About Us


Through our year-round exhibitions, educational programs, events, and workshops, the Millard Sheets Art Center provides the community with meaningful and fun experiences within the world of visual arts. As part of The Learning Centers at Fairplex, we engage the community at multiple levels of education. Our programs build on The Learning Centers’ (TLC) dedication to create innovative experiences.

It is our goal to create a vareity of programs centered on tradional visual arts education that provide anyone with an interest in the arts an opportunity to explore and develop a love and passion for being creative. 


The Learning Centers

For more than 90 years, the Los Angeles County Fair Association has demonstrated its commitment to the community. Beginning with the first fair in 1922, the Association has a historic reputation of building stronger communities throughout Southern California using fun, educational, and collaborative efforts.

By serving unmet educational needs, The Learning Centers at Fairplex (TLC) is the Association’s most meaningful example of its impact on the community today.



The Millard Sheets Center for the Arts began as the Fine Arts Program of the Los Angeles County Fair – art exhibitions have been an integral part of the Fair since its founding in 1922.  Each year, the art exhibitions produced for the Fair have featured artists from not only Los Angeles, but also California, the nation, and throughout the world and have presented contemporary as well as historical art in a variety of styles and media including painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, video, ceramics, drawing, architecture, and design.  The Fine Arts building, a 12,000 square foot gallery built in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration to house the program, was dedicated the Millard Sheets Gallery in 1994 to honor Pomona, California artist and teacher Millard Sheets (1907-1989), the Program’s director from 1930 to 1956.

Significant exhibitions produced by Sheets during his tenure includeMasters of Art, 1790-1950, a survey of European and American paintings and sculptures which presented works by many of the most important artists from that period, among them Delacroix, Millet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Eakins, Marin, Rodin, Moore, and Brancusi, to name just a few. Arthur Millier, art critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote in his review, “The country’s greatest museums could be proud of this show.”


Millard Sheets

Millard Sheets, born in Pomona, was encouraged early to develop his talent. At age seven he began taking lessons from a neighbor, and at age 12 he won his first competition at the Los Angeles County Fair. Theodore Modra, the Director of Fine Arts at that time, became Sheets mentor. When Modra died in 1930, Sheets took over the directorship.

After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, in 1929, Sheets entered and won a competition in San Antonio, Texas. The prize money enabled him to travel to South America, New York and Europe, giving him his first taste of world cultures that later became the passion of his art and life. After his return, Sheets married and settled in Claremont where he taught art at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School from 1931 to 1954. He was also instrumental in developing Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, as well as California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. During World War II, Sheets served as an artist-correspondent for LIFE Magazine. Read more...



Thomas Canavan Lugene Whitely
Art Center Manager Outreach and Community Liaison
Dominic Black Scott Straiger
Instructor Instructor
Drawing and Painting Ceramics
Jake Yeager Candace Chavonec
Instructor Instructor
Ceramics Figure Drawing
Pradeepa Thirumulu Richard Martinez
Instructor Instructor
Watercolor Watercolor
Macarena Atha Joshua Martinez
Design Ceramics



Our Art Committee is an advisory committee comprised of volunteers throughout the community who work together to develop the art center in to a regional center for the visual arts. Led by our Chair Laura Bollinger, the committee seeks resources, strategies, and cooperation during quarterly meetings and advocate on behalf of our mission in between at events here at the art center as well as throughout the community. 

We are always grateful for their participation and dedication to the arts and the Millard Sheets Art Center.



Internships at the art center offer a unique opportunity for students in high school and college to gain valuable experience in art education, curating, and arts administration. Our 2016 internships have not yet been posted, but please check back soon. 

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Currently, there are no employment opportunities available.