Museum of the Living Artist

Museum of the Living Artist

The Museum of the Living Artist (MoLA)
Established 1941
Location 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Visitor figures 441,000 (2006)
Director Timothy J. Field

The Museum of the Living Artist (MoLA) is hosted by the San Diego Art Institute (SDAI). It features a new exhibition of works by San Diego artists opening every four to six weeks in a 10,000-square-foot gallery, dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts through outreach, education, and exhibition. Solo artist exhibitions are also featured. With more than 30 shows a year, the San Diego Art Institute aims to be a supportive center for local emerging artists. The San Diego Art Institute also offers many outreach and educational programs. The David Fleet Young Artists' Gallery showcases art done by students at regional elementary, middle and high schools while the Outreach through Exhibition Series calls upon artists to address community issues in their art. The museum also hosts art classes in about as many mediums as are shown on its walls. The Museum of the Living Artist is located near downtown San Diego in the House of Charm in historic Balboa Park, San Diego's largest urban cultural parks. The Museum is surrounded by 17 other museums and provides a creativle environment for the visual arts community.


The House of Charm

The House of Charm was called the Indian Arts Building when it was originally created for the first exposition. In 1916, as international exhibitors traveled south from recently closed Panama Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco. The lath and plaster structure was renamed the Russia and Brazil Building. It acquired its current name, the House of Charm, during the second exposition. Like many other exposition buildings within the Park, the House of Charm was taken over by the military during WWII. Due to its poor condition, the building was torn down and rebuilt to exacting specification in 1996. Represented on the National Register of Historical Places, the House of Charm is now home to the San Diego Art Institute's Museum of the Living Artist(featuring art produced by local artists) and home to the Mingei International Museum; and three full-scale rehearsal spaces belonging to The Globe Theaters.[1]


Regional Exhibitions

The San Diego Art Institute's most visible activity focuses on showcasing the work of San Diego emerging area visual artists through a program of over 30 juried shows a year (regular show, a one-foot show, special outreach shows, youth art & others). Different art professionals are selected as jurors for each show assuring exhibitions of high quality and great variety. Juror's Choice and Honorable Mention certificates are awarded at monthly public receptions.

Annual International Award Exhibition

Since 1955 the San Diego Art Institute(SDAI) has produced the "Annual" -- a juried show drawing interest from artists all over the world. A different internationally known juror is invited each year. This show is juried by slides and makes available international competition to regional artists. Awards are presented at SDAI's annual Gala Celebration.

Outreach Through Exhibition

A call to artists to respond to social and community issues. This is a unique visual art venue that marries the artist's talent with community awareness. Some previous exhibitions have been:

  • "Winged Victory -- Transcending Breast Cancer"
  • "Art Without Frontiers/Hasta La Raya"
  • "eARTh" -- environmental awareness
  • "Our Healing Arts" -- AIDS awareness
  • International Youth Art Exchange.

Social outreach through the visual arts continue to be an important part of the San Diego Art Institute's mission.

Youth Art

The David Fleet Young Artists' Gallery The mission of this gallery is the exposure to the creative process of the youth of San Diego within the curriculum of the school.

  • The "Fleet", on a monthly basis, showcases youth art by regional elementary, middle and senior high schools. SDAI liaisons with the city of San Diego/ County Art Educators Association for curators, school participation and selection.
  • SDAI recognizes by certification all participating youth artists.
  • SDAI regional jurors choose the SDAI Youth Achievement Awards each month.
  • Presentations for Certificates and Achievement Awards occur at our public receptions for each exhibition.
  • Youth Art Month: A regional award show (in collaboration with SD City / County Art Educators Association).
  • Storytelling: An interactive program using verbal and visual skills.

The San Diego Art Institute (SDAI) Youth Tour: A docent tour of the SDAI galleries aimed at young audiences. Exposure to living regional artists (and peers in the "Fleet") brings greater awareness of the possibilities in self-expression. The San Diego Art Institute maintains a separate facility for art education. Classes in life drawing, painting, water color, children's art, and various photography classes are a sampling of the SDAI art educational programs offered. SDAI also offers comprehensive computer classes in multimedia and animation plus various workshops on specific computer programs.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "The City of San Diego, Balboa Park Museums, Features and Attractions.". Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas, Winter 2006–2007. Retrieved on April 27, 2008.


  • Baldridge, Charlene. San Diego: Jewel of the California Coast. Northland. May 25, 2003. ISBN 0-8735-8838-X
  • Dower, Rick. From deepest, darkest Balboa Park: our own Marlin Perkins. San Diego Business Journal,volume 11 Issue 38 Page 10(3), September 17, 1990
  • Hudsen, Andrew. The Magic of Balboa Park: Special Millennium Edition. Photo Tour Books, Inc. ISBN 0-9653-0876-6
  • Marshall, David. San Diego's Balboa Park, CA (Postcard History Series). Arcadia Publishing, July 30, 2007. ISBN 0-7385-4754-9.
  • Martin, Don W & Betty Woo. San Diego: The Best of Sunshine City.DiscoverGuides: 2nd edition. May 21, 2002. ISBN 0-9420-5337-0
  • Puplava, Kathy. Trees and gardens of Balboa Park .California: City of San Diego Park and Recreation Dept (2001). ISBN 0-9387-1173-3
  • Sanders, Rebecca A. Day Outings from San Diego on a Tank of GasPremier Publishing: 4th edition. April 2004. ISBN 1-9289-0500-5

See also

External links

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