Buenaventura Art Association (BAA) is a foundational arts organization in Ventura – a 60-year-old institution devoted to sustaining Ventura County’s cultural character and artistic resources by developing visual artists in all stages of their careers.
Four exhibition spaces – a gallery at the Bell Arts Factory, a gallery at the Ventura Harbor Village, most of the ground floor inside Community Memorial Hospital and space in EP Foster Library– give members more than 20 group exhibition and 18 solo show opportunities annually, all of which, except for two small-image shows, are juried. In addition, all of the CMH shows, as well as 2-3 other competitive shows at our galleries, are open to the public, not just members. The result is the display of between 1700 – 2000 art objects annually for the community to participate in and enjoy, with the assurance that professional artist-jurors are maintaining quality standards. Approximately 6,000 patrons visit the downtown Buenaventura Gallery every year, with another 7,000 tourists and locals visiting the Harbor Village Gallery. Countless patients, visitors, and hospital employees enjoy the Community Memorial exhibits.
Other community services include bi-monthly demonstrations and workshops allowing artists to learn from each other. We open our galleries to school and youth groups, as well as adult education programs like Road Scholar (the former Elderhostel) for field trips and artist talks. Our Harbor Village Gallery offers regular artist-led arts-and-crafts days providing fun and arts education for the younger crowd.
Historically, BAA has played a major role in establishing Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District and contributing to the formulation of the city’s Cultural Plan. BAA’s record of accomplishments includes sponsoring several Art in the Park programs, city-wide festivals, and community events like First Fridays Gallery Crawl and annual downtown Ventura ArtWalks. In the Harbor, member artists designed and painted a mural, contributed a public art sculpture, and even painted individual designs on the trash cans.
BAA has enjoyed community support via grants from the City of Ventura, the Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau, the Museum of Ventura County, and the Stanley and Jessica Prescott Trust for the Arts, among others. Our members contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year to maintain our exhibits and our services. The 12 volunteer directors on our board are a diverse group with several non-artist members who lend their talents as financial analysts and small business owners.