Founded in 1967with a membership of 26, several of whom were professional artists, weekly sketching sessions were started and a workshop planned. The group was first known as the Douglas County Artists Association.
Due to lack of adequate meetings places, the group disbanded and lay dormant for several years. In 1976 the group reformed. Known as the Carson Valley Art Association, meetings and workshops were held in Gerry Lawrence’s studio.
In 1977 the art group planned its first annual art exhibit during Carson Valley Days Celebration, held the second week-end of June. The exhibit was held in the old bank building on the corner of 4th and Esmeralda Streets in Minden. Only one small painting and one piece of hand made poetry was purchased at this first show
In June of 1978, the 20-30 Club, sponsoring Carson Valley Days, gave the use of the C.V.I.C. Hall to CVAA. The show lasted two days and over $500.00 worth of paintings were sold. In 1979 almost $3,000.00 worth of art work was sold. CVAA has had use of the C.V.I.C. Hall since then for its art shows.
In 1982 CVAA awarded a Douglas High School student, enrolling in an accredited college to major in the field of visual arts, a scholarship of $500. This was done again in 1983. CVAA has continued to award at least one scholarship every year since. When funds permit an additional scholarship of $500 is awarded.
In addition to this community involvement, CVAA sponsored an on-going art exhibit, for all Douglas County artists, at the Public Library in Minden. When the Library underwent remodeling and the meeting room was not available, this art exhibit was moved to WNCC in Gardnerville. The exhibit now takes place during the month of March and is known as the "In House" show. CVAA also exhibits at WNCC, Gardnerville, during the month of September.
Most of the art exhibited by CVAA is traditional in nature, though occasionally some abstract work is shown.
In addition to the show during Carson Valley Day and the shows at WNCC, CVAA holds it’s annual Scholarship Show in the late fall. Proceeds from this show go towards the Scholarship awards presented to a deserving Douglas High School Student[s].
CVAA also hosts the Kid’s Kraft Faire the first part of December, to coincide with the "Parade of Lights" Christmas parade. In 2000 the Town of Minden asked CVAA to come up with something for the kids to do that would get them in out of the cold before and after the parade. This was to be held in the C.V.I.C Hall. Thus the Kids Kraft Faire was put into existence. It consists of small craft projects the kids (and grown-ups) can buy, at a very nominal fee, and assemble right there at the Faire, CVAA members are there to help. One of CVAA’s members volunteers to be Santa and another volunteers as the elf to take pictures of the kids with Santa. This affair has met with much enthusiasm by both the kids and the parents.
The CVAA successes during Carson Valley Days led to the formation of East Forks Artists Inc, in 1979, better known as the East Fork Gallery.
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