The Appleton Art Center was established in 1960 with a mission to promote, teach and nourish the creation and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions, educational programs and information services.
The Appleton Art Center’s programming and events have been so successful that our facility at 130 North Morrison Street could no longer handle the nearly 100,000 people we serve each year. Thanks to the generosity of the community and Appleton Art Center donors, we purchased a 25,000 square foot facility on College Avenue. The much needed expansion from 5,000 to 25,000 square feet allows the Appleton Art Center to run exhibitions year round on two floors of the building. The third floor provides ample space for adult and children’s art classes and the fourth floor houses the offices of the Appleton Art Center staff.
The Appleton Art Center’s building is also the home of the offices of the White Heron Chorale, the Fox Valley Symphony and the Arts Coalition.
The activities, which allow the Appleton Art Center to fulfill its mission, can be divided into three categories: Exhibitions, Educational Programming and Special Events.
The Appleton Art Center is committed to creating high quality exhibitions, which serve a role in providing general artistic education for the community. Through these exhibitions the general public is exposed artwork not only from the immediate area, but from artists living across the country as well. Each of the eight to ten art exhibitions held annually provide the focus of all the other activities that occur at the Art Center. Because of the popularity of its educational exhibitions, the Appleton Art Center now offers two per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. (In the new facility these exhibitions will increase in variety and be offered year round.)
The Art Center offers classes year round for children, young adults and adults. Along with painting, drawing, and sculpting, the Art Center also conducts classes relating to the exhibit on view in the gallery during that time. Tours are available for the Art Center’s educational exhibitions mentioned above. The ninety minute guided tour of the exhibitions provide a deeper understanding of the Native American, African, Hmong and Latin American population through stimulated learning. The Art Center also works together with schools, corporations and other organizations throughout the Fox Valley to offer special programming on contract. Examples of these which include the creative arts encounters were developed for a community pre-school Learning Center, in-service teacher training developed for the Grace Christian (Elementary) School, and the Renaissance, EXPLORER and Summer ARTworks programs developed specifically for teens.
Special events consist of large fund-raising extravaganzas such as Art in the Park, Festival of Trees, Antiques Showcase & Sale and Fine Arts Gala, which bring artists, exhibitors, and creative individuals from across the country together at a central location for one or more days. Many of these fund-raising events reserves a special art area for children where they can participate in hands-on art activities, allowing participation for entire families.