Following the closure of the La Jolla Art Association (LJAA) gallery in La Jolla Shores earlier this year, the group is solidifying its place at a new home in the La Jolla Community Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd.
In early June, according to a press release, LJAA announced an agreement with the Allied Artists Association of San Diego wherein members of the Allied Artists will join the LJAA and adopt its name. With this union, both artists groups will be represented as the LJAA and their work exhibited at the La Jolla Community Center. The Allied Artists Association of San Diego will no longer be in existence.
The new LJAA board of directors include president Nicole Caulfield, vice president Dottie Stanley, secretary Leah Higgins, treasurer Jeff Brosbe and honorary member Ingrid Wolter.
Caulfield explained: “Our desire was to both preserve the rich history this landmark art association has provided to the community and join artists from both organizations — allowing for more and varied types of art to be exhibited at the Community Center.” The combined group will have approximately 50 members.
Wolter, who has volunteered at LJAA for more than 10 years, said she is happy for the union.
“I have watched the LJAA flourish for years due to the efforts of many individuals,” she told La Jolla Light. “For example, (secretary) Raye Anne Marks held numerous fundraisers in an effort to keep the organization alive through the years and we owe her much gratitude. In addition, many of the artists who have been affiliated with LJAA are renowned — Alfred Mitchell, Maurice Braun, Charles Fries and others. We want to keep their legacies alive and continue the name recognition of the LJAA.”
The LJAA was formed in 1918 when a small group of artists and art-lovers met for tea at the home of Ellen Browning Scripps. Many of these early members were plein-air painters. The first exhibition was at the Woman’s Club in La Jolla in 1919. In 1921, the LJAA moved to the burgeoning Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. In 1955, it entered into a deal to continue to manage and exhibit members works: $1 a year rent for 50 years.
When that lease expired, LJAA exited. In 2005, under the leadership of Shandel Gamer, LJAA moved to The Village Gallery at 7932 Ivanhoe Ave. Two years later, it migrated to 8100 Paseo Del Ocaso in La Jolla Shores. Earlier this year, the Shores gallery closed due to lack of rent funds.
At the Community Center, Stanley told the Light, most artists will show in the hallways and small rooms, but those with larger or more extensive works will show in the larger Kiwanis Great Room and the Las Patronas Room. Exhibits in the larger rooms will be celebrated with receptions. Per its tradition, LJAA will rotate its shows once every two months. There will also be a themed exhibit once a year. Stanley predicts one will be a plein-air show, in honor of the association founders.
Community Center executive director Nancy Walters welcomes the artists with open arms. “We’re pleased and excited to support the LJAA and to provide a venue for the very talented artists in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area,” she said. “One of our core values is community, and this is an example of how we support our community and preserve LJAA’s rich history supporting local art.”
An inaugural exhibition is in the works. An Open House to reacquaint the community with the LJAA — and for those interested in joining the group — is also being planned.
“We hope to have better shows with more artists, as we have more artists now, thanks to this union,” Stanley said. “This is a 101-year-old institution and worth keeping alive.”
Award-winning artists ...
Artists with Allied Artists Association of San Diego (before it became the La Jolla Art Association) won awards for their art at the 2019 Exhibition of Fine Arts at the San Diego County Fair. Five artists were lauded for their work — Beverly Brock, Dottie Stanley, Mark Sherman, Ralph Kingery and Darlene Katz — and another four artists were juried into the exhibit that had 2,000 artists applying for consideration — Jenny Ferrone, Dana Levine, Gwen Nobil and Vita Sorrentino. To learn more, visit lajollaartassociation.org