Local History
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
Ralph Love and the Art Shack
   In the community of Temecula on its one main street, Front, is a building more often referred to as an old shack, with a sagging roof, leaning walls and a floor that reminds you of being aboard a ship in a storm. The exterior of this structure has two huge signs precariously hung over the roof, one read "Art Shack" and the other is an artist's pallet with the words "Ralph Love".

    When you enter this building you are surrounded with the most magnificent paints - each one better than the other - paintings that take you from the crashing sea on the coast to the dry, hot, enchanting desert and on to the huge mountains with the peaks encompassed in clouds and a horizon you want to venture behind to become a part of.

    Ralph is an artist of the truest sense for each of his paintings, be they oil or water color, one piece of art in the "shack" is meant for each person, be it a church, the old Perris Station, for which he took a third cash award in January 1964 at the Riverside Art Association. . . or just any painting . . . you realize that Ralph Love painted it for you.

    There is nothing at the shack to distract a visitor. Lights are subtly placed where each painting can be seen to its full beauty. There is room enough to step back and get depth perception and a carefree atmosphere seems to hang over the entire building. You might want to stay a few minutes and discover that an hour has passed and you find yourself still unable to leave.

    Ralph did not begin life as a painter, he was an ordained minister and art was a hobby. But about 1945 he knew that art was for him, and to settle matters he won his first award at the Laguna Beach Art Association with his painting "Stubble Field".

    After that he won awards almost every year and some years two and three prizes were awarded him by judges who were tops in the art critic world.

    He is among the finest in his lectures on art, to civic groups as well as fellow members of the art association and has been referred to as holding an audience almost "hypnotized" with his demonstrations.

    Each day he has classes in art and students come from all over to hear this man lecture and watch his great talent at work.

    Mr. Love and his wife, Bertha, who is also an ordained minister, moved to western Riverside County in 1940, and opened the Art Shack in 1959, and since that time thousands of persons have traversed the creaky floors to find a painting they truly want.

    The photographing the many homes in the area for La Laguna Revue, we recall that the Lon Finnells of the Meadowbrook are the proud possessors of many of Ralph's works, and in the office of the Evans-Brown Mortuary is another and many more homes house "Love's work" . . . which is the way they should all be classed. . .simply and finally, "Loves work".

   La Laguna Revue    Volume 5    Number 7    May 1966