For the love of the arts


Alexandra Menendez

At Stay Gallery, on February 8, Downey residents are able to view photographer J. Arthur Morris first collections of photos. The gallery also plans to show his other collections within several months.

Norma Flores, Sports Editor

The Stay Art Gallery in the heart of Downtown Downey celebrated not only the 94th birthday and life of community leader Arthur J. Morris, on Feb.8 starting at 6:00 p.m.


The Stay Art Gallery is a non-profit organization whose mission statement is to stimulate community engagement through arts & culture to breathe new life into Downtown Downey. Through the vision of founder Valentin Flores Rogel, the gallery hopes to become the art and cultural hub of the city and create a revitalization of downtown through artistic expression.


“I’ve been living in Downey for 35 years,  “Downey resident Virginia Cruz said, “and I think that what Valentin and all the other volunteers are doing is great. Personally it gives me a place to inspire myself and maybe try to take some pictures myself.”


City council members made an appearance, as well as Downey residents. The Morris family generously lent the gallery the entire J. Arthur Morris collection, which includes 350 photos, in order to create smaller exhibits of the philanthropists work.  Arthur Morris was a man who loved life and enjoyed sharing the joy of life with others through his art; what better place to exhibit his love for life than a gallery who’s hope is to portray the beauty of small close-knit community


“There’s only been two days ever in the history of the city of Downey that we proclaimed,” Council Member Mario Rivers said, “and we proclaimed Arthur Morris Day on his birthday a few years ago before he passed away.”


As a way to raise funds in order to maintain the gallery and the pilot program with students from the Downey Unified School District, which helps students gain experience in the field of art and coordinating events, there was a requested  $20 donation upon entry but it was not required.


“Everything we do here we try to help and give back to the community,” Programs Coordinator Laura Hurtado said, “so most of the donations go to managing. At the end of the six month internship, we offer the students from DUSD either letters of recommendations or scholarships.”


Downey is a city filled with artists who are just waiting to be exposed and through the hard work and dedication of these fellow supporters of the arts; it is now only a matter of time.