Donald Archer grew up in Southern California in the 1940s and 50s. He had a passion for music and the visual arts and spent his energy and spare time playing music and drawing. In high school, he had two very influential teachers and mentors: one in music and one in art. 

Entering the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1963, Archer chose between a deep interest in both music and art, deciding on painting and the visual arts. After receiving his MFA in 1969, Archer taught for ten years, six of those as an instructor in fine art at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.  Articulating his ideas clarified his direction and led him to devote increasing attention and energy to his own work.   

In 1979, he resigned from his faculty position to pursue painting full-time. He moved to Santa Barbara and began making a living solely from his painting, exhibiting in galleries and outdoor art shows and festivals. He moved to Cambria in 1992, inspired by its natural beauty and more rural atmosphere. 

In addition to numerous solo and group exhibitions in public museums and commercial galleries, Archer has participated in selected fine art festivals along the west coast. He is a member emeritus of The Oak Group, twenty-six landscape painters committed to recording and preserving the natural beauty of California. His work is included in collections, both public and private, throughout the United States and abroad. 

Courtesy of Donald Archer

Archer’s paintings have been featured in American Artist magazine and Southwest Art magazine as well as six books: The Oak Group: The First Ten Years; Ranchos: Santa Barbara’s Land Trust Ranchos; The Oak Group: Twenty Years 1986-2006; American Art Collector: Vol. 1, Book 1; American Art Collector: Vol. 3, Book 1; Ranches and Rolling Hills: Art of West Marin – A Land in Trust. 

Archer’s exhibit is on display through June 1 – 30 at the Cambria Library at 1043 Main Street. The library is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am – 6pm; Thursday from 9am – 5pm; and Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm.