Museum History

Conejo Valley Art Museum History

The Conejo Valley Art Museum, a non profit corporation, opened in 1978 with “Navajo Rugs” as its first exhibit in a donated space at the Janss Mall. The impetus for a museum in the Conejo was the successful Claire Falkenstein sculpture exhibit provided by the Arts Council Cultural Center in 1975.

About twenty artists, teachers, and business people organized CVAM in 1976. In its first five years the Museum presented 35 exhibits, including Prehistoric Indian Pottery, Guatemalan Folk art, California Landscapes of the twenties, and Early American and Contemporary Quilts. CVAM showed the work of Mark Tobey, Arthur Dove, Robert Rauchenberg, Tony Berlant, Christo, the photos of Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and Walker Evans.

In 1985 the CVAM moved into a small space in the old Conejo Library (Wilbur building) at the City’s invitation. The Museum expanded to l600 sq. feet. in 1990. The Museum operated the Wilbur Gallery in an arrangement with other art groups, and with the City’s annual purchase award shows.

The CVAM continued to present six to seven shows a year, covering the arts of the East as well as the West. The Museum has hosted Serigraphy of the Fifties and Sixties, the National Watercolor Society, Society of Illustrators of LA, Potters, Vivika and Otto Heino, and other top names. The Museum presents lectures, films, and videos, classes and performance art. In the fall of 1990, CVAM presented an award winning film festival by Michael Hagopian.

In 1990 the City of Thousand Oaks sold the Wilbur Building. On a donated space of 5,000 sq. feet at the Janss Mall, and with the generosity of the Janss Corporation, the Museum was able to open March l0, 1991 with “Artists as Reporter”. This exhibit featured David Rose from Los Angeles, Howard Brodie from San Francisco (whose works are in the Library of Congress), and Elizabeth Williams of New York. After many successful shows we vacated the mall on December 31, 1994 due to the renovation.

History of the Conejo Valley Art Museum

CVAM’s primary fund-raiser is the annual “ArtWalk”. It takes place on the first weekend in June. ArtWalk is a two-day juried fine art and designer craft show. ArtWalk began as a one-day art fair in 1988 to help support the Museum. Due to its success, in 1990 the Conejo Valley Art Museum Board of Directors decided to make ArtWalk a two-day event.

The Conejo Valley Art Museum Board of Trustees are working towards obtaining additional funds for a permanent home, and the endowment fund. The Conejo Valley Art Museum is located at the Janss Market Place, Suite 193 C.Thousand Oaks, Ca. The first opening at this venue was August 20, 2011 with artwork out of the museum's collection, titled "The Museum Collection".