John Clawson Ayres (1914 - 2005)
Born in Modesto, California, John Clawson Ayres became a watercolorist whose styles ranged back and forth between realist and non objective. He began watercolor painting in the 1930s when he was a student of Erle Loran and John Haley.
He studied at the University of California at Berkeley, earning a Masters Degree, and from 1936 to 1938 was a teaching assistant there. From 1939 to 1942, he taught art at Pacific Grove High School and then to 1946 in schools in Modesto. After that he was head of the art department fo 30 years at Chico State College.
Ayres was a member of the San Francisco Art Association. Since World War II, he taught painting and art history at Chico State College, 1947-1977.
Ayres won honors for his art and his distinguished teaching, and exhibited at the DeYoung Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Crocker Gallery in Sacramento and other distinguished galleries. In 1978 the Chico State art building, formerly Tehama Hall, was renamed John C. Ayres Hall in his honor.