EDWARDSVILLE - The Edwardsville Arts Center is celebrating 20 years of advocating for the arts in our community! This Sunday, August 1st from 2-4pm EAC is inviting everyone who has been impacted by, contributed to, or who is interested in the EAC, to come and celebrate with an ice cream social event. At the event, Culver’s will provide frozen custard for guests to enjoy, a silent/virtual auction with artwork and workshops by local artists will support our year-round programming, and on display will be the submissions from the “Better Together” banner contest, a collaboration with the Edwardsville SIUE Destination Group with winning artworks to be printed on banners for the light posts in downtown Edwardsville and on the campus of SIUE. We will also be celebrating the 2021 Patron of the Arts Dionna Raedeke, co-founder of the EAC, sponsored by Mathis, Marifian & Richter, LLC. The gallery exhibition features a vast display of past exhibition posters and memorabilia for reminiscing on the last 20 years.

The EAC’s humble beginnings started with a small group of local artists who had dreams of a community arts center that could display artwork year round and provide opportunities for up and coming artists to offer art educational opportunities to our community, exhibit fresh work and much more. They organized art exhibits in local coffee shops and even found spaces to offer art classes such as painting, ceramics, and woodworking. Eventually, they retained a beautiful gallery space in downtown Edwardsville – what is now Grogan’s Martial Arts. The EAC staff, board, and volunteers held art exhibitions, classes, and fundraisers (including a furniture painting event which yielded beautifully painted chairs, tables, and more – many on display at the EAC now!). For the past 8 years, the EAC has resided on the Edwardsville High School campus thanks to Edwardsville school District 7.

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The Edwardsville Arts Center’s mission is to inspire the lives of youth and the creative spirit of adults through classes, exhibits and cultural events. Currently, the EAC hosts 6-8 exhibits a year, offers free Saturday classes for kids, a host of art educational opportunities for all ages, and presents the annual Edwardsville Art Fair – a 3-day event for the whole community which draws approximately 100 artists from all over the country. Throughout all of the activities and events that the EAC provides, friendships are forged; partnerships are developed; innumerable collaborations created; art is shared; new experiences are offered; creativity flows; community is created. It’s been an incredible journey from the early days of seeking sites to hang art, to the developed programs and opportunities created today at the EAC.

Please join us at the EAC on Sunday, August 1st from 2-4pm to celebrate! YOU helped make the EAC what it is today, and the EAC invites YOU to help celebrate and forge another 20 years of art in Edwardsville! The EAC is located at 6165 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville, on the campus of Edwardsville High School. Look for the sculpture garden, colorful pinwheels, and red sign on the south-east corner of the building. Call (618) 655-0337 for any questions, or visit www.edwardsvilleartscenter.com/current-exhibits.

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