The Redlands Art Association has a long history and tradition of artists working together to bring visual arts to the community. In 1964, Ben Rabe and a group of like-minded artists thought it would be a good idea to form the RAA and find a place to sell their art throughout the year. They came up with the idea of holding shows for local artists and had a tiny space in the Fox Theater where they could only hang 12 paintings at a time.

Rabe, an architect, and painter, was the 1st President of Redlands Art Association. Courtesy of Smiley Library, Heritage Center, we are fortunate to have an Oral History recorded by fellow member, Anne Besseme, many years ago. In it, Rabe talks about his life and work in Redlands, including 17 minutes where he talks about the founding of the Redlands Art Association.

Redlands history buffs will be interested to know that Rabe designed the old Daily Facts building now on its way to becoming the new Redlands Museum.

For more information:


Thanks to Will Bundy for his help in recording the audio tape and his transcription of the interview.

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Upcoming Events

“SHOOTING REDLANDS” Program 5-23-17 by Bruce Herwig

Program night... Tuesday, May 23 at 7 pm.

Bruce Herwig, Redlands photo enthusiast, will be sharing his passion for photography, how he developed his "Color Me Redlands" Coloring book, and his tips and techniques on how to market your art.

Free and open to the public.  Attendees will be entered to win a copy of his "Color Me Redlands" coloring book.

Linda Richards – Featured Artist May 13-June 3

Redlands artist discovers late father's negatives, creates unique exhibit

PictureRedlands artist Linda Richards shows a photo developed from a roll of film discovered more than 50 years after her late father had shot it, and her oil rendering of it. Both her father's art and her art inspired by it will be on special exhibit at the Redlands Art Association May 13 through June 3.

After her father's death, Redlands artist Linda Richards discovered a box of photo negatives he had left behind.

They had been shot in the 1930s and '40s, on black-and-white film, when he was young and unmarried. He had traveled to big cities, and the shots were from stage shows and road trips.

"Dad died in the early '90s," Richards said by phone. "He was always a good photographer, and we found all these negatives after he died."

Her father never saw the images he captured, but Richards had the photos developed and knew she had to do something with them.

"They were amazing," she said. "They were from his travels in 1939 and the early '40s. He was in his 20s."

Richards herself traveled to the places depicted in the photos -- standing, when she could, where her father had stood to take them. She figured out many had been taken from the back seats of taxi cabs or from her father's car.

In 2010 she took a painting class at the Redlands Art Association. Then she took another. Before she could say "I love retirement" she had developed skills in multiple art media, and had the means to put inspiration to canvas.

"Then I thought, oh my gosh, I found something I can do with Dad's photos," she said.

Richards made oil depictions of her father's photography. Some paintings are in color, and some are in sepia tone.

She painted 20 renderings of her father's art, and submitted 18 to the RAA, which scheduled a Featured Artist Show.

Richards' father's original photography will be on exhibit as part of the show.

"I was reminded of my own father, after reading Linda's description of her upcoming exhibition," said Sandy Davies of the RAA, by email. "She's sure to stir a lot of memories with her art."

One of Richards' paintings -- of Times Square in New York -- shows her grandfather in the crowd.

“I love how they tell stories, or how they show quirky vaudeville shows popular at the time, and of course, the street scenes are full of vintage cars and even old Checker cabs,” Richards said.

The Featured Artist Show featuring Linda Richards' artwork runs May 13 to June 3 at the Redlands Art Association at 215 E. State St. in Redlands. The show is free and open to the public. A public reception will be May 20 from 4 to 6 at the same location.

Scenes From my Father's Past

What: Featured Artist Show for Linda Richards
When: May 13-June 3
Where: Redlands Art Association
215 E. State St., Redlands, CA
Who: Open to the Public
Cost: Admission is free

Reception Party: May 20, 4-6 p.m. at the Redlands Art Association

Written by Toni Momberger

May 27 & 28: Art-in-the-Park

 & Redlands Festival of Arts

SMILEY PARK WILL BECOME A GALLERY FOR REDLANDS ART ASSOCIATION’S ART IN THE PARK!  Artists will be showing off their wares:  Glassware, pottery, wood crafts, jewelry, as well as paintings of all styles will be set out for sale on this coming Memorial Day weekend.  Art-in-the-Park further demonstrates the blend of arts: from crafts to fine art.  Sandy Davies, from RAA says, “This is the best place to find original art from artists you can get to know.  Over the years, you can create a small collection from the artists whose art you appreciate”.

Open both May 27 & 28, the weekend before Memorial Day from 10 am to 5 pm, this is Redlands Art Association’s semi-annual outdoor sale.   About 70 Southland artists  will exhibit and sell their work at downtown’s Smiley Park,  situated beside the Police Annex (Old City Hall) on the corner of Vine and Orange Streets, Redlands.

The Redlands Festival of Arts, behind Smiley Library – across the street from Art-in-the-Park, will encompass ALL the arts … music, theater and the visual arts.  Artists will also have booths- their art  juried by Penny McElroy for prizes.  RAA is helping with the hands-on Kids Zone supplying the craft materials.  The Lincoln Shrine will be open, as well ..  Food trucks, beer and wine will feed the crowd. For more information, visit their website.

It’s sure to be a weekend to celebrate the arts in Redlands!