juried membership exhibitions: Small Treasures and PVAC Artists Holiday Exhibition. Other activities include biennial luncheons and swap meets. Individual groups meet to create art, watch art demonstrations, visit exhibitions, network with each other and simply have fun. They are:

  • Artists Open Group: This is the only non-juried group open to all artists, regardless of medium or skill level. Beginners are welcome. AOG meets the fourth Monday of January, March, May, July, September and November at 7 p.m. at the Art Center.
  • Pacific Arts Group: The group, founded in 1973, meets weekly to paint. Membership is by sponsorship and jury.
  • Paletteers: This group of “mostly” painters meets the third Tuesday of every month (except summer) for speakers and demonstrations. Membership is by sponsorship and jury.
  • Palos Verdes Painters: Membership is by sponsorship and jury.
  • Peninsula Artists: Members assist each other in their creative journeys via workshops, field grips and exchange of information. The group, founded in 1981, meets the second Tuesday of each month (except June, July, August and December) at 9:30 a.m. at the Art Center. Membership is by jury.
  • Photographic & Digital Artists (PADA): The newest group, PADA includes artists who make art with photographic film or digital imagery. The group actively seeks exhibition opportunities. Membership is by jury.
  • Rembrandt Crew: The oldest group, it grew out of painting classes taught by Cesar Hernandez in the 1950s. Membership is now closed.
  • Third Dimension: This group, founded in 1982, focuses on artists in such fields as ceramics, sculpture, weaving, basketry, fabric arts, jewelry and glass. Activities include guest speakers, workshops, critiques and field trips. Membership is by jury.