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Morro Bay Art Association is a board driven, membership supported, volunteer organization.

Dedicated to the promotion of creativity and art education, our mission is simple, “To champion art as essential to life and give our community a creative voice”.

History:  On September 17, 1951, a small group of Morro Bay area residents met to discuss the development of an artist guild. Assisted by the California Art Association, the Morro Bay Art Association became official, with seventeen members. The first public art exhibit was displayed from a member’s home in 1952.  The first President, Erling C. Benson headed a six member board of directors in 1951, 52 and 54.

In 1955 MBAA launched an art festival for Morro Bay.  Seasonal festivals were conducted through 1958 when the city of Morro Bay took over the enterprise for a few years before handing it back to MBAA. Morro Bay Art in the Park developed, and continues to take place three times per year.

Incorporated May 29, 1956, MBAA acquired its first building, located within the old Morro Bay Library on Main Street.  The building burned in 1962, causing the organization to return to it’s nomadic style of years earlier. In 1971 MBAA acquired its current location at 835 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA.  For additional exhibit and activity space, a deck was added.  Later, a classroom and kitchen were added to the downstairs area and second floor gallery was dedicated to Virginia Russell, President in 1977 and 78.

Morro Bay Art Association gained its current non-profit status in 1986 and Art Center Morro Bay continues to be a valuable asset to the life, aspirations and vision of the community.