About Us

The Chouinard Foundation was founded in 1999 by Bob Perine and Dave Tourjé, after Tourjé purchased the home of Nelbert Chouinard – the founder of the original Chouinard School of Art in 1921. Shortly after this, many joined the Advisory Board including the current Board of Advisors and Directors Sam Clayberger, Lou Paleno, Chuck Swenson, Doris Kouyias, John Van Hamersveld and Gary Wong. From it’s inception, the Chouinard Foundation’s purpose was to illuminate the legacy of Chouinard and bring it to public consciousness, whether by mounting major Museum shows, starting an art school, partnering with the City of LA or presenting a feature-length documentary film. Prior to this effort, though one of the most prodigious in history, Chouinard‘s legacy was nearly forgotten. This website documents the history and these efforts, providing a forum for the legacy to continue by allowing those that went there to post their recollections of one of the truly great art schools in history – a major piece of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles and beyond.

The Chouinard Foundation is composed of the following Directors, Advisors and Staff. We are all involved in the field of the visual arts in very different ways, yet remain committed to the aims of our Mission Statement and extending the tradition, scope and practice of the Chouinard School of Art.


Sam Clayberger | Director

Sam Clayberger became heavily interested in art after serving in the armed forces during the Korean War and attended the Chouinard Institute as a part of the GI Bill supporting postsecondary education for veterans. At Chouinard, Mr. Clayberger studying fine art with a heavy emphasis on figure drawing and painting. Selected shows include Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Pasadena Art Museum, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Association, and Heritage Gallery. Mr. Clayberger has taught since the 60s at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design as well as teaching private lessons, which he still does in his studio. His published work includes Limited Edition Portfolio, Clinker Press, 2000, as well as the essay Eros in the Studio for the Smithsonian Institution. His works are included in the collections of many including Lillian Dunn Miller, Helen McCready, Ann and Andre Chavez, Mr. and Mrs. Alan Zaslove, Beverly Schrieber, B & B Bailey, Vicci de Francis, and Dian Dean. To this day, Mr. Clayberger spends most of his days in his studio in Glassell Park.

Lou Paleno | Director

Lou Paleno was born in Detroit, Michigan. He knew at a very early age he would pursue a career in art. He attended the Meinzinger School of Art in Detroit before moving to Los Angeles, where he then continued his education at the renowned Chouinard School of Art. Early in his career he was employed as an Artist by North American Aviation in El Segundo, California. His duties included product illustration and design, as well as rendering paintings and sculptures for the executive offices. After five years, he transferred to Space and Information Systems in Anaheim where he was involved with special projects for NASA, creating film storyboards, illustrations, film concepts and set designs. After ten years in the Aerospace Industry he was recruited by Robert Vogel Productions, where he was involved in the creation of storyboards, background illustrations, animation and concepts, aerospace projects and other commercial projects. After eight years, he decided to start his own company, Lou Paleno Graphics, where he continued to utilize his skills and talents to paint, create storyboards, design sets, and illustrate books and educational slide films. His clients included Walt Disney, Hanna/Barbera, Quartet Films, William Brose Productions, Hughes Aviation, Boeing Aviation and Vacarro Productions, to name a few. Mr. Paleno resides with his wife Jackie, in Los Angeles, in the house they have lived in for 54 years. They have four grown children and six grandchildren. He is a licensed private pilot and continues to paint – his true passion (next to his family). He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Chouinard Foundation.

