VIVA Officially Closes Its Doors
It was a little over 12 years ago that ideas for starting VIVA began to flourish. I can only imagine the enthusiasm and excitement that went into creating a gallery all those many years ago. A collective vision came about and it grew into a well recognized cultural center where artists and locals could share a common love of art.
That was then, and this is now. VIVA has come full circle. The last few years have been turbulent ones and I think we all wondered if VIVA could weather so many storms. The board of directors worked hard as the economy changed and made our plight even more difficult. I guess you could say that we did our best to keep the ship afloat and carry on in spite of the fact that we were facing the reality of our own demise.
Everyone involved with VIVA has the right to remember it as they choose, but my hope is that each of you won’t forget all the good times VIVA provided. I can still remember the excitement I would feel walking through the door to view a newly hung exhibit and be absolutely blown away by the art. Some of VIVA’s exhibits are indelibly etched in my mind…the creativity, the talent, the imagination that made up those exhibits were awe inspiring. These were no ordinary artists that brought their art to VIVA…these were artists who were sharing a very personal part of themselves through their chosen mediums.
VIVA paved the way for artists and their art on so many levels. I’m sure that many of you can select a piece of your own art…one that challenged you, maybe even made you curse while you worked on it…one that made it onto a wall at VIVA and made you proud. Remember all the camaraderie, the excitement of a sale, exchanging your views of art with a stranger, the festive moments that came from a reception and the creative air that filled VIVA’s walls.
Just because VIVA is gone doesn’t mean that our connection to one another is gone. We still face challenges ahead and we all need to work with one another to keep the vision alive. I want to thank each one of you for your support and friendship throughout the years. As art organizations, you will always be the pillars that lifted VIVA up and as artists you will always remain our most cherished friends.
All the best,
Who was VIVA?
VIVA was a non-profit organization supported by four local art organizations (Women Painters West, Valley Watercolor Society, Collage Artists of America, and Valley Artists Guild) who joined together in a commitment to open and operate a permanent arts center prominently located in the San Fernando Valley. VIVA provided artists with the opportunity for critical exposure and public appreciation in a professional environment.
These long-standing art organizations continuously contributed to the community in the form of scholarships to selected art students, as well as providing volunteers to teach art and institute art programs at local schools.
VIVA was not intended to be a museum or a commercial gallery. Rather, it functioned as a municipal exhibition space, offering a comprehensive look at the vibrant and vital visual art scene in the region. Each month VIVA hosted a new group exhibition of works by talented artists. We also featured the work of individual artists in our Salon.
In addition to a lively schedule of exhibitions, VIVA offered an exciting and diverse program of demonstrations by noted artists, lectures by recognized art experts, and instructional workshops in various styles and media.
As a non-profit organization, VIVA relied heavily on the support of local art groups, corporate sponsorships, public donations, and federal, state and city funding in order to continue to provide this much needed cultural outlet for our community. VIVA wishes to express its gratitude to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and The Roth Family Foundation for their generous grants over the years.