March 4 – March 26, 2001
Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery
Wayne Art Center Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary
This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the opening of Wayne Art Center as the first community art center on the suburban Main Line. Nearly 70 years ago, the Wayne Art Center opened its doors to the residents Main Line and began enriching the community through art. This anniversary year is particularly important, for as the Wayne Art Center reflects upon its history and growth over the last seven decades; it also looks forward to its future and plans for an ambitious expansion.
The Center, founded in 1930 and charted in 1932, focused its first classes on children and adult classes followed shortly thereafter. Formed in the height of the Great Depression, the Center embodied the principle eloquently described by past Wayne Art Center Wheeler Page, that in times of economic stress people need “food for the soul” as much as “coal in the cellar.” From its humble beginnings in a carriage house on Louella Avenue in Wayne, Wayne Art Center began serving the needs of its community.
The Art Center has had three locations prior to the present building on Maplewood Avenue, which was constructed in 1955. In the last decade, Radnor, Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships have been among the fastest growing in Pennsylvania. Located at the very center of that growth area, Wayne Art Center has endeavored to expand its mission, artistic programming and physical size to meet the growing cultural needs of its community. Wayne Art Center’s current building, built in 1955, has been renovated and expanded several times over the years, enlarging the gallery space, currently the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery, and creating ceramic and sculpture studios. Today, some 400 classes serve the artistic interests of 3,800 students. In addition, the Center welcomes over 10,000 members of the community to exhibitions and special events every year. Wayne Art Center has become a gathering place for artists and the community alike.
In celebration of the Wayne Art Center’s 70th anniversary, the Center is pleased to present a unique exhibition of work by Wayne Art Center faculty and special friends entitled Decades of Dedication. The exhibition will feature the works of Quita Brodhead, Wayne Art Center’s founder, Charles Cajori, and many others. Wayne Art Center is honored to have the opportunity to include the works of these distinguished American artists and local treasures in our 70th Anniversary Exhibition. This Exhibition is a celebration of the Wayne Art Center, its superb faculty and contributing artists who are an important part of its rich history. The Wayne Art Center’s faculty members are among the Philadelphia area’s finest art instructors.
Currently, art instruction classes available at Wayne Art Center include the following: Drawing, Painting, Watercolor, Colored Pencil, Oil Painting, Pastel Painting, Portrait Painting, Jewelry Making, Sculpture, Pottery, Cartooning, Faux Finish and Wood Graining, and much more. Classes are offered for ages two through senior and for all levels of artistic ability.
As Wayne Art Center enters into a new millennium, its membership and the demand for artistic programming have once again begun to exceed the Center’s physical accommodations. This year, as Wayne Art Center celebrates its 70th year, plans are underway to embark on an expansion of the Center into its newly acquired building, formerly the Wayne Masonic Hall. This expansion will also allow for a renovation of both the newly acquired and current buildings as well as a link joining the two structures. The addition of the new space will nearly double the current square footage of the art center, allowing for more studio and gallery space. This growth will allow us to expand our current program offerings while maintaining the best in art education and cultural enrichment that our community has to offer. A building fund drive is currently underway to ensure the success of the expansion.
Image: Quita Brodhead, Abstract #1