Who We Are
The Boca Grande Art Center’s roots go back to the 1980’s, when a handful of local artists seeking ways to promote the arts in a quiet little beach village came together to share their thoughts. 1987 marked the beginning of their first art shows, and then eventually their establishment as a non-profit organization. Who could have predicted that thirty five years later it would grow to include over 800 members?
Boca Grande has changed a lot over time, and so have we. Our mission is to support the arts, and we do this robustly, sponsoring an ever growing number of workshops, guest speakers, bus trips to museums, home and studio tours, exhibits, children’s programs and college scholarships. Our evolution directly reflects our community’s evolution, on and off the island.
We broaden our impact by joining hands on projects with fellow non-profits, including the Boca Grande Garden Club, the Johann Fust Community Library, the Boca Grande History Center, the Boca Grande Women’s Club and the Island School. This powerful unity is what our island is all about.
The mission of the nonprofit Boca Grande Art Center (BGAC) is to promote education and community awareness of the visual arts and enhance the cultural opportunities in the community.
How We Support Our Community
Workshops: The Doorway to Creative Adventures
Each year the BGAC invites local and national artists to share their knowledge and creative skills with our community. We offer over forty programs, including basic drawing, plein air watercolor painting, pastel, oil painting, mixed media and more. Some participants join us not knowing how to draw a line, and grow to become accomplished Exhibiting Artists. Others just love the chance to try something new. Offering the opportunity to comfortably and even joyfully explore our creative selves is one of our missions.
Art Exhibits: Free and Open to the Public
Exhibiting Artists Shows
Each year we oversee four major art events featuring works by our Exhibiting Membership. Our largest is the Art in Bloom Spring Show in March, which is a beautiful collaboration with the BG Garden Club. Each show features a welcoming membership opening with cocktails and appetizers, and we depend on local sponsorships to cover those expenses.
In April the BGAC invites all members and workshop students to participate in this very popular exhibit. The show offers a chance for our community to enjoy the works of artists from our larger region. It also plays a part in our role as a mentoring organization, providing an opportunity for our workshop students to take the next step and experience displaying and selling their work to the public. Our scholarship recipients are also encouraged to show their artwork in this diverse exhibit. This event is funded by local sponsorship as well.
The BGAC also opens our facility to our Exhibiting Members for a minimal rental fee, so that they can experience organizing and assembling their own exhibits. These small group shows allow our artists to spread their wings and reveal a broader body of individual work to the public.
Children’s Art Programs: Expanding Young Minds
Summer Camp Programs
The BGAC hosts 8-10 weeks of art classes during the summer for the Lee County Summer Camp. This project is normally funded by the BGAC in partnership with the Boca Grande Women’s Club.
Visiting Artists at The Island School
BGAC Exhibiting Artists volunteer during the school season to instruct an average of four sessions of art classes in different mediums at The Island School. Works created by the students are displayed at the annual Island School Show in April. Again, we are grateful to the Boca Grande Women’s Club for their support on this project.
Island School Shows
Also in April, The Island School students are invited to display their works at our annual school exhibit at the Art Center galleries. Many students have completed art that was taught in our visiting artist workshops to the Island School. This is a favorite community show that Students and their families enthusiastically support.
Art Scholarships: On to New Horizons
Each spring the BGAC awards a $5000 visual arts scholar-ship to one qualifying high school senior from our regional high schools who demonstrates a determination to pursuing visual arts in college and beyond. We support that student at the same annual amount for four years. Our program is designed to carry four students, which means that our annual budget for this program is $20,000. We fully depend on the generosity of our community for this funding. This is our commitment to the next generation of artists among us.
Lectures: Broadening Perimeters
Art education is an important cog of our organization. Each year we offer multiple opportunities for our community members to expand their cultural horizons. This has included guest speakers on a vast array of art-related subjects and sometimes a visit to a regional museums or exhibitions. These programs are often under-written by local sponsors, so that they can be made available at no or reduced cost to our membership and our community.
Home and Studio Tours: A Peek Behind the Scenes
The BGAC is fortunate to have island art collectors open their homes to visitors as part of our semi-annual Home Tour. We also periodically sponsor a Studio Tour, so that the public can have a chance to meet our island artists and see them at work in their personal spaces, an inspiring and fun experience for all participants.
There are Many Ways to Get Involved with the Art Center.
Artists and art enthusiasts are encouraged to get involved in the many activities of the Art Center. Come visit! You may wish to attend the art shows, enroll in or teach a workshop, volunteer to help with exhibits and other events. Come meet the Exhibiting Artist Members who provide friendship and encouragement to one another in support of the community and its artistic vitality.
Another way you can contribute to the Boca Grande Art Center is to ask us about Legacy Giving! Legacy gifts make a positive impact & come in all sizes.