The Arts Area hosted a professional development workshop on art portfolio preparation and critique on May 17, 2018. A panel of art professionals lead a discussion, answered questions, and provided portfolio feedback to the artists in attendance. We cannot thank the panelists enough for so generously sharing their time and experience: 

  • RACHEL LACHOWICZ, Chair of the Art Department, Claremont Graduate University
  • JENNIFER FRIAS, Director of Education and Academic Programs, UCR ARTSblock
  • ALISON PETTY RAGGUETTE, Professor of Art and Associate Chair, CSU San Bernardino
  • ERIKA HIRUGAMI, Founder and CEO, CuratorLove
  • ERIC TENORIO, Photographer

Attendees also received a preview of Identity, the inaugural exhibition of our community partnership with Pitzer in Ontario. This exhibition featured the work of artists Natassja Herrera and Efrain Torres. The series of exhibitions hosted at CASA Ontario explore themes of social justice, personal identity, and equity within our community. Become an exhibition sponsor

View photo gallery.


The Arts Area was proud to have two of its Board members, John Machado (CEO/President) and Leslie Matamoros (Secretary), appointed to the City of Rancho Cucamonga Public Art Committee at the December 20th City Council meeting. The committee advises on city Ordinance No. 912 regarding creative placemaking and public art. 

The inaugural meeting of the Public Art Committee was held on March 27, 2018. It also included the swearing in ceremony of its members. Members depicted from left: Linda Bryan, Lauren Verdugo, John Machado, Leslie Matamoros, and Rich Macias.

And congratulations to Leslie Matamoros for being elected as the committee Vice-Chair!

John Machado

The Arts Area participated in the Route 66 Cruisin' Reunion in Ontario, CA on September 15-17, 2017. This annual three-day event is free to the public and encompasses approximately twenty-two city blocks with food, live music, entertainment, and more than 2,000 classic cars along historic Euclid Avenue. The Arts Area and Ontario Museum of History & Art provided family games and art education for the Ontario Arts and Culture booth. The Arts Area emphasized the art of the automobile with a car art design competition entered by 145 young artists.

John Machado

The Arts Area was excited to participate in the local community college maker event on May 4, 2017 as part of their California Community College's Chancellor's Office Innovation Maker initiative to increase public interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math education (STEAM) through the development of interdisciplinary community makerspaces. It was a wonderful day seeing and learning about the incredible things made by members of our community. Groups represented at the event included Engineering, Computer Science and CIS, Commercial Music, Photography, Ceramics, Technical Theatre, Drafting, Broadcasting & Cinema, Illustration Club, Film Making Club, Engineering Club, Game Development Club, (U)ntitled Art Club, The InTech Center, and Bob Hurton printmaking. Participants also had the opportunity to complete a brief survey on the maker movement to enter a drawing to win the book The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch (CEO, TechShop) donated by The Arts Area.

John Machado

The Arts Area founder, art history professor John Machado, was a judge for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition with U.S. Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35). The theme for this year’s competition was “Lessons from the Past, Hope for the Future.” The winning artwork, A Better Tomorrow, by Pomona resident Evelyn Ruiz, was selected out of 49 works submitted from students throughout the 35th District. Ruiz's artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Complex for one year. The awards ceremony and exhibition were held at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona on April 20, 2017.

John Machado

The Arts Area was a proud sponsor of Sheets, Sheets & Caughman: Art for Living and Living for Art. The exhibition featuring the art of Millard Sheets, Tony Sheets, and Luis “Rick” Caughman was jointly presented by the Ontario Museum of History & Art and the Chaffey Community Museum of Art, February 2 - March 26, 2017. The exhibition explored the long-standing relationship, yet persistent tension, between the fields of fine art and commercial art. Highlighting the artwork of three artists spanning nearly a century, the two museums offered a glimpse into the complex careers of professional artists balancing commercially commissioned work with personal creativity.  The Arts Area created the exhibition guide, consulted on the planning committee, and moderated the panel discussion with artists Tony Sheets and Rick Caughman at the opening VIP reception. You can see a few members of our Board of Directors at the event in this video created by the City of Ontario.

The Ontario Museum of History & Art and the Chaffey Community Museum of Art held a VIP Reception to open the art exhibition: Sheets, Sheets & Caughman: Art for Living and Living for Art on Friday, February 10, 2017. 

John Machado

The Arts Area sponsored the survey research project "Assessing Student Success in the Creative Economy." The survey study explored the experiences and perceived level of success and satisfaction attained in the academic and professional careers of over 5,000 current and former local college students from creative industry programs. The study indicated that local artists are most in need of access to professional networks, workspace, and equipment, while the largest deterrent to their careers has been the lack of adequate sustainable income opportunities in the creative industries. The results of the study provide data to assist in aligning programs and services with the needs and aspirations of local artists, arts and cultural institutions, and creative industry businesses. The survey was conducted in November and December of 2016.

John Machado