Welcome to our Events page.

Here you will find highlights from our most recent events.

Be sure to check the schedule for our upcoming meetings – and we look forward to seeing you there!


Upcoming Dinner Meetings – Season 111
Our dinners at The Athenaeum are the first Monday of the Month. 

October 7, 2024, December 2, 2024,

February 3, 2025, April 7, 2025 and June 2, 2025


 Upcoming Board Meetings
Meetings are held at Saints Felicitas and Perpetua Church in San Marino, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
on the third Tuesday of the month. Our last board meeting of the current season is:

June 18, 2024


 Board Meetings for Season 111:

October 15, 2024, December 17, 2024,

February 18, 2025, April 15, 2025 and June 17, 2025

 
Highlights from Recent Meetings 
 
June 3, 2024

Our June event was a fitting finale to our historic 110th Season and it vividly demonstrated what makes our club so unique: a distinctive and beautifully curated exhibit of works by an extraordinary ceramic artist, Keiko Fukazawa, and a thrilling performance of opera and Broadway favorites by soprano Lisa Christine Thelen.

Kudos to our Visual Arts Exhibits Chair, Jo Butcher, for another exceptional exhibit, and to Performing Arts Program Chair James Stauffer for successfully scouting our such outstanding musical talent. Our thanks also to all those whose efforts have contributed to making Season 110 such a success – the officers, chairs, committee members, and volunteers who have made the club such a remarkable and enduring organization.

We wish all of you a great summer, filled with family, friends, and enjoyment. We look forward to seeing you in October at our first meeting of our 111thSeason!

P. S. Please make note of the dates above and mark your calendar so you can be sure to join us for every event – you won’t want to miss a moment!

 

Members were greeted with an inviting introduction to the exhibit of works by Keiko Fukazawa
A hallmark of Keiko Fukazawa’s work is her remarkable “Peacemaker” series, a recreation in porcelain of the hand gun most used in mass shootings
As Ms. Fukazawa states, “art should define its era and reflect what we are living through.” Her Peacemaker portfolio does exactly that and it is estimated the complete installation will eventually total 35,600 pieces.
Another in the landscape series

In a unique landscape series, Ms. Fukazawa combines a unique surface in a wooden frame, and a distinctive bowl.

This piece in her landscape series, titled “Chinese Landscape VIII” she combines modern and traditional motifs.

Keiko Fukazawa has captured Beanie Babies in this earthenware sculpture, contrasting China’s present by echoing the shape of gongshi, known as Scholar’s Rocks, a traditional symbol

Another in the Scholar’s Rocks series, evoking China’s ongoing struggle with human rights abuses.

Another in the Scholar’s Rock series, this striking piece consists of two distinct elements.

Artist Keiko Fukazawa with the certificate presented to her by Visual Arts Exhibits chair, Jo Butcher.
Our June event welcomed back two artists featured in our February, 2022 virtual event. Victor Ving, Muralist and Lisa Beggs, Photographer are seen here with a recreation of their Pasadena Sunset Symphony mural, unveiled in January of this year.
Lisa Christine Thelen, soprano, graced the audience with a program of opera and Broadway favorites.
Dr. Thelen with her accompanist, pianist Gayane Simonyan.
The two stars of the evening:
Dr. Lisa Christine Thelen and Keiko Fukazawa.
Barbara Marshall and Sheri Morton
Guest Magi Watson and Lorelli Embry
Barbara Widdess, guest Isabelle Zimmerman, and Sylvia Watson
Robert Farley and James Stauffer
Guests Danielle and Gina Fernandez with Dennis Callwood
Visual Arts Exhibit Chair Jo Butcher with guests Peter Wilson, Dennis Callwood, and Ella Wilson
Michael Belcher with guests Janet and Rafael Calvo
Guest Susan Brom with her mother Magi Watson
Guest Jim Elliott, Gail Yamashita, Lorelli Embry, and Vicki Elliott
Photographer Mary Emily Myers with Magi Watson
Featured Artist Keiko Fukazawa with Marty and Jim Childs
Victor Picou and Dennis Callwood
Guest Peter Wilson, Keiko Fukazawa, and Ella Wilson
Susanne Belcher, Joann Hipp, Jessie Duffy
Guest Michael Thelen, James Stauffer and performing artist Dr. Lisa Thelen
Lorelli Embry, Marty Childs, Ligia Molina, and Vicki Elliott
Joanne and William Abel, Performing Artist Dr. Lisa Thelen, and her husband Michael Thelen
A colorful duo:
Dennis Callwood and featured artist Keiko Fukazawa
 
 
April 1, 2024

Our Annual Awards Event is always a highlight of the Club’s season, and this year was a perfect demonstration of just why that is. Three extraordinary young artists shared their talents with us and provided in-person evidence of why our Club’s mission is so important.

