Mission & History
The mission of the Port Aransas Art Center is to provide a place where artists and art patrons may gather, and to encourage, educate and support one another in a pleasant gallery and classroom setting where fine art is produced and presented for sale. Toward these ends, the Center offers art classes for all ages, art exhibitions, and a wide range of activities to encourage social interaction.
The Port Aransas Art Center was formed informally in 1995 by a group of artists who wanted to provide a place where artists and art lovers could gather, and to encourage, educate and support one another in a pleasant gallery and classroom setting where fine art could be produced and presented for sale. In April 1997, the Port Aransas Art Center was granted its official IRS designation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The Center operated for many years in a small rented facility, but eventually, the scope of its programs led the Board to consider building a larger, more modern facility. Over the course of ten years, the Art Center patiently raised funds to acquire land for the new building. Once the land was acquired, the Art Center embarked upon construction. The new facility was built to the highest possible standards. The Art Center moved into the 4,000 square foot location at 104 N. Alister Street in Port Aransas in late summer, 2017.
The Port Aransas Art Center has operated under different names over the years including Art Center for the Islands, Inc. and Island Art Association, Inc. Those names are no longer valid. Only Port Aransas Art Center remains.
Shortly after opening to the public in 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast. But the well thought out design and construction of the new building withstood the hurricane. The Art Center sustained relatively modest damage and it was able to clean-up and reopen quickly. In fact, during the community’s recovery after the hurricane, the Art Center welcomed other organizations that did not fare as well, to meet and regroup in the new building. The Art Center’s “out buildings” and the equipment housed in them were destroyed, however. Funds are being sought to re-establish the Art Center’s pottery program, which was halted after Hurricane Harvey.
Port Aransas Art Center Today
Since it was established, the Port Aransas Art Center has expanded its exhibitions, educational classes for students of all ages, and it has attracted greater community interest. The Center has more than 400 members. Of these, more than 225 are artist-members who show their work at the Center. To see our GuideStar profile, follow the link.
The Port Aransas Art Center is a thriving center for the visual arts and a bellwether for quality of life for Port Aransas, Mustang Island, Padre Island and other neighboring communities. Artists from all over the area, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and all points in between, plus Winter Texans from all over the United States and Canada enjoy visiting, displaying and offering their work for sale at the Port Aransas Art Center. In addition, guests may register for art classes and workshops of all kinds guided by talented professional artists.
Questions? Contact us anytime using the secure contact form found on this website, or give us a call.
The Port Aransas Art Center is governed by a group of dedicated volunteer Board members. If you have questions for those members of the Board who have allowed email inquiries via our website, click on their names to access their secure contact form.
For all inquiries about operations and financial matters, kindly use the Port Aransas Art Center contact form. We will respond back to you ASAP.
- John Morris- President
- Gary Kosmas- Vice President
- Gayle Abernathy
- Bobbie Mussett
- Ron Smith
- Erin Anglin
- Karen Winship Ridout
- Steve Davis
- Dan Pecore
- Sharen Chatterton
- Karen Rester
- Michelle Zudrell, Gallery Director
- Alexis Kadonsky, Webmaster
The Port Aransas Art Center wishes to thank members of the Board and its many outstanding volunteers! We could not do our work without you.