The History of the Louisville Art Association
The Louisville Art Association was founded September 11, 1980. The Louisville City Parks and Recreation Department agreed to sponsor the Louisville Art Association (LAA) and provide a place for shows and meetings. The Louisville City Hall or the Louisville Senior Center Building (now the Louisville Center for the Arts) was used for our meetings, exhibits and programming until the Louisville Recreation Center was built and the Senior Center moved to that location. At that time, the Louisville Art Association asked for the building for use as a visual arts center and was granted a joint lease which included office and meeting space for the newly founded Arts and Humanities Council appointed by Mayor Herm Fauson. The building was then named the Louisville Center for the Arts and was to be inclusive of all the Louisville visual arts and humanities non profit groups appropriate to use of the building. The Louisville Center for the Arts building was renovated in 1997, during the term of Mayor Tom Davidson, to provide a state of the art gallery space for the visual arts, while maintaining the charm and ambience of the Victorian turn of the century (1904) building. The cupola was added in 2004, during the term of Mayor Chuck Sisk, thus completing the renovation. It is now one of the most outstanding visual arts centers in the area.
There were 11 charter members of the “Louisville Arts & Crafts Association” (now The Louisville Art Association) Betty Buffo, Carolyn Cunningham, Russ Cunningham, Hazel Davidson, Patt Dietman, Judy Cook, Elizabeth Kopka-Boggs, Jim Boggs,, Carole Hill, Carolyn Markham (our founder) and Norbert Meier (the Mayor at that time), By the end of the year we had grown to 20 members and we have been steadily growing ever since. Carolyn Markham and Carole Hill are the only remaining charter members of the LAA. The Holiday Extravaganza (a prior craft show started in 1976) was the first event sponsored by the new association and continued for another 12 years. The LAA grew in membership rapidly to about 90 members with the Member’s Show, Craft Shows, and the National Juried Fine Arts Show, among others. But, after a major staff layoff of employees in the area, membership dropped to about 30. The Boulder County Tier III, SCFD (Scientific & Cultural Facilities District) began it’s annual funding for the Louisville Art Association in 1989 which resulted in the continual growth of both membership and programming. We currently have well over 200 members. The Louisville Art Association celebrates it’s 30th Anniversary this year.
In 1992, The Louisville Art Association became a 501 (c)(3) Non Profit Corporation with a purpose statement which states: The Louisville Art Association has been formed to assist and promote the advancement of visual arts in Louisville, Colorado and the nation: to encourage greater appreciation and knowledge of the visual arts by integrating visual arts activities into the mainstream of cultural activities in the community served by the LAA: to sponsor art shows, exhibits, competitions, workshops and seminars, for both members and non-members: to engage in other activities permitted buy nonprofit corporations under the laws of the State of Colorado and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Louisville Art Association is sponsored in part by in-kind contributions by the City of Louisville.
Currently we provide and present 11 annual events. The Young Artists Art Show (for ages 4 – 18); The Tactile and Art Challenge Show (touchable art for the visually challenged and art by physically and mentally challenged artists); The Taste of Louisville; The National/Regional Juried Photography Show; The July 4th Arts and Crafts in the Park; The National Juried Fine Art Show; The Three Day Labor Day Craft Fair; The Fall Members Show; The Young Artist’s Exhibit; which exhibits art work from all Louisville children. We also sponsor another Youth Show at the Louisville Library, Our Painting’ Louisville competition and show for our membership is our newest addition to our schedule of events.
The Louisville Art Association also provides members with a monthly newsletter, monthly meetings, with a mini show for our members, artist demonstrations, workshops and classes by well known national and local artists, and the opportunity to display their work in local business and government offices through our Arts in Public Places Program at no expense to either the artist or the organization. We also sponsor the Marquetry Group. But, the most important benefit, is the chance for Louisville Art Association Artists, Friends and Community to get together and exchange ideas that further develop their artistic enjoyment and understanding. For example, in 2001, Albert Handel and Anita Louise West did a National Workshop at the Louisville Center for the Arts for a week in August. Artists from all over the United States attended. In 2002, Nancy Reynor, the national representative for Golden Acrylic Products, did a demonstration and workshop at the Louisville Center for the Arts. And the talented Artist who won “Best of Show” in 2001 in the Louisville Art Association’s National Juried Fine Arts Festival went on to win “Best of Show” in the American Artist Magazine. In 2005, nationally noted artists Bruce Gomez and Diane Woods did demonstrations for LAA and donated their paintings to use as fundraisers for the organization. Patti Shunk of the Art Affaire donated the framing materials and framing.
Our ultimate and continuing goal is to always provide the best visual art experience possible for our membership and the city of Louisville and it’s surrounding area.
Phyllis Reed & Carolyn Markham
(Revised by Carolyn Markham, Jan 14, 2010)