About Us


CHAA PR photo - John Miller
CHAA members Iris Asai (front row); Richard Gomez, Janine Echabarne, Lisa Gilliland-Viney, Kimberly Zamora, Oscar Torres, Cheryl Barnett (middle row); Kate Jackson, Paul Longo, Ruben A. Sanchez, Charles Perez, Sue Thompson (back row). Not pictured: Frank Ayala, Gail Benedict and Carolyn Reed.
Photo: John Miller



The Contemporary Humanitarian Artists Association (CHAA) is a group of artists who believe that every human being has an effect on our world.


Founded in 1985 by local artists Frank Ayala, Abel Corchado, and Ruben A. Sanchez, CHAA has long served as a fixture of the Merced art scene.

Mission Statement: Our goal is to bring greater awareness and appreciation of the importance of the visual arts to our existence, to our community, and to society as a whole. Creativity, contemplation, and exploration are key to the human spirit and we celebrate and encourage that humanitarian endeavor. Our group meets once a month to critique works in progress, share personal goals, and plan thematic exhibitions together. Many of our members are art educators. We are all actively involved in supporting the regional art scene and the Merced Multicultural Arts Center.


Recent Exhibitions:

"The CHAA Collective", The Artery, Davis, CA

"Rebirth of the Muse", The Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock, CA


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CHAA  Members:


Iris Asai

Frank Ayala

Cheryl Barnett

Gail M. Benedict

Abel Corchado

Rose Eager

Janine Echabarne

Lisa K. Gilliland-Viney

Richard Gomez

Kate Jackson

Paul Longo

Charles Perez

Carolyn Reed

Ruben Aguilera Sanchez

Sue S. Thompson

Oscar Torres

Kimberly Zamora