La Jolla Art Association History
The La Jolla Art Association was formed in 1918 when a small group of artists and art lovers met for tea at the home of Miss Ellen Scripps. One of the art lovers, Mrs. Eleanor B. Parkes, conceived of the idea of forming an art organization to show the works of the artists.
The group supported the idea and selected Mrs. Parkes as their president. At the request of Ms. Scripps, she served in that role as long as she could, for thirty years. Some of the founding members of the group are still famous artists, including Maurice Braun, Charles Fries, Alfred Mitchell, A. R. Valentien, Alice Klauber, and William Templeton Johnson, an architect. The first art exhibition was at the Woman's Club in La Jolla in 1919.
In 1921, a new library building was being built at Girard and Wall Street, designed by William Templeton Johnson and funded by the community and Miss Ellen Scripps. Mrs. Eleanor B. Parkes and the librarian, Miss Waddell, approached Miss Scripps with the idea of adding another room to the building to be used as an art gallery, and the idea was supported and realized. The La Jolla Art Association managed the gallery and exhibited their works, which added to the library's attractiveness to residents and visitors.
The La Jolla Art Association survived through the difficult times of the Great Depression and World War II. After the war, the community of La Jolla began to grow and needed a bigger library run by the San Diego City Library System instead of the private Library Association of La Jolla. To keep the City of San Diego from taking over the art gallery space for the library, in 1955 the La Jolla Art Association signed a 50-year lease with the Library Association of La Jolla at the rent of $1.00 a year.
By 1968, the library needed more space and wanted to buy the existing property to build a new library or find another site. The local community wanted to keep the old library at the same centrally-located site. The La Jolla Art Association agreed to move to the adjacent Parker Building, owned by the Library Association of La Jolla, to enable the public library to stay at the existing site and use the extra room. The La Jolla Art Association's lease for rooms in the adjacent building specified the same $1.00 rent and 2005 termination date as the old lease.
In February, 2002, Dottie Stanley, President of the La Jolla Art Association, approached the Athenaeum about the impending end of the lease. According to the Athenaeum's plans, they needed the space and were not legally obligated to renew the lease. They informed the La Jolla Art Association that it will have to relocate when the lease expires.
This situation precipated an immediate need for a five-year long-range plan that would evaluate the present position of the organization and determine its desired future position. In January 2005, under the leadership of Shandel Gamer, we moved to The Village Gallery at 7932 Ivanhoe Ave.
In 2007, under the leadership of Kris DeYoung, we moved to our present location at Paseo del Ocaso, in La Jolla Shores.
The La Jolla Shores gallery closed January, 2019. The Board of Directors voted to merge with the Allied Artists Association of San Diego. The new organization is called La Jolla Art Association and the new home is in the La Jolla Community Center.
Co-founder Charles Arthur Fries