Visual Arts Awards chair Paige Peter presented two artists and their works: Ava Weisberg, whose deeply felt connection with the City of Los Angeles is evident is much of her work; and Claire Richards, a mixed-media artist exploring the distortion of language, ownership, and identity in her work Pirate Babble.

Our Performing Arts Award winner, Keilani Bolhuis, now holds two of this year’s honors since she was also named our scholarship winner in February. She delighted the attendees of our event with a diverse program that proved why she deserves both honors: accompanied by two different pianists in a program that ranged from Bach to a song popularized by many great 20th century vocalists (including Billie Holiday), Keilani proved that she is a star on the ascendant.

The evening also included a well-deserved recognition of Mary Cronin, our previous chair of Performing Arts Programs, for her years of dedicated service in arranging for the extraordinary musical performances that have so distinguished our Club’s gatherings over recent years. A wholehearted Brava to Mary!

 

Ava Weisberg manages to capture a great deal of LA’s history in this recreation of a LA Times Magazine cover.

Ava even finds her art in the city’s manhole covers.
This acrylic work, titled “Hollywood Soap Opera”, features the iconic sign from our local hills.
This striking figure was sculpted in clay and then cast in resin.
This stunning clay figure by Ava Weisberg is titled
I Don’t Feel So Good.
The exhibit of Ava’s works also included some smaller pieces, seen here.
Artist Claire Richards with one of the pieces from her work Pirate Booty
Claire’s work is focused on painting text over media objects. In this work, she has used album covers as her background.
Another piece of the Pirate Booty work.
Another piece of Pirate Booty, this time with white, blue, and gray emphasized in the album art.

Visual Arts Awards chair Paige Peter with our 2024 winners Claire Richards and Ava Weisberg
Keilani Bolhuis performing with collaborative jazz pianist Amy Rowe, while collaborative classical pianist Yu-Ting Peng ‘waits in the wings’.
Performing Arts Awards chair Stanton Jones with Keilani after she received her certificate
Pianists Amy Rowe, Yu-Ting Peng, Keilani Bolhuis, and Stan Jones
Claire Richards’ family joined in the evening’s celebration: brother Will, mother Kristen, and father Keith.
Ava Weisberg with her mother, Francesca Weisberg
Ava with member Ligia Molina and guest Sandy Diaz
Gail Yamashita, Robert Farley, Betty Bamberg, and Lorelli Embry
Guest Eleana Williams, member Sylvia Watson, and guest Isabelle Zimmerman
Jim Childs and Jessie Duffy
Guest Sandy Diaz with members Lorelli Embry and Ligia Molina
Betty Bamberg and Patricia Vick
Ingrid May and Jim Childs
Claire Richards’ friends Brendan Baehr and Lauren Cassiano joined in the evening’s celebration.
Jo Butcher, Patricia De Gennaro, and Sheri Morton
Stan Jones, Judith Epley, Ann Jones, and Nancy Stone
James Stauffer and Vibeke Cloud
Marty Childs, guests Peter and Jean Palmer, and James Stauffer
Mary Cronin received her recognition award from Jim Childs
Patrick and Mary Cronin

 

 

 
February 5, 2024

Our February dinner meeting turned into a vital celebration of artistry in its many forms,despite discouraging weather forecasts earlier in the day.

The evening began as members and guests entered the Athenaeum to be greeted by the striking works of furniture craftsman, designer, and all-around artist Christopher Grant Ward. Ward’s impressive and lyrically designed Idyllia doors capture the daily passage of time from sunrise to moonrise, reflecting, like so much of Ward’s work, how he takes his inspiration from nature. Many of the pieces exhibited were part of Ward’s design room exhibit at the 2023 Pasadena Showcase House.

The musical performances of the evening were a celebration of young performing artists in our Southern California community. First, Keilani Bolhuis, our 2024 recipient of the Roman Andrew Borek Endowed Scholarship, performed and captured the audience with her grace and maturity at the violin. Then the audience was treated to an enthusiastic performance of several traditional and contemporary numbers by the fourteen members of the Mariachi Diamante de Downey. Such youthful energy was a great way to start our 2024 programs!

