Incorporated in 1986, the Galveston Arts Center (GAC) is as an independent nonprofit organization that presents pacesetting contemporary art in a historic building on Galveston's Strand donated by the Junior League of Galveston County.
The Galveston Arts Center is the only visual arts organization in Galveston with a permanent location, a rotating exhibition schedule with free admission at all times, and a full-time staff. Curator Dennis Nance brings contemporary art from all over the state in approximately 25 exhibitions a year, offering both emerging and established artists a home here.
Over 50,000 visitors annually visit GAC exhibitions. In addition, the GAC regularly tours exhibitions to other arts spaces in the state and produces award-winning publications. Nance often draws insightful parallels among the shows he installs in each of the three galleries, presenting unique ways of thinking about art.
One of the most rewarding programs of the GAC is Art for All which provides art education outreach to various underserved populations in our community from children on extended hospital stays, to pre-K children at a neighborhood community center to the elderly who live in a local nursing home. These programs offer the joy and new ways of seeing that creative learning can inspire.
For over 25 years the GAC has organized and produced ArtWalk, occurring every six to eight weeks on Saturday nights in the heart of Galveston's historic district. Not a street festival, ArtWalk takes place in existing galleries and non-profit spaces and also what are called "other walls," for example, restaurants and retail stores. ArtWalk promotes visual art and artists, extends alternative places to see and learn about art and hopes to bring newcomers, as well as welcome return visitors to the art community on the island.
The Center also houses a museum shop, ArtWorks, that presents a showcase for fine craft artists. The store manager constantly looks for new artists and actively pursues supporting working regional artists through display and shop sales. Works are taken on commission and sold to support both the artist and the Arts Center.
Initial support for building renovation and programming was provided by: the Junior League of Galveston County, the Moody Foundation; the Kempner Fund; the Houston Endowment and individual donors. Today Hotel/Motel taxes, individual donations, memberships, private foundations and corporate grants provide funding. Devoted volunteers support the GAC with the gift of their time. Agencies such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Institute of Museum Services, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Texas Committee for the Humanities also have contributed to GAC programs.
Hours of Operation
Monday thru Saturday: 11am - 5pm
Sunday: Noon - 5pm
Note: Hours may be seasonal and subject to change.