Mission & History

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Mission: to enrich our community through contemporary art

 

Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center exhibits a wide variety of contemporary paintings, sculptures, and crafts by outstanding local, regional and national artists. The organization currently resides in the Williamsburg Arts District at 110 Westover Avenue in what we fondly call The Blue Building. 

Our history

In 1959, in back porch discussions between two women, a concept for a new kind of gallery was formed. Christine Bullock and Sandy Shifflett gathered a group of like-minded individuals together to share ideas. They explored the concept of a gallery that would provide a “stimulating and meaningful new experience to the Williamsburg cultural life, while seeking to balance contemporary art against the traditional background of the eighteenth century capital.” They obtained additional assistance from Washington galleries, threw in $25 each as operating capital and incorporated as the non-profit Twentieth Century Gallery.

Their concept became reality with the subsequent rental of an eighteenth century tenement building on Nicholson which was still open to traffic.  The building called Redwood Ordinary required extensive renovations which were undertaken by the board and volunteers. The first floor gallery housed four exhibition rooms, studio space for adult and children’s classes, an office, storage and a restroom. 

In 1971, Nicholson Street closed to traffic and the Gallery moved operations to the basement of the Craft House in Merchants Square where it thrived for ten years. 

 

In 1982, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation offered the organization free space in a converted Sears Roebuck catalog house on North Boundary Street where it operated through December 2016.

In 2000, the organization changed its name to This Century Art Gallery in recognition of the new millennium. 

In 2011, it expanded its Art Education program to include more art and community outreach based programs. These included additional opportunities for children and adults to engage in art on many levels.

In 2015, This Century Art Gallery changed its name to Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center to more fully reflect what the organization had become.  Contemporary – because our focus is still the art of today.  Art Center – because we have become so much more than just a gallery.

In 2016 and 2017, WCAC moved it entire operations to the Arts District at 110 Westover Avenue.  It now has a larger gallery space, full office and separate art education facility on the same premises behind the main structure.

Today

WCAC is a volunteer-operated, nonprofit organization. Members and volunteers give of their time generously to manage the Center’s business and its many programs and outreach efforts. 

Membership fees and sales help support the organization. Major exhibitions open monthly with a preview reception for members and their guests. 

If you would like to become involved in the organization, you can join the organization, or just sign up to volunteer to help us.

Please do – we need your ideas, energy, and expertise – and, we promise, you will enjoy working with us!  It will be a win – win!