Santa Barbara’s Community Arts School Had Widespread Influence
In Hollywood today products of the Community Arts Association of Santa Barbara cut a real figure. On the silver screen, to name a few, are Tyrone Power, Gertrude Wesselhoeft Hoffmann and Ian Wolfe, who stepped off the Lobero Theater boards into the films.
In Walt Disney’s studio the bright young men include Ward Kimball, Campbell Grant and Ernest Nordli (Nordli is recently in New York taking a refresher in illustration), who were star pupils of the School of the Arts, one of the parent branches of the Association. Richmond I. Kelsey, who went from student status to faculty standing at the School, later also joined the Disney staff. Among other graduates who are well known Southern California artists are Joseph Knowles, Paul Julian and Channing Peake.
National Influence Seen
At one time during his directorship Frank Morley Fletcher (now in Ojai) had the vision that, because of Santa Barbara’s desirable setting, the School might “be national in influence, doing for American art what the Institute of Technology in Pasadena is doing for American science and engineering.”
That was even before the school had a permanent home. The full dream was never realized, but in terms of the enrichment of life the School paid big dividends. Many a pupil received his first opportunity for instruction there.
Today, as the Community Institute (bought and remodeled by Mrs. Max Schott and presented to the Public Schools District) it is keeping the faith to a degree in adult education, University extension and junior college classes, which include the fine arts.