Mission & History
The Wayne Art Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching our community through the arts.
The purpose of the Wayne Art Center is to provide both instruction in the studio, and to build appreciation of the visual and performing arts through our many exhibits, lectures and programs. The Center affords artists an interdisciplinary venue to share, learn, exhibit and perform. Specifically, the Wayne Art Center carries out its mission in the following ways:
- By providing instruction in all phases of the fine arts, contemporary crafts, music, culinary arts and drama.
- By offering exhibitions, performances and special events for artists and community of the greater Main Line area and Delaware Valley.
- By reaching out to our community with instructional programs for persons with special needs. These programs use art for therapeutic value.
- By providing a gathering place for artists and students to both share and lend support toward improving the cultural climate.
The reason we started Wayne Art Center is very simple. There wasn't anything like it outside of town. We started it in a garage.
— Quita Brodhead, Artist and Founder (1901-2002)
The Wayne Art Center is established as the first art center on the Main Line. 119 children and 17 adults are enrolled in art classes in a carriage house garage on Louella Avenue.
The Wayne Art Center’s first exhibition, aptly called “Wayne’s first exhibition of Art” features work by its young students, and is intended primarily for parents to see their children’s art. Later biannual exhibitions focus more on the art of adult students, although small shows are still dedicated to children.
The state of Pennsylvania officially recognizes the Wayne Art Center as a nonprofit organization. The Art Center purchases property on Maplewood Avenue and builds a modest two-room facility.
Having outgrown its 1950s facility, the Wayne Art Center starts a major capital campaign to expand its layout, including five art studios, an exhibition gallery, a gallery shop, additional office and an enlarged parking lot.
The first exhibition of Craft Forms
, the international juried exhibition of contemporary craft, is held. 35 works of art are on display.
ArtQuilt Elements is established as the only biennial East Coast venue celebrating quilts as a fine art form.
The Wayne Art Center acquires the adjacent Masonic Hall, gaining space for new painting, ceramics, drama and music studios.
The Wayne Art Center embarks on a four phase, $4.8 million expansion project, more than doubling the old square footage. Art studio and administrative spaces are expanded and renovated, and a second exhibition gallery, a new gallery shop, and acoustically designed music studios are added.
The Wayne Art Center hosts its first Plein Air Festival, drawing artists from all over the country to paint local scenery over the course of the week. The paintings produced are displayed throughout the Art Center.
The addition of an attractive and fully equipped culinary arts studio is made possible through the generosity of several local businesses and allows the Wayne Art Center to offer culinary courses and demonstrations with local restaurants.
The 20th annual exhibition of Craft Forms features 99 pieces of contemporary craft by 97 artists from around the world. Over 200 people attend the gala opening and over 5,000 visitors attend the show over the course of its run.
The Wayne Art Center enrolls over 6,000 students and opens its doors to more than 30,000 visitors each year. Classes are provided to students of all ages in all phases of the visual, performing and culinary arts. The exhibition and class offerings continue to grow as we pursue our mission of enriching our community through the arts.