The Gainesville Fine Arts Association was formed in 1923 by three close friends to “foster and encourage the study of arts theoretically and practically through every medium .” Throughout the years, the GFAA found places for meetings, classes, sidewalk art shows and more. Through the consistent interest and effort by a growing group of Gainesville artists, the GFAA has continued to contribute to the art scene in Gainesville.
As president, I am in awe of such commitment over so many years, especially when you consider that the GFAA never had an official home. It speaks loudly to the fact that artists always had a significant role in Gainesville.
With the growth of Santa Fe College and the University of Florida and their art departments and galleries, the core of artists coming to Gainesville has grown even more. From this, we have seen new art galleries created around town. The most significant change affected by this growth is the developing of a Downtown “Arts District” that is so desperately needed.
To show how deeply committed this town is, the GFAA members have artwork in Blue Highway, SweetBerries, Parks Ford, Oak Hammock, Lang Jewelers, Markey Wealth Management, Gallery of Hair Design Salon, SIMED, and Millhopper and Tower Road Libraries. There are five art festivals, as well as several smaller art fairs.
This December, the GFAA, at 92 years old, will be moving into its very first building, which will house the GFAA Gallery, workshop, classes and meeting space. In partnership with Scott and April Schroeder of the Business Journal and Liquid Creative and Keith Perry, the owner of the building, our nonprofit will be at the Cornerstone of South Main. This is another example of the commitment of this community to making Gainesville an art friendly town not only for visitors but also for the many talented artists who live here.
The Gainesville Fine Arts Association will continue to value, foster, and celebrate the visual art contributions of its members, enriching the cultural and economic vitality of the Gainesville community and beyond.