Mendocino Art Center

45200 Little Lake Street
Mendocino, CA 95460


Mission :

"To be a vital cultural resource, providing a broad range of the highest quality educational and exhibition opportunities in the arts to all people."


Mendocino was a former mill town fallen on hard times when Bill and Jennie Zacha arrived in the 1950's. By 1959, with the help of many friends, artists, and townspeople the Zacha's dream of developing an art center became reality.

The Art Center was established on the grounds of the former Preston mansion, which was featured in the James Dean movie East of Eden. When the mansion burned to the ground in 1957, Bill Zacha acquired the entire park-like property with a $500 deposit. By 1959 the remaining carriage house had been converted to the nucleus of the Art Center, while other outbuildings and animal sheds became the first studios.

During the ensuing years, the history of the Art Center and Mendocino village became closely entwined. The Art Center became the focal point of a thriving art colony which revitalized the nearly abandoned town. Today Mendocino and the Art Center are a world-renowned haven for artists in all media.

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