The San Dimas Festival of “Western” Arts comes to a close after a 44-year reign

The first AICA Western Art Exhibition & Sale was held in the spring of 1977, which turned out to be a wonderful success. It wasn’t long before the annual exhibition had become a major project, and separated from the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of John Walgren. Soon, a non-profit organization was formed and became known as the San Dimas Festival of “Western” Arts.

Thanks to the City of San Dimas, the sponsors, the leadership and volunteers, the Festival has sponsored 43 successful fine art shows every spring through 2019. There were 20 Fall Wildlife & Landscape Art Shows, 10 years of bi-monthly 2nd Story Gallery art shows, and eight Public Art Projects on display around and near San Dimas City Hall, of which the Festival dedicated each one to the City and the community over the years. The Festival has enjoyed 44 successful years, thanks to the continued support from the City of San Dimas, countless volunteers, and the annual support from the community. As a result of the Festival’s annual art exhibitions, San Dimas City Hall has become a museum of fine art, displaying a selection of beautiful paintings and sculpture for all to enjoy. Approximately 71 pieces of exceptional artwork were acquired by the Festival over 43 years from a total of 356 talented artists. Many artists are nationally known, and several have exhibited multiple years, but only one sculptor, Richard A. Myer has exhibited in all 43 shows. Richard was honored for this achievement at the 40th Annual Art Exhibition held in April of 2016.

Plans were moving forward for the 44th Annual Art Exhibition in late April. However, the show had to be cancelled in March due to the pandemic, following 43 consecutive shows since 1977. Now, five months have passed, and it has had an affect on the community, so many businesses and restaurants and organizations, including the Festival.

The Board of Directors met safely outside in August to discuss the “Future of the Festival.” After careful consideration and discussion, the most difficult decision was made. Based on the current condition of the Festival as a result of the cancellation of the 2020 April show and five months of not being able to meet or plan activities, the Directors present regretfully came to the agreement to begin the process of taking the necessary steps to bring closure to the San Dimas Festival of “Western” Arts after a successful 44-year reign.

The Festival gives special thanks to the City of San Dimas, and all the sponsors and volunteers for their contribution to the success of this fine organization.  There are countless deep and lasting friendships and great memories, which have grown over the years.  The Art Collection, along with the Public Art Projects will be a lasting legacy for the San Dimas Festival of Arts, and will be enjoyed by many generations to come. 


43rd Annual Art Exhibition and Sale

California Images & History

April 26, 27 & 28, 2019

Civic Center Plaza, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA [map]
Urban Art merges with Traditionalism in the San Dimas Festival of Arts 42nd Art Exhibition

The 43rd Annual Festival of Arts in San Dimas, California featured a diverse array of thirty nationally and internationally recognized artists, who brought their diverse talents to the community in a showcase of varying mediums, genres, and styles.

The format for the show highlighted the beauty of California from mountain to shore—its images, history, and unique industries. See Full Schedule of events...

"Overseer, Chinatown, SF" by featured artist Mian Situ.

This year, the Festival is thrilled to welcome as its Featured Artist, the magnificent work of Mian Situ. Situ is truly a master storyteller. His works are skillfully painted, beautifully designed, and depict provocative and complex narratives. It is as though you are reading a book when you look at Situ’s works—a book where the narrative is purely visual. There are no words, but the images themselves evoke such emotion and are so purely rendered that there is little question as to their meaning. It is no wonder that Mian Situ has earned such prestigious designations as a Master of Western Art, a Signature Member of the Art Club of California, and a Master Signature member of the Oil Painters of America.

Click here for a list of exhibiting artists and full schedule of events...


42nd Annual Art Exhibition and Sale

California Images & History

April 27, 28 & 29, 2018

Civic Center Plaza, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA [map]
Urban Art merges with Traditionalism in the San Dimas Festival of Arts 42nd Art Exhibition

California Images & History delivered another sensational display of fine art and sculpture highlighting the broad scenic spectrum and range of terrain encompassing the state of California.  This show brought together a diverse collection of artists, mediums and perspectives of California, from mountain to shore, its entertainment, oil and agricultural industries, and its many historic sites and scenes. There were artists on location painting throughout the city, special events throughout the weekend, and great art to see and purchase.

Click here for a list of exhibiting artists and a detailed calendar of events...

"Wheel of Life" by featured artist and Juror, April Raber


41st Annual Fine Art Show

California Images & History

April 28-30, 2017

Civic Center Plaza, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA [map]

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM from this Exhibition on Flickr (opens in new tab)

Since the inception of the new theme, California Images & History, the San Dimas Festival of Arts has sought to bring innovative ideas to the forefront of the art festival season. The California Images & History theme is demonstrated by 30 artists who portray the vast diversity of the state with art that exemplifies the splendors of the coast, vast mountain ranges, and flourishing wine country. More details on the 41st Annual Fine Art Show page including a list of exhibiting artists.

2016 Spirit of the West

Martin Grelle

Reverence by Martin GrelleOn April 23, 2016, Martin Grelle, one of the top western artists in the country, was honored by the Festival of Arts 2016 with their Spirit of the West award.

Martin’s relationship with the Festival began in 1977 when he exhibited his work in the first seven years of their western themed shows. Therefore, it is a fitting tribute that after 33 years, the Festival celebrates their 40th Anniversary with Martin Grelle from a fledgling artist to his brilliant rise in the art world.

The Spirit of the West award was presented by Congressman David Dreier during the Awards Diner. Earlier in the day, Grelle acted as a judge for the show and also entertained us with a lecture on his work.

Martin Grelle is a listed artist with work selling in some of the top auction houses and galleries around the country. His work captures the spirit, beauty, and vastness of the West in his historically accurate, compelling images. His art portrays the diverse cultures of the American West with sensitivit, but it is his thorough research and experience as a horseman that sets his work above the rest. Full story...