Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center unveils new face in Arts District

The newly renovated Blue Building. (Photo courtesy of WCAC)
The newly renovated Blue Building. (Photo courtesy of WCAC)

The Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center invites the Greater Williamsburg Community to join in a grand reopening on Tuesday, April 25, at the Blue Building on 110 Westover Avenue in the Arts District. Presided over by WCAC President Janis Wood and Williamsburg Mayor Paul Freiling, festivities will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments, opportunities to visit the three galleries in the newly renovated space, a raffle drawing for original artwork, and other activities.

“WCAC is excited to plant its flag in the Arts District once again,” Wood said.  “We have been reinventing ourselves in a number of ways recently, including launching the Members Co-Op Shows, which promote emerging and seasoned 2D and 3D member artists who need more space to showcase larger bodies of work.”

WCAC (This Century Art Gallery until its name changed in 2015) operated primarily from its previous location at 219 N. Boundary St., where it had been since the mid-1950’s. It also opened a separate art education center at the Blue Building for a few years, but shut it down in early 2016 to begin searching for one space large enough to house its entire operation.

“After searching for several months, WCAC’s board of directors realized that the Blue Building would actually serve well for its headquarters,” Wood said. “It is all on one level with ample room for galleries, office, lectures, and smaller events.  And, we were able to acquire additional space in the back large enough for our Art Ed Center.”

With the help of volunteers and donors, WCAC refurbished the galleries and office space, and has begun work on the Art Ed Center with classes expected to resume in late May.

Group shot of the artists participating in the inaugural Member's Co-op Show that runs through May 12. (Photo Courtesy of WCAC)
Group shot of the artists participating in the Inaugural Member’s Co-op Show that runs through May 12. (Photo courtesy of WCAC)

WCAC’s Inaugural Members’ Co-op Show is currently underway through May 12. Featured artists are:  Gerry Buetow, Thomas Ema, Gail Johnson, Juliet Kirby, Jeanne Kouhestani, Kay Krapfl, Melody Loftheim, Mary McCormick, Bill Smith, Constance Svindland, Rice Trolan, and Pat Wilson.  Some of the artists will offer live demonstrations or lectures during or after gallery hours.

For member artists, there will be two more Members Co-Op Shows, the Annual Members Show, and themed exhibits in the Fireside Members Gallery.  In the fall, WCAC will hold its first juried regional art show, drawing on the talents of artists in the greater Hampton Roads area.  Monetary prizes will be awarded.

“WCAC’s goal is to make its new headquarters a thriving and exciting art center hub chock full of activities for adults, seniors, children, and young adults in the greater Williamsburg area,” Wood said.  For more information about gallery hours, exhibits, programs, and events, go to or call 757-229-4949.

Submitted by Jeanne Kouhestani for Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center

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