 

The first of the Idyllia doors,capturing a sunrise image.
The companion door, with moonset at the top and birds roosting in for the night below.

One of Ward’s whimsical shelves with eye-catching inserts.
Another of Ward’s original shelf designs was featured in the 2023 Pasadena Showcase House.
Also featured in the Pasadena Showcase room was his inventive dragonfly table, an example of his wood designs echoing nature.
Sheila and Randy Sinnott with artist Christopher Ward
André de Toledo, Ligia Molina, Janet & Rafael Calvo, and Robert Barbera
Barbara Widdess and Sylvia Watson
Chris Butcher with Ann and Stanton Jones
Sheri Morton, Ingrid May, and Alexander Varshavsky.
Jill Hoppe, Tosca Fasso, Jessica Hadik, Eric Hadik, and Jennifer Hadik
Keilani Bolhuis performing Rêverie by Angela Morely accompanied by Kelly Anderson on piano
Keilani Bolhuis’s parents, Kiku Iwata and Andrew Bolhuis, Keilani herself, accompanist Kelly Anderson, Stephen McCurry, and Scholarship Chair Nancy Stone
Stephen McCurry, Executive Director Pasadena Conservatory of Music, Keilani Bolhuis and Nancy Stone
Artist Christopher Ward with Visual Arts Exhibits Chair Jo Butcher
New member John P. Poxon, Jr. with Membership Chair Jo Barbera
New member Carol Kazanjian. with Membership Chair Jo Barbera
Raul Guerrero, director of the Downey High School mariachi program and Performing Arts Program Chair James Stouffer
Mariachi Diamante de Downey

 

 

 
December 4, 2023

Club members and guests ushered in the holiday season in fine style at our December meeting, surrounded by the always-impressive Christmas decorations at The Athenaeum. As usual, a highlight of the evening was the opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues and enjoy the chance to meet some new ones, including the many guests who joined us.

The theme of the night was beautifully captured in a well-received performance by The La Cañada High School Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jeff Brookey. It was a lovely way to celebrate this holiday time of year as we prepare to bid farewell to a memorable year and put out the welcome mat for 2024. Happy New Year!

 

Bob and Beth Altman with Jim and Marty Childs
Kimberly Covey and Beth Altman

Norman and Sossie Sarafian
Kathleen Swaydan
Jo and Chris Butcher
Bob Altman, Jim Childs, and William Covey
Jo Butcher, Judith Epley, Kimberley Covey, Marty Childs, Ann Jones, and Nancy Stone
Stan Jones, Olga Moretti, Willian Covey, Bob Altman, and Jim Childs
Sheri Morton with new member Patricia DiGennaro and Membership Chair Jo Barbera
The La Cañada High School Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jeff Brookey
Dr. Jeff Brookey and Performing Arts Program Chair James Stauffer
Kathleen Swaydan, Robert Farley, Stan Jones, Sheri Morton, Jo Butcher, Olga Moretti, Jo Barbera, Ligia Molina, Jim Stauffer, Lorelli Embry, Jim Childs

 

 

October 2, 2023

Our 110th Season got off to a sparkling start with our first dinner meeting at the Athenaeum. The evening started with the exhibit of varied works by our own Susanne Belcher, and the creativity on display was something to behold. The presentation of the art was beautifully arranged, as always, by chair Jo Butcher.

The evening continued with the first presentation of new Performing Arts Chair James Stauffer, a delightful homage to the music of Cole Porter from pianist Dr. James Lent and baritone Ross Chitwood. Their polished and enthusiastic performance of some great American standards was a treat for the audience..

Of course, a highlight of the evening was the opportunity to meet and greet Club members new and longstanding in the beautiful surroundings of the Athenaeum. We’re already looking forward to this year’s Christmas decorations!


Susanne Belcher next to the introduction to the exhibit
A beautiful setting for an extraordinary exhibit.
One of Susanne Belcher's extraordinary abstract paintings..
Another of Susanne’s vivid, colorful painting
Some distinctive labels for wine bottles inspired by Susanne’s designs
Susanne’s art translates to fabric, as seen in this lovely scarf.

Susanne is a well-known collage artist, and this one celebrates her life-long love affair with Los Angeles.

Susanne Belcher and Michael Belcher
Susanne Belcher and Petra Wright
Susanne Belcher and April Brandenberg
Two paintings from Susanne’s extraordinary collection

 

Baritone Ross Chitwood delighted the audience with his performance of selections by Cole Porter

 

Pianist Dr. James Lent and Ross Chitwood brought new life to Porter standards from The Great American Songbook

Performing Arts Program Chair James Stauffer, Olga Moretti, Ross Chitwood, and Dr. James Lent.

