The Squire Foundation is a non-profit empowerment foundation, dedicated to civic and educational programs for artists, curators and all manner of creative people.
elevating the arts through
artist in residence & public art Programming
Via Maria Villa (the late Morris B Squire's estate) is nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara, California and houses the contemporary artworks from the late Morris B. Squire, (1923-2014). The Foundation serves as a full-time lending resource exhibiting and loaning the artwork and sculptural creations to interested educational institutions and other appropriate organizations to catalyze and advance the growth of contemporary art.
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There is nothing more important for Squire’s mission, that provides as much social benefit, to as many members of the community, as are our relationships between our nonprofit, for-profit, education and government partners. Through seeking long-term, multi-faceted, value-driven partnerships, we ensure that our core values are upheld and developed within a network of like-minded organizations.
Squire looks to align with partners in our community with an appropriate association that is intellectually, emotionally and practically compatible.
Abstract Art Collective
Arts for Humanity!
Claremont Graduate University Scholarship
MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation
Music Academy of the West
NCEAS (The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis)
Santa Barbara County Arts Commission
Sotheby's Institute of Art
The Léni Fund
Squire constantly seeks to develop wider associations with partners who share common short and long-term project-based goals and interests.
Pacific Pride Foundation
Santa Barbara Bowl
Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network (SBTAN)
Santa Barbara Unified School District
The Arts Fund
Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at UCSB
Boys & Girls Club
Ensemble Theater Company
Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
Music Academy of the West
Squire is committed to making resources available to organizations engaged in community projects we consider in line with our mission and with a clear focus and impact on local arts and culture.
North County Teen Arts Mentorship Program
Pianos on State
TedX Santa Barbara
The Shakespeare Globe Theatre
Art at the JCC
Art From Scrap Art Supplies
Art From Scrap Teaching Artists
California Poets in Schools
Discovery Museum Mural Project
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Morris Bear Squire (November 5, 1923 - March 2014) was an American psychologist and hospital administrator who was best known for his philanthropy. Squire was the former owner and CEO of a national chain of 26 medical care facilities. He also founded several charitable organizations including the Forest Foundation, Moishe House, and the Morris B. Squire Foundation. Squire's philanthropic endeavors were focused particularly on supporting Jewish causes and creative empowerment through the arts.
Morris Bear Squire was born on November 5, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. His father was a dentist and his mother was a pharmacist. Squire earned degrees in psychology from the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. In 1958, Squire purchased a Chicago psychiatric hospital and succeeded in it’s administration. During the subsequent years, Squire purchased and served as administrator for 25 more psychiatric treatment facilities across the United States.
In 1963, Squire established the Forest Foundation, a non-profit organization for funding psychology research. After retiring as Chief Executive Officer and selling his corporation, Squire founded Moishe House. Founded in 2006, Moishe House is an international non-profit organization, based in California, which supports and sponsors young Jewish leaders as they create vibrant peer-based communities within existing residential footprints. To date, there are more than 100 Moishe Houses in 25+ countries with over 300 residents.
In 2009, Squire created the Morris B. Squire Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on creative empowerment through the arts. A fine artist and sculptor himself, Squire had an artistic career that spanned over 50 years. The Squire Foundation maintains a robust lending library containing Squire’s large body of art works, and continues to lend Squire’s work to a wide range of public venues throughout the United States, including schools, parks, zoos and other public spaces.
It was Squire’s wish that his philanthropic legacy continue through the Squire Foundation, guided by his lifetime belief that innovative philanthropy leads to personal creative development and cultural wellness.
The late Morris Bear Squire believed that artists have an obligation to be social and civic leaders, expressing through their art creative ways of engaging with the world that challenge prevailing assumptions, beliefs, and individual and community values. He understood that public art is a vital and necessary expression of our community footprint in a rapidly evolving world.
Morris’ artistic sensibilities were informed by his clinical experience and his sense of social responsibility. He believed that public art is the most compelling reason for people to pay attention to themselves and to their environment. Morris understood that public art quite literally creates human wellness, and so he viewed the support of public art as a necessary component in building authentic and creative communities. Morris believed that without public art, we would be without the creative symbols we need to develop authentic human identities.
The Squire Foundation continues Morris’ legacy and his commitment to the power of public art through our lending library, comprised of Morris Squire’s paintings, drawings and sculptures. Morris was an eclectic artist, working in diverse media, but his artistic vision was nevertheless focused on the psycho-social profile of the human being in the world and in the midst of community. These themes are repeated again and again throughout a career of over 50 years of artistic practice.
Squire is constantly on the lookout to develop partnerships in communities where Morris’ art can be publicly exhibited and shared. Morris’ art is on display in local, national and international schools, parks, zoos, and various public and private institutions. Squire is also aware of the numerous challenges facing public art in today's modern socio-economic climate, and we keep pace with these challenges by absorbing, when possible, the entire cost of the exhibition of Morris’ works, with a public-minded objective of enabling the display of art for enjoyment, enrichment and study.
Anti-Defamation League of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
Chabad of Bangkok High, Bangkok, Thailand
Dos Pueblos High School, Engineering Department, Goleta, CA
Funk Zone Art Murals, Santa Barbara, CA
Hillel of UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Maria City and County Parks, Santa Maria, CA
Tower Ministries, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Umbumwe Center, Gisenyi, Rwanda