The History of Art, for Heaven’s Sake!

Dorothy Landeros

The Beginning

The first Art, for Heaven’s Sake! show began forty years ago.  A Redlands United Church of Christ couple held the show in their living room. The idea came from a need to raise funds for a church building for the newly formed congregation. Dorothy Landeros, a founding member of the church coined the name, Art, for Heaven’s Sake!, which is a pun. Dorothy loved words and had a wonderful sense of humor. The show was a hit and soon outgrew its modest beginnings. In the following years, it was moved to what is now the Redlands Medical Center on the corner of Olive and Terracina in Redlands. The show did well there for several years.

The Medical Center Years

The medical center was a wonderful place for the show, but required a huge effort on the part of the tiny UCC congregation to pull it off. The medical center consists of two floors of offices arranged around a central courtyard. The glassed in hallways and waiting rooms that run along the edge of the courtyard made a perfect space for the show.

In order to have the show at the medical center, the show volunteers had to overcome several obstacles. First, setting up the show couldn’t take place until the offices closed at 5 p.m. on Friday evening. That meant there were only two hours to move all the waiting room furniture and get the artists set up. Every piece of furniture that was moved was labeled and meticulously noted on a map so that it could get put back into place once the show was over. Second, once the show was over at 5 p.m. on Sunday, all the artists had to move out, the furniture had to be replaced and what seemed like about five miles of carpeting had to be vacuumed.

Moving to the Church

Looking down into the garden

When the medical facility decided to open doctor’s offices on Saturday, the show had to be moved. The church had acquired land and built a new building just down the street a perfect place to move the show. The area where the church sanctuary sits today was vacant at the time, so the show committee borrowed a huge tent from the City of Redlands and put it up on the large east lawn. The show also used the hall, the patio and the area where the church office is as well. Church on art show Sunday was held in the garden. Having the show at the church meant that there was much more time to set it up and all that tedious vacuuming was eliminated!

A New Santuary and Office

The decision to build the sanctuary meant the art show once again had to re-group. The sanctuary was to be built on the large east lawn. A new office claimed space at the other end of the building.  At this point, the show took on its present form. The lower garden, seemed like the best place to absorb the artists who had previously been on the east lawn and in the area where the office is now. Though this move initally caused worry, the lower garden proved to be a good place to expand.  Enlarging the garden in recent years allowes the show to invite more artists.

Mosaic Hall Education Wing

The 40th anniversary marks another milestone for the show. Completion of the new education wing allows for more artists outside the back of the sanctuary. In addition, the new Mosaic Hall makes room for a craft boutique.

A Redlands Tradition

Sunday morning art from the show is displayed on the chancel

Over the years, the show has become a major event in Redlands. Both exhibitors and guests come from all over Southern California to experience the beautiful art and music. Proceeds from the show help to fund such organizations at Food for All, the Redlands Christian Counseling Service, Angel’s Closet, Get on the Bus and Music Changing Lives. Past shows have also helped to fund Hurricane Katrina Relief, and relief in Haiti.