HISTORY OF FOOTHILLS ART ASSOCIATION LA MESA, INC.
Founded August 1949 lncorporated 1959
ln the summer of ‘1949, Cora B. Payson, Chairman of the Art Department of the La Mesa Women’s Club,
asked the club to sponsor an Art Guild. A survey of the La Mesa Foothills District resulted in a meeting
of seventy interested art-minded people at the Club House on October 19, 1949. The organization was
sponsored during it’s first year by the Women’s Club, which provided rent-free space for meetings,
exhibits and other activities.
ln 1957 the City of La Mesa built the Ben Polak La Mesa Memorial Fine Arts Center at 8053 University
Avenue, La Mesa. Foothills Art Association had the privilege of holding it’s meetings, special events, and
displaying their artwork on the walls inside the Center’s Lamplighter’s Theatre until 2005 when Foothills
raised the funds (contributions in memory of deceased members, percentage of annual dues and various
donations) to build the Foothills Fine Art Gallery. This beautiful addition to the Center was proudly
dedicated to the community. Up until September 2006 Foothills Art Association held its meetingjs in the
Theatre, and monthly exhibits will continue in the Gallery until December 31, 2006. Foothills relocated
the Gallery to Porter Hall, 49’10 Memorial Drive, La Mesa on Septemb er 6, 2OO7. This move had been
necessitated by the development of the Art Center site by the City of La Mesa. Our beautifully remodeled
gallery was only enjoyed until December 23,2007 when 2 cars plowed into the building causing structural
damage(no art work was damaged). The gallery reopened May 1, 2008 for monthly exhibits. For further
details of meetings and exhibitions, call 619-464-7167 or any Board member.
Foothills Art Association stands for the fine arts and operates by a code of ethics, printed in this
Yearbook. The Judged Miniature Show in October and the April Juried Membership Show have grown in
size and quality. The Annual ‘Wildlife ln Art” Show is a juried competiiion open io aii artisis, where
proceeds are used to fund an award to Helxi High art department.Other civic projects include rotating
exhibits in local businesses and special gifts given to local charities during the holidays.
During monthly membership meetings, interesting and informative lectures and demonstrations on art are
given, preceded by a coffee hour when members may have the opportunity to get to know each other and
exchange ideas. The Gallery’s art exhibit is changed monthly.