The McGroarty Arts Center has been a Valley institution, a secret gem. Now’s the time to check out what they’re all about.
Save the Date! McGroarty Art Center's 15th Annual Ceramic Exhibition opens June 9 through June 29 and this is a show you do not want to miss!
This year they expect to exhibit more than 100 ceramic pieces in their Main Gallery Exhibition. All pieces are for sale. In our Upper Gallery Exhibition they show and sell the ceramic designs of McGroarty's students.
This year's featured artist and juror is Melody Cooper. She is a ceramic artist and educator, who creates highly textured and festooned boxes and teapots inspired by influences that range from Chaco Canyon to Echo Park. Her narrative, entrenched in storytelling and taken from the pages of her sketchbook, is based on day-to-day experiences as an artist. She is a Professor of Art at Pierce College and Department Chair of Art and Architecture, and instructs fine silver basics at Barnsdall Art Center.
Monday through Friday - 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
7570 McGroarty Terrace
Tujunga CA 91042
How did the ceramic art exhibit begin?
Ray Yocum, one of our long tenured ceramics instructors, saying that the annual June ceramics show was originally created to educate and inspire our ceramic students, and our community at large, by showing them a wide variety of ceramics works by masterful ceramic artists. They also hoped that by enlarging awareness of what was possible with ceramics, more people in our community would get excited about taking ceramic classes at McGroarty.
What can folks expect to see at the exhibit?
The deliciously creative ceramic pieces on exhibit can range from realistic to imaginative sculpture, and ceramic vessels of different shapes and sizes made using a large variety of clays, glazes and firing techniques.
Tell us more about each of your ceramics workshops.
McGroarty Arts Center offers ceramics classes for kids, teens and adults.
"Hi, I’m Edie Jacobs and I have been teaching here at McGroarty for 10 years. My approach has been to actually teach ceramic art, not just play with clay. I do want the kids to have fun, but I also want them to come away with the thought that ceramics is a centuries old discipline, multi-cultural, and an activity that requires thought and patience. I hope that the children appreciate that I try to incorporate, humor with learning. Class usually includes a vocabulary word, or two, for the day, and some small life lesson, respect for others and their artwork."
McGroarty Arts Center History
McGroarty Arts Center was founded in 1953 in the historic home of John Steven McGroarty. Mr. McGroarty was born in Pennsylvania in 1862. Before moving to Tujunga in 1901, Mr. McGroarty had already worked as a school teacher, a journalist, served as a justice of the peace and Treasurer of Luzerne County, and had been admitted to the Bar and started his own legal practice. In 1901, John and his wife, Ida Lubrecht McGroarty, settled in Tujunga, California in hopes that the clean air would ease John’s asthma. That same year, Mr. McGroarty joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times. McGroarty wrote for the LA Times for more than 40 years, authoring the weekly comment column, "Seen from the Green Verdugo Hills," which he continued to write during his two terms in the House of Representatives (1935-1939).
Mr. McGroarty wrote several poems and plays, most notably the Mission Play, which was a three-hour pageant portraying the history of the California missions. The play ran for twenty years and was seen by over two million people. In 1933, Mr. McGroarty was appointed Poet Laureate of California, a position which he held until he died in 1944, at the age of 82.
The McGroarty home was built in 1923-1924 on the same foundation of the McGroartys' previous house that had burned down. The McGroartys had no children. After Mr. McGroarty's death, his niece inherited the home and surrounding grounds - an estimated 12 acres of undisturbed native chaparral. McGroarty's neice, with encouragement from several local community groups, sold the McGroarty property to the City of Los Angeles in 1953. The house was declared a City of Los Angeles historic-cultural monument (#63) in 1970.
The Department of Recreation and Parks managed McGroarty Arts Center from 1953 until 1974, when management was transferred to the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. In 1995, McGroarty Arts Center was privatized, and since then it has been operated by a non-profit organization (known as McGroarty Arts Center), in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. In the years since its privatization, the Center has developed into a bustling community arts center, boasting programs that are enjoyed by more than 7500 people each year.