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Nonprofit Spotlight: Green Art House shares artistic inspiration


Last updated 9/10/2018 at 7:58pm

Seniors paint in class at The Green Art House, drawing inspiration from a live model.

Juliet Grossman

Special to Village News

Members of the community are invited to a unique evening of art demonstrations and conversation at The Green Art House in Fallbrook Friday, Sept. 7, 7-9 p.m. Four instructors will create art pieces during the demonstration, and visitors can ask watch, ask questions and join what organizers hope will be a lively discussion about art. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free of charge and open to all ages.

The Green Art House co-founder Rich Stergulz described the nonprofit center as an art school and artists' retreat, offering classes, workshops and programs for students of all ages. Planning for the center began over six years ago, and The Green Art House moved into its permanent location on the grounds of Pala Mesa Golf Resort in Fallbrook in December.

"We have very young students, and we also currently have a 93- and 94-year-old," Stergulz said, describing the center's students as a mix reflecting the demographics of Fallbrook. "There are school age kids, and also a lot of retirees who always wanted to paint all their lives and are now able to actually do it." The Green Art House also offers a popular summer camp for students ages 7-17.

Teachers giving art demonstrations at Friday's event include Stergulz, who specializes in art fundamentals and will be painting a portrait; The Green Art House co-founder Leslie Sweetland, who works in pastels and Kay Kalor, a watercolor specialist who will be painting a still life. Plein air instructor Lynn Gertenbach, who leads students on painting excursions all over Southern California, will be demonstrating a landscape in oils.

Stergulz and Sweetland founded The Green Art House with hopes of contributing to Fallbrook's arts community and getting people excited about art. Scholarships and financial aid for supplies and lesson tuition are available to students in financial need.

Stergulz and Sweetland originally envisioned a more remote retreat on large acreage with a variety of types of creative spaces where visiting artists could work, but when the opportunity to situate the center inside Pala Mesa arose, they realized that the resort location with hotel rooms, restaurant, bar and other amenities would work well. A long-term goal for the center is to draw artists from all over the world to stay at the Pala Mesa Resort and take classes from master teachers at The Green Art House.

As the center grows, more styles and art media are added. Current offerings include painting in oils, acrylics, pastels, sculpting, drawing from live models and glass art. The founders hope to add instruction in ceramics and pottery in the coming months.

For Friday's demonstration event, Stergulz said, "Guests can take pictures and ask questions. They can look at the hundreds of art books in our library. They can sit down with our television and watch one of the instructional DVDs people have donated. It's a place where people can come and share in creating."

The Green Art House is located at 2001 Old Highway 395, in Fallbrook, inside the Pala Mesa Golf Resort. For more information, visit


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