Made in Ontario: Chaffey Community Museum of Art
The Chaffey Community Museum of Art (CCMA) was founded in 1941 by Ontario residents Francis and Helen Line, as the Chaffey Community Art Association. For four decades it was known as a “museum without walls” because it lacked a permanent location to exhibit its collection. However, in 2012, thanks to the foresight of the Ontario City Council and the City Manager, the City of Ontario invited CCMA to become part of its downtown Arts District.
Francis and Helen Line founded the CCMA after the death of their 8-year-old daughter Barbara from leukemia. Their initial gift of nine paintings, known as the Barbara Line Memorial Collection, has been expanded over the years through purchase prize competitions and gifts of artists and art supporters.
A Building with a Rich History
The current home of the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, located at 217 S. Lemon Ave, was constructed by the Ontario Electric Company in 1907. Since then, this building has housed many different organizations such as the Police Department, the West End Symphony Orchestra, the City’s Housing Agency, the Engineering Deptartment, the Ontario Museum of History and Art, the Model Colony History Room, and the Fire Department.
Today, this local landmark currently has four galleries: the Main Gallery and South Gallery whose temporary exhibits change every two months on a rotating schedule; the Spotlight Gallery exhibiting the work of a member artist for a month; and the Line Gallery showing selections from the Permanent Collection, changing quarterly. To recognize the rehabilitation work done on the building the CCMA was presented with a Model Colony Award by the City of Ontario Planning Department in May 2014.
Supporting the Arts
The Chaffey Community Museum of Art, located directly east of the Ontario Museum of History & Art, is a must see location when visiting Ontario’s downtown Arts District.
Home to all sorts of unique art collections, residents are free to enjoy viewing the galleries and even purchase some original art in the museum store.
The store offers many interesting items such as watercolors, collages, acrylics, photography, jewelry, books, as well as decorative and gift items that were all created by CCMA artist members.
The CCMA’s volunteers and local artists feel they have a responsibility to foster the arts and encourage creativity in the City’s youth. The Museum focuses on high school aged students by including a Young Artists’ Alcove that exhibits their artwork for parents and the community to enjoy, and to ultimately understand that art represents a viable career option.
Nancy DeDiemar, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, describes the museum’s partnership with the City of Ontario, “The City’s been very, very supportive of both museums. It really shows the City’s commitment to bringing art to the residents and visitors in the City of Ontario.”
Needless to say, the Chaffey Community Museum of Art is a great way for residents to spend their Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and support arts and culture in their community.
To learn more about The Chaffey Community Museum of Art, visit www.chaffeymuseum.org
The Chaffey Community Museum of Art is located at 217 S. Lemon Avenue, Ontario.