The Pleasanton Art League (PAL) is the only nonprofit group dedicated to the visual arts in Pleasanton. PAL’s mission is to make the visual arts an integral part of the fabric of life in the Tri-Valley by encouraging an environment that embraces creativity and its expression. Toward that end, PAL supports facilities, education programs, and events that enable people to share ideas, display artwork, and connect with each other.
“Our members range from degreed professionals to self-taught artists,” says Beth Okurowski, PAL President and member of the group since 1998. Among the membership, “both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms of art are represented, and use of mediums include classical fine art mediums to mixed media to invented methods.”
PAL also works with local schools to strengthen their art programs. Los Positas College and Village High School are among the beneficiaries of PAL’s scholarship and award programs. Some awards are based on need, and other awards are based on merit and performance. PAL helped Valley View Elementary School this fall, for example, by supplying art supplies to students during the pandemic. In normal years, PAL members serve as volunteers supporting the Firehouse Arts Center, the Museum on Main, and the Aviso Adobe children’s programs.
This year, the annual Members’ Show began in late November and runs through December 31. Because many City of Pleasanton facilities are closed, the show is being hosted on the group’s website instead of being hung in the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center. The show will also be promoted on the website of the Firehouse Arts Center.
“While we will greatly miss our in-person show and reception this year, we have worked hard to improve our online presence and capabilities to provide an exciting and professional virtual experience,” notes Okurowski. “Also, our show at the Museum on Main will be on display beginning in January, hopefully at the Museum.”
The Pleasanton Art League has been around since 1969 and is woven into the fabric of Pleasanton through partnerships with local businesses and Pleasanton cultural sites. Before the pandemic restrictions, it held monthly art demonstrations in collaboration with the Livermore Art Association at the Cultural Arts Building in Pleasanton and at the Bothwell Center in Livermore. PAL members active in the group’s Circuit Program work in teams to hang their artwork, which rotates every three months, in local businesses. The group also sponsors workshops led by professional artists that are open to the public.
PAL’s newest event started two years ago. Called Paint Pleasanton, it has become very popular, according to Okurowski. Held in September, the outdoor (plein air), multi-day event draws artists from throughout the Bay Area to paint both iconic and less-known scenes from Pleasanton. An art show and sale on the lawn of the Museum on Main is held on the third day of the event, “a celebration of the City of Pleasanton through art that helps the museum as well,” says Okurowski.
The Pleasanton Art League is completely self-funded through annual membership fees and donations. Membership fees cover basic operating expenses, but PAL depends on donations for its scholarship, educational, and award programs. As a nonprofit organization, the group gratefully accepts donations through its website or by check.
“The visual arts tends to be the quiet art, in that the connection between the art and the viewer is intimate,” says Okurowski. “All art forms are important for individual and community development and well-being. All of our local art groups will have an important role to play in reinvigorating our community as it comes back to life after the shutdown.”
For more information about the Pleasanton Art League, please visit www.pal-art.com.