The Art Center was formed to provide the Jacksonville community with a wealth of arts opportunities.
The Art Center Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that provides the Jacksonville community with a focused group of professional artists and emerging artists in search of excellence and recognition at their craft. Our membership is willing to work with anyone interested in growing the Jacksonville art industry in order to improve the quality of life for the people of Jacksonville, Florida.
Our mission: “To kindle, support and celebrate the artistic, cultural and creative spirit of the community while promoting our member artists’ professional careers through exposure.”
With very few galleries scattered across the 918 square miles of Duval County in Jacksonville, Florida, artists lacked a place to thrive, grow and share their work. Recognizing a need for a unified place for artists to meet, a handful of artists met after an art summit in 2005.
The dedication of a small group led to the formation of what would become The Art Center Cooperative.
In December, they organized a meeting to share their idea with other artists in the community. A second meeting was set to discuss the logistics of such an undertaking. In the living room of one of the artists, each member contributed $10 to start the new company. With $100 in hand a business license was secured, a name was chosen and a core group was formed. Over the next year, that group met and worked on defining what the art center would look like.
The volunteer-run Art Center Cooperative welcomes more than 1,000 people on Art Walk night.
In March of 2006, the first board of officers was elected. Inspired by the Torpedo Factory and its programs in Alexandria, Va., and determined to succeed, this group of artists overcame many obstacles. In October 2006, the Main Gallery on Adams Street was opened to the public. A new board of officers was elected, the name was changed and The Art Center emerged. In 2007, by-laws and articles of incorporation were filed and The Art Center received a 501(c)(3) status.
Today, The Art Center is led by a volunteer board of directors and currently has more than 25 members. The Art Center welcomes 500+ people each month during First Wednesday Downtown Art Walk and continues to grow at the main gallery at The Landing. In 2008, a second space was added a few blocks from the first. The Art Center II houses studio space for established and emerging regional artists, room to conduct hands-on workshops, and presents special shows and fun programs for children of all ages which is located at 229 N. Hogan St., by Hemming Park. Additional studio and workshop space is available at a second location at The Landing, 2 Independent Dr.
The Art Center serves as a unified gateway to a wealth of arts opportunities through its dedication and outreach to the community.
Our artists come from and serve in Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns counties.