Susanne Belcher

Susanne Belcher and Ingrid May
Susanne Belcher and Sheri Morton
Jessie Duffy and Jo Butcher
Sheri Morton reviewing one of Susanne’s many creative portfolios
Salina Cortez and Ligia Molina
Stanton and Ann Jones, Judith Epley, and Jim Childs
Ligia Molina, Olga Moretti, and Nancy Stone
Pat Gennaro, Ingrid May, Olga Moretti, and James Stauffer
Zbigniew Nyczak, Louise Lewis, Ewa Nyczak, and Patricia Ferber
Guy Gardner, Linda Gardner, GailYamashita, Robert Farley, and André deToledo
Carole Gillin Blum, Les Blum, Michael Belcher, and Phil Brandenburg
Ingrid May and Jo Barbera

 

Susanne Belcher and Jo Butcher
June 5, 2023

The Fine Arts Club’s 109th season closed out in amazing fashion with our June 5th event at The Athenaeum.  Members and guests were treated to an extraordinary exhibit of works by the master glass artist Thomas Schlanser, beautifully presented through the efforts of Visual Arts Exhibit Chair Jo Butcher.  The evening continued with a lovely performance by the gifted and much-acclaimed classical harpist Anya Garipoli.  Of course, the principal delight was the opportunity to mix and mingle in such beautiful surroundings with other members and the many guests who joined us for the occasion.

This event also marked a changing of the guard for the Club, with Co-presidents James F. Childs, Jr. and Robert Farley stepping down and Olga Moretti stepping in as President.  Also stepping down is Performing Arts Chair Mary Cronin, who has coordinated the appearances of our musical artists for the last several years.  James Stauffer is assuming that role and we are looking forward to more great musical performances.  Additional information on Club officers, chairs, and committees can be found on our Members page (password required).

Great thanks to Jim, Robert, and Mary for their years of service.  Congratulations and best wishes to Olga and James in their new roles as we usher in our 110th Season.


A beautiful ‘Achieve’ bowl offers a guide to life in the form of ABCs.
A favorite client of Schlanser’s studio is the U.S. State Department.  Here is one of the glass boxes crafted with the Presidential Seal.
A curved vessel displays King Solomon’s song of praise to a ‘Woman of Valor’.
This platter inscribed with the text of ‘Hear, O Israel’ is one of the many pieces in the artist’s Judaica collection.

The Fine Arts Club of Pasadena is proud to have one of the artist’s custom pieces.  It is seen here with a distinctive bud vase, and one of the classics Schlanser has captured in book form: Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain!
The Fine Arts Club of Pasadena is proud to have one of the artist’s custom pieces.  It is seen here with a distinctive bud vase, and one of the classics Schlanser has captured in book form: Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain!
The elegant simplicity of a white bowl with cutouts, on a crystal base.

Mr. Schlanser has a number of beautiful vases among his designs.  Here he is seen with his Wisteria vase, which was a highlight of the June exhibit.

Mr. Schlanser placing
the ‘Achieve’ bowl for the exhibit.
 

We are happy to be able to share the video of Mr. Schlanser’s acceptance speech.

Anya Garipoli performed four works by varied composers, including Grandjany, Fauré, Lizotte, and Garner.
Ms. Garipoli introducing her harp to the audience.  She is committed to bringing the harp into the 21st century by forging a new artistic identity for the instrument.
 
Ms. Garipoli with outgoing
Performing Arts Chair Mary Cronin.

Mr.Schlanser flanked by outgoing
Club co-presidents James F. Childs, Jr. (l)
and Robert Farley (r)

   
Jo and Robert Barbera

 

Ligia Molina, guest Karlyn Carson, Jessie Duffy, and  Sheri Morton
 
Lorelli Embry, Andre de Toledo,
and Gail Yamashita
 
Marion Grayson and Glady Kabateck
 
Nancy Stone with Linda and Guy Gardner
Ligia Molina and Jo Barbera
 
Sheila and Randy Sinnott
 
Howard and Carol Kazanjian, Patricia Vick, and Betty Bamberg
 
Guests Maureen Robinson and Carla Barnes with Barbara Widdess and Jo Butcher
Guests Steve Johnson and Marissa & Dan Harper with member Ann Jones

 

Salina Cortez and guest Ava Pulvers
Robert Barbera and guest Renee Worsfold