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



Since the 1970s, the Squire Foundation has supported emerging and experimental artistic styles in an effort to nurture an environment of creative empowerment in the world.


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.

Upon arrival to [Via Maria Villa], one is greeted by its lush plants, brightly colored wild flowers, and larger-than-life sculptures in the Genius series... art is whimsical and resembles a combination of original Burning Man art meets Salvador Dali.
— Joanne Calitri, Montecito Journal

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The Morris B. Squire Foundation partners with many people and organizations for Educational Outreach, Artist in Residence Programs and to display the late Morris B. Squire's artwork.

Click an image below to learn more.


Your donation supports our International Artist in Residency program and allows us to grow and expand our offerings and reach.  We are deeply grateful. 


Foundation Partnerships

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.

Special Partnerships

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

Explore Ecology

GraySpace Gallery

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 Art Works

Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network (SBTAN)

Santa Barbara Unified School District

The Arts Fund

Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at UCSB

Blue Sky Center

Boys & Girls Club

Ensemble Theater Company

Fairview Gardens

Girls Inc.

Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara

Music Academy of the West

Programs and Events

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

Puppetpalooza Extraveganza

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)

About our Founder, Morris Bear Squire

The founder of The Squire Foundation, Morris B. Squire.

The founder of The Squire Foundation, Morris B. Squire.

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.

Morris B. Squire's Art

Art in the Community - Squire Lending Library

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.

Location of Art IN California and Beyond:


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

Morris Squire's CV

Click here to view


Vietnamese Lacquer


Digital Portraits


Crayon on Paper

Dimensional Metal


Ink On Paper

Mixed Medium