History of the Valley Art Gallery

The Culture Corner Gallery officially opened in 1983 and was known as the Visual Arts Gallery.  It provided a place where artists of many backgrounds, from the Santa Maria Area, could exhibit their artistry for the enrichment of the entire community.

On January 1, 1983, after the County of Santa Barbara had expressed an interest in giving control of the Veteran's Memorial Building to the City of Santa Maria.  The Recreation and Parks Department assumed responsibility and the name of the facility was changed to the Veteran's Memorial Culture Center.

A need for the Gallery had been determined through a survey of the cultural community.  It showed there was not a gallery in the North County.  A gallery committee was formed under the direction of the Recreation and Parks Gallery Coordinator, and guidelines for policies and procedures were formed. 

After a year in operation, the Gallery was remodeled to provide more room and enhanced by new carpeting.  The name changed to Culture Corner Gallery and a reopening was celebrated on the eve of the First Autumn Arts Faire in October 1984.

Due to our expansion of artists and wonderful growing community awareness we relocated to the Town Center Mall in June of 2006 and became incorporated as a non-profit organization, changed our name to Town Center Gallery, with an elected Board of Directors, Officers and all the other formalities that were involved in becoming our own entity.  The Mall didn’t charge rent and the City provided our insurance.

In 2008 the Mall changed owners and we lost our space.  Pete Taylor stepped up and gave us a space in his Good Neighbor Bakery.  He installed slatted walls and a partition to hang the artwork.  Pete didn’t charge us any rent and we were there for about a year until he sold the business.

In June of 2009 the Gallery relocated to 321 Town Center West where it continued to be a valuable asset to the community bringing local visual art to the public eye for their appreciation. For the first time, the Gallery was paying rent.

In 2012, the Town Center Gallery closed their doors at the Town Center West and began exhibiting on the walls of the Santa Maria Airport in addition to the Airport Showcase.  During this hiatus all of our furniture and equipment was stored rent free at the Valley Van and Storage.

In August of 2015 the members voted to have a physical gallery again.  Space was rented at Suite 170 in the Southeast shopping center of Clark and Bradley.  A ribbon cutting followed by a Grand Opening was held which brings us up to date.