All people are entitled to exposure and involvement in the arts. Our goals are to stimulate creativity and art appreciation through classes and/or informal sessions at the studio or in the field, to appreciate and understand the accomplishment of others, to provide artists with places to exhibit their work and to act as a resource center for members and the public.
The Danville Art League began in 1938 as an art club with 12 members. It was headed by Vern Keesling with University of Illinois Professor John Rauschenberger as an instructor. During World War II, painting activities were dropped. In 1946, classes for adults and children were reorganized under the sponsorship of the American Association of University Women. By 1947, the original group was revived as the Danville Art League.
Membership grew to 101 members in 1949. In 1955, the Art League held its first Art in the Park festival. This was the forerunner to the current Arts in the Park festival, which began in 1989 and includes the performing arts.
Tthe Art League purchased property at 502 Sherman Street in 1963 and began holding classes there. Members displayed their works at Lakeview Memorial Hospital, Tuberculosis Hospital, Elks Club, Vermilion County Airport, local junior and high schools, C&EI coaches, and the then-new Vermilion County Museum.
Membership had dropped to about 30 by 1980 due to few classes and programs and lack of community interest.
The Art League was reorganized and restructured in 1991. It was led by Sharon Schmitz and a group who had been painting together for several years and participating in University of Illinois Extension classes. Membership was opened to a 60-mile radius of Danville. The Art League held its first Town and County Amateur Exhibition. By September 1991, membership had grown to 143 members. The League offered more classes, held informal art sessions, and began a Holiday Art Sale. During 1996, the League ran Gallery 126, where art was exhibited and sold in the basement of the old Sears building in downtown Danville.
The League had approximately 300 members in 1998. Members exhibited their work at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, First National Bank branches, Vermilion County Museum, and the Danville Art League Studio.
The League raised more than $120,000 to purchase the vacant Red Cross building at the southwest corner of Franklin and Seminary streets. The purchase closed in late February. Cleanup, repairs and remodeling began in early March. The Art League started settling into its new home in April.
Who do I Contact?
President - Kolleen Asaad
First Vice-President - Carol Garver
Second Vice President - Andrew Dudich
Recording Secretary - Mari Marno-Martin
Corresponding Secretary - Martha Gerrib
Treasurer - Sue Moudy
Budget & Financing - Charlie Dyer
Building & Grounds - Bob Colby
Classes, Children's - Carol Garver
Classes, Adult - Andrew Dudich
Clay Studio - Sue Moudy, Andrew Dudich
Fund-raising - Becky Engel, Joyce Rowley
Gallery - Carol Garver
Grantwriting - Nancy Meeker
Membership -Ellen O'Connell
Newsletter -Sabrina Donnelly
Social Committee - Becky Engel
Special Events - Joyce Melton
Volunteer Coordinator - Roberta "Bert" Mayer
Website - Andrew Dudich