Chuck Swenson | Director

Charles Swenson has over thirty years experience in animation as a writer-director-producer. His reputation as an innovative artist who can effectively manage and execute the production process has led to his involvement in a wide variety of cutting-edge television and feature film projects. Charles attended the Art Center School and Chouinard Art Institute, graduating with honors in 1964. Fresh out of school, he became a part of the team which created Charles Eames’ ground-breaking, computer-driven, sixteen screen entertainment complex for the IBM exhibition at the 1967 World’s Fair in New York. His first long-term directorial effort was the 1968 Academy Award nominated “The Magic Pear Tree.” This film led to his involvement as both a sequence director and animator on Harry Nilsson’s much loved “The Point.” During the 1970s, Charles served as animation director of Franck Zappa’s “200 Motels,” Universal Pictures’ adaptation of Desmond Morris’ “The Naked Ape,” “The Mouse and His Child,” one of the first Japanese/American co-ventures and “Dirty Duck,” a feature film for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures that Swenson wrote, designed, directed, and animated single-handedly. In the late ’70s, he became a partner and co-owner in Murakami-Wolf-Swenson Productions, guiding the company into the early use of foreign animation services with the production of the “Strawberry Shortcake” and “Puff the Magic Dragon” series of specials and the “carlton Your Doorman” pilot. In 1982, Charles co-wrote and co-directed a one-of-a-kind animated feature for George Lucas and Korty Films utilizing a computer-aided, back-lit, cut-out animation techinique. Artistically acclaimed, “Twice Upon A Time” was releases through the Ladd Company and Warner Brothers. After a stint as Creative Director at Atari Games, Charles returned to the feature film arena to write the story for Amblin’s “American Tail II” and Richard Brautigan’s gothic western, “The Hawkline Monster.” In 1990, Charles was hired by Klasky Csupo, Inc., as Creative Producer for “Rugrats,” directing the highly acclaimed Christmas episode. His work on the series garnered both an Emmy and Cable Ace award. He also served as Creative Producer for “Aahhh!!! Real Monsters” and “Santo Bugito” which were nominated for Emmy and a Humanitas Award respectively. Charles also served as the Vice President of Production overseeing the development of numerous pilots as well as the first “Rugrats” feature. In 1997 Charles left Klasky Csupo to co-create, write and Executive Produce the Cartoon Network series “Mike, Lu & Og” which ran for two seasons. Since then, he has continued to create and executive produce his own television and feature projects including the short film “Bookashkis” in conjunction with Pilot Films in Moscow which has received awards at the Annecy, Zagreb, Krok, and Hiroshima Festivals. Charles is currently developing a series for FBC through Fox 21 and has been consulting for Disney Home Video, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Chouinard School of Art which is dedicated to providing affordable arts education.

Dave Tourjé | Executive Director

Born 1960, Los Angeles, CA Education Art Center College – High School Scholarship, 1977-78 University of California-Santa Barbara, Fine Art scholarship, 1978-81 Guitar Institute of Technology, Hollywood, Professional Guitar Certificate 1981-82 Hubbard College of Administration, Professional Administrative Training 1992-96 Dave Tourjé was born and raised in Los Angeles. As such, he was exposed to the multiplicities of LA’s culture and activities which his professional life now reflects. Fluent in numerous professions, he has been an exhibiting visual artist since 1987, as well as a professional-caliber guitarist with many credentials, including the MTV Music Awards in 1986. Not seeing art or music as a necessarily income-only pursuit, he developed himself as a construction specialist, settling on the high-intensity specialty of foundation and landslide repair. His company, Alpha Structural, Inc., is the acknowledged leader in Los Angeles for this form of construction work. In 1998, he bought the estate-home of Nelbert Chouinard in a well-documented story. This led to the founding of the Chouinard Foundation in 1999 with Robert Perine, former Chouinard artist. Having turned over most of the duties at Alpha Structural, Tourjé splits most of his time between his art making and running the Chouinard Foundation.


Doris Kouyias

MFA UC Berkeley 1973, MA UC Berkeley 1972, BFA Chouinard Art Institute 1971 Los Angeles Scholarship to S.F. Academy of Art; Art Center College of Design; Cal Arts Alumni Merit 1966; Glendale Art Association All-City Published “Bread” Rise Up and Be Needed, 1973/An Art Form Technische University, Berlin and Univeerstatbiblitehek, Germany requested a copy of her book; “Bread” for their archives, on file since 1975 She exhibited at University Art Museum, Berkeley; Worth Ryder Gallery, Berkeley; Chouinard Art Gallery; Hellenic University Club of Southern California She is an experienced K-12 classroom teacher since 1998, and currently heads the Children’s Chouinard Art Program at Expo Center.

John Van Hamersveld

An alumnus of the Chouinard School of Art, John Van Hamersveld was instrumental in the West Coast Pop Art and Surf Culture movements of the 1960s and 1970s, designing album covers and concert posters. From 1966 to 1986, Van Hamersveld created over 300 album covers for bands such as the Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Kiss, and Blondie. His “grinning Johnny” image served as the inspiration for the Rolling Stones’ tongue logo. Van Hamersveld also designed the official 1984 Olympics poster. Located in Los Angeles, the Olympics were held at the Coliseum, which was shrouded in a 360 foot mural of Van Hamersveld’s Olympic image. Other credits include Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, United Artists Records, and the Fatburger Chain Design to name a few. Van Hamersveld currently serves as Director of Design for the Chouinard School of Art as well as an Advisor on the Advisory Board.

Gary Wong

Bio coming soon.