The Gallery's roots can be traced back to the winter of 1969, at which time the Art Department founded the Artists in Residence program. This program invited the best of Northern California's artists to work directly with students and generated the momentum needed to establish an official exhibition space on campus. As part of the Shima Center dedication in 1975, the SJDC Fine Arts Gallery was founded to promote professional and contemporary art. This original gallery functioned successfully through 1987 offering exhibitions and continued residency programming. In 1988 the space was unfortunately reconditioned for non-arts usage. A lack of financial support kept the Gallery closed through 1997. Quality arts programming re-emerged in the late 90's with the strengthening of the Fine Arts Division, and a regard for student and community exhibition needs. The Gallery was remodeled and permanently re-opened in the fall of 2000 as a professional art gallery. The Gallery is a member of the College Art Association and supports the arts advocacy efforts of the Stockton Arts Commission, the California Arts Council, and the Stockton Unified School District Arts in Education program.
The LH Horton Jr Gallery is a non-profit organization and premier visual arts exhibition space in the city of Stockton. The primary mission of the Gallery is to promote quality and culturally diverse artwork in support of our students' education and the community at large.
The Gallery offers excellent exhibition opportunities to local, regional, and national artists, lenders and guest curators. The Gallery presents exhibitions in all media, without thematic or geographic restriction. Artists are selected through submission of exhibition proposals, juried by the Gallery Committee. Student exhibitions are held at the end of Spring Semester. Located in the Central Valley near Sacramento and San Francisco, the Gallery features over 2000 square feet of exhibition space, a 21-foot extended ceiling with hanging mounts, and professional lighting.