FRIENDS OF MEXICAN ART (FOMA) promotes the appreciation of Mexican art in Arizona through the sponsorship of exhibitions and lectures, the purchase of art and art books for public collections and other activities which encourage friendship and understanding between Arizona and the people of Mexico.
The organization was founded in 1963 and the first year's activities resulted in the sponsorship of a major show of modern Mexican art at the Phoenix Art Museum. Two pieces from this exhibition were purchased by FOMA for the Phoenix Art Museum, beginning a tradition of giving to a number of public collections in Arizona. The group has since sponsored exhibitions of art by Arnold Belkin, Gunther Gerzo, Ricardo Martinez, Rufino Tamayo, German Venegas, Francisco Zuniga, and other Mexican contemporary artists. FOMA has also supported exhibitions of pre-Columbian, Viceregal, and folk art, including "Objects of the Sacred Well of Chichén Itzá" (Heard Museum), "Tabula Rasa" (Mesa Southwest Museum), and "The Life of the Dead in Mexican Folk Art" (Phoenix Museum). The organization is also proud to have been able to join forces with the World Monument Fund in order to assist in the restoration of Diego Rivera murals in the Secretaría de Educación Pública in Mexico City which were damaged by an earthquake in 1985. Future projects include plans to establish a scholarship for Mexican art students who wish to study for a semester in Arizona.
The nearly two hundred and twenty-five members of this incorporated non-profit group work with the board of directors to raise funds through a variety of events such as the annual house tour, a Mexican folk art market, and trips which are designed to expose the traveller to Mexican art. After making a quarter century of building cultural bridges, FOMA seeks to continue its quality programming which explores the wealth of beauty and meaning in Mexican art.