The first gallery of the La Jolla Art Association was in an annex of the La Jolla Public Library (now the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library)? Read about it in the Birth of the Association.
A group of famous artists were the founders of LJAA, and their works were featured in an exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art in 1991? See how they captured the beauty of San Diego's still-unspoiled landscape in Famous Founding and Eminent Artists.
One woman managed the LJAA and kept it going from its inception through the Great Depression and World War II?
You can peruse the Complete History of the LJAA, compiled by Susan Self, in PDF format.
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 Miss 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. Meanwhile, the La Jolla Art Association was recognized as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization to promote art in July, 1977 by the Internal Revenue Service.
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, President of the La Jolla Art Association, we signed a new lease for The Village Gallery at 7932 Ivanhoe Ave.
In 2005, Scott Graham was elected President of LJAA.
In 2007, Rodger Heglar was elected President of LJAA.
Since the lease of The Village Gallery proved to be much too expensive for LJAA budget, in 2007 a decision has been made to move to a smaller, more intimate gallery while still maintining LJAA presence in La Jolla. After an extensive search headed by Rodger Heglar, a new location has been found. Our LJAA gallery currently resides at 7734 Herschel Avenue, Suite G, next door to the La Jolla Town Council.
In January 2009, Kristine de Young was elected President of LJAA.
By the end of 2008, it has become clear that the Herschel Gallery
is too small for our association, and the decision has been made to move to a bigger gallery.
After a short but intensive search, in February 2009, LJAA Gallery got a new address:
8100 Paseo del Ocaso, Suite B, in La Jolla Shores.
In June 2011, Melinda Newman was elected President of LJAA.