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In Memorium

Darrell Holmes Brandon

First President of the Lompoc Valley Art Association

A sampling of Darrell's art shows the quality and diversity of his talent

Darrell's Art Darrell's Art
Darrell's Art Darrell's Art
Darrell's Art Darrell's Art

Click here to see some pictures of the March 2006 Darrell Brandon Show at the Cypress Gallery

     Darrell Holmes Brandon, even his name has a painterly rhythm... an artist's artist who excelled as both, creative artist and inspirational mentor and will be remembered always by those who knew him.  Darrell passed away on September 20th, 2005 in Templeton, California and was honored with an exhibit of his art at the Cypress Gallery in March, 2006.

     Darrell's career as a professional artist most likely began shortly after WWII. A veteran of the U.S. Navy he first attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Art and then continued his formal art education graduating from the Los Angeles Art Institute and remained in the Los Angeles area gaining a wealth of creative and technical experience. He worked as an interior design artist for a major aircraft manufacturer designing murals of African wildlife for the bulkheads and cabins of their eastern overseas airliners.  However, one of Darrell's most skillful tasks accomplished while still in the Los Angeles area was that as an "in between" artist for the Walt Disney studios. While there he was assigned the animated character Captain Hook, featured in the full length animated movie, Peter Pan.

     Not unlike so many folks that have discovered the central coast by accident, Darrell and his wife Pat settled in Lompoc after Darrell was hired by Martin Marietta as their first Vandenberg Operations Illustrator. It was here in the Lompoc valley that he really became known as an exceptional creative artist, inspiring teacher, and community leader.  One of the most rewarding and again difficult tasks to accomplish at the time was the pursuance of a design for an art gallery/multi-purpose room to be included in the plans for the new Lompoc Public Library now located on east North avenue. This idea and concept was solely Darrell's and he pursued it like fire. Since the new library was a very political project at that time, it required many hours of Darrell's very limited spare time. Besides all of the design work and submitted drawings, Darrell also walked the streets going door to door gathering signatures for the petition. His persistence paid off and Lompoc got a new and larger library plus its first ever public art gallery.

     There is reason to believe that the most significant "Brandon touch" would be the Lompoc Valley Art Association. To him it may have been just a "touch" but without a doubt, the formation of the LVAA has been a rewarding achievement for the community. Darrell's vision reached far beyond forming just a little artsy craftsy club. Almost immediately this group of artists and crafts people were recognized as being far beyond amateurs as most work being produced was riding on the professional level. To this day comments made by outside sources places the average work of the LVAA far above most other art groups and art associations. Darrell has been honored for this achievement and for being the first president of the very successful Lompoc Valley Art Association.

     It could be said that Darrell was motivated by, "If it can be fixed, I'll fix it... and possibly improve it". This type of positive thinking also made him a great mentor and teacher. He never gave up on a person or a project and served vigorously within other community organizations such as chairman of the Lompoc Valley Beautification Committee. If it had the Brandon touch, it would succeed.
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