In The Beginning…
After the success of the first Wickford Art Festival put on by a group of local artists in 1962, it was evident a sponsoring agency was needed to make the festival an annual event–
the Wickford Art Association was born!
In 1961 Robert MacMeehan and Pearl Marsh planned a sidewalk art show at MacMeehan’s “Little Gallery” on Franklin Street in Wickford. The gallery was already the meeting place of many Wickford and South County artists. The success of this show led to the establishment of the Wickford Art Festival in 1962.
The first festival was such a success that visitors and exhibitors encouraged local artists to form an association. That year the Wickford Art Association was founded to promote Wickford as an art center by encouraging the production, exhibition and sale of works of art by local and other artists. Its charter members were Gilbert Rodman, Robert MacMeehan, John Huszer, Louise Cashman, Olive MacIver, Ronnie Loring and Irene Sulley.
Corporation papers were filed on June 20, 1969 and were signed by the following members, who worked tirelessly to make the Art Association a success and to secure a meeting site:
Louise Cashman, John Huszer, Olive MacIver, Pearl Marsh, and Irene Sulley.
Our gratitude for their foresight and their dedication to making our wonderful association a reality continues to be strong.
For over 30 years the Association has sponsored the Wickford Art Festival, in addition to monthly lectures and demonstrations that are open to the public, fine arts scholarships for North Kingstown High School seniors, classes, and member and juried shows throughout the year.
In May of 1989 the Association’s dream became a reality with the dedication of its gallery at 36 Beach Street. This new building, constructed with the dues and monies saved over the last 30 years, is home to all Wickford Art Association members.
Plans to enlarge the gallery are currently being reviewed and a building fund has been established. Anyone interested in donating to the building fund can mail a check made out to the Wickford Art Association at the Wickford Art Association Gallery, 36 Beach Street, Wickford RI, 02852–please make a note on the check indicating it is for the Building Fund.