Visual Art Association Celebrates Centennial

by ekramer on January 12, 2009

One hundred years ago, a group of Louisvillians launched what has become the city’s oldest arts organization. Now, it’s celebrating its founding. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

The Louisville Visual Art Association started out with an exhibition in 1909. On Tuesday it kicks off a year-long celebration.

It includes an exhibit from the association’s Children’s Free Art Classes program, which for more than 85 years has involved thousands of youngsters throughout the Louisville area. In the summer, there will be an outdoor landscape painting event at sites throughout the city.

Shannon Westerman is the association’s executive director. He says although the organization recently laid off some staff, it’s not curtailing programs.

“We will always have our core programs and we will be a much more focused organization because it’s a tough, economic challenging time for everyone,” Says Westerman.

The event on Tuesday will recognize people who have cultivated visual art in Louisville.

One hundred years ago a group of Louisvillians launched what was to become the city’s oldest arts organization. Now, the Louisville Visual Art Association launches a year-long celebration of its centennial.

Some things about the organization haven’t changed — even over a century.

“The goal in the beginning is still the goal today: to nurture the creative culture of Louisville,” Westerman says. “And the tactics have been different in 100 years; it’s evolved in many ways. But it is still the same.”

The association’s long-running programs also include Open Doors, which works with disadvantaged groups to create art.

Throughout its history, the association has offered adult art classes and will have special classes this summer as part of its celebrations.

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