home. Dave Touri6 and Bob Perine on the "party lawn" of Nelbert Chouinard's South Pasadena

Last summer,contractorand artist Dave Tourj6bought a large,rundown housein On the deed appearedthe original owner's name: Nelbert Chouinard. South Pasadena. After checkingaround, he learnedthat Mrs. Chouinard had beenthe founding head of a Enthusiastic terrific Los Angeles art school called the Chouinard Art Institute (1921-7972). Dave set about restoringthe houseto its original state.He alsobegan about his purchase, investigating this woman whose spirit had serendipitously enteredhis life. In the process, he phoned RobertPerine,author of the book CHOU/NARD:An Art VisionBetrayed. Perine,a Chouinard graduate in 1950,becameequally excited about whatever might bring. In the past the discovery of Mrs. Chouinard's former residence challenges year, restoration of the Chouinard House has moved along well and, after several meetings, Tourj6 and Perine decided to resurrect and refocus Mrs. Chouinard's legacy. Independent of any other institution, the Chouinard Foundation will be a non-profit to preserveand expand that legacy.Possibleways to do so entit/, has been established to promising young artists.Like the schoolitself, the include the granting of scholarships Chouinard House reflectsthe aspirationsof Mrs. Chouinard when she was alive. It is an and small exhibitions. ideal gatheringplace for meetings,reunions,seminars, Sincethe Foundationis in its infancy,a board of directorshas yet to be selected. Tourj6and Perineinvite all Chouinard alumni and friends to join in this effort to preserve and build on the vision of Mrs. Chouinard.

"My part began whenI boughta miserably dilapidated old farm house that an artist named 'Chouinard'onceliaed in. I commenced makingit hsbitable t'or myselfand my family. Thegood news,from nn historicalstandpoint, is that the house hasremained unchanged sincethe original ownerbuilt it in 1907.This wasalsothe badneu)s: therewaslots of work to bedone! "Beingan artist myself aaguely remember hearingof Chouinard, but my art school days ,I hadbegunin 1979,long after Chouinard disappeared. work I greatlyadmired Many artistszuhose (Millsrd Sheets, of lohn Altoon, Robert lrwin, and Billy AI Bengston)had asrious degrees I calledmy aunt, who hsd experience at Chouinard, and this spurredmy interest in learningmore. goneto art school, and sureenough, shewasa studenttherein the early 1930s. Her palsincluded MiIIard Sheets nnd PhiI Dike,and shetold mesome greatstories sboutloadingher ModelAFord with classmates, ditching class,and hitting the beach to sketchand smoke cigarettes. This was soundingintriguing. Shedescribed the enaironment,st Chouinqrdas one built by oery crestiue people whowereallonsed to grow and produce, all heldtogether by this toughtaslonaster knownns 'themadam.' "Enter RobertPerine,whose great booktold me thefull story. WhenI told him aboutthe (echoed house, heexpressed an interest by mnnyof his alumnifriends)in continuingtheChouinard story by makingthe house part of Mrs, Chouinard's legacy, sn historicallandmark aaailnble from -Dave Tourj6 time to time for Chouinard alumni eaents."

"l lnnded at Chouinard manyof my buddies shortyafter \NWII andfell in loaewith theplace,like on the G.l.-Bjll-ilhenJ think of thosetwo locnlioas.the buildingson Seaenth Streetand-Grsfld View Aae., I oiaidly recall my art struggles,my breakthroughs nnd setbacks that were so appropriately and patientlydealtwith by a dedicated bunchof grentartists- Harry Diamond,BiIl Moore,PhiI Dike, RexBrandt,Don Graham, snd Richard Haines.Whenwegradusted in theearly 1950s or Philadelphia, some stayingin L.A.I wefannedout; someto New York,someto Chicago remember, as rnell, that Mrs. Chouinardwas aknaysa presence, had an attitude, was a strong herjob wqsto uratch oaerour progress andsee that aduocate of disciplined hardwork,wasconvinced wegot a break, that we entered theprofessional world prepared. " Before the Wartheschool wnsequally asterrificand,aftermy generation left, otherbudding in andsaton our benches, theschool's reputation two decsdes. artistscame perpetuating for another Thus,fifty yearsof success womanwho wasway ahead of her time.I hope followedthis remarknble won't forget this seedbed thoseof us who werepriaileged to partake of the Chouinardexperience *Bob Perine where a largepart of our skill nnd motiaation wasplantedand sprouted."

"I think that if it hadn'tbeen I would neaerharse goneto Paramount and t'orMrs. Chouinard become a designer, so in a way I owemy career to her."
-Edith Head

"Mrs. Chouinard of a tremendous neaeroncebacked azuay amountof drawing, from thedemand painting,and design, no matterwhnt thestudents weregoing to do. Shewastough.I loaed her -Millard Sheets Her wholestaffreflected with a passion. thqt."






Top: Outdoor drawing class,1936.Abozte:GrandYiew school in L. A. , 1941,the Madame's Chevy in front.

Please complete the enclosed questionnaire and return by September 1st. Join the mission to improve and enrich the arts by resurrecting the vision of Nelbert Chouinard! For further information phone Dave Tourj6 a1213-494-8760 or Bob Perine at760-436-1140.

CHOUINARD HOUSE / 1114 N. Garfield Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030/ 273-494-8760 / Fax 626-403-5963

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