La Grande, Oregon. In 2022, Art Center East (ACE) marked more than 45 years of creating arts opportunities in Eastern Oregon. With the end of the calendar year fast approaching, ACE staff and board of directors are looking back on a year full of growth. ACE developed new programs and continued existing programs with support from our community. ACE has continued to expand arts classes, exhibits, and community events, and support the work of local and regional artists thanks to the generosity of many community members.
ACE saw growth in many programs in 2022. Arts learning opportunities and classes hit record numbers in terms of free youth arts classes and we continued to grow in class offerings (and continued virtual offerings). More than 45 local and regional artists taught classes with ACE. The organization’s long-running Artists in Rural Schools Program increased the number of artists who were visiting art educators in rural K-12 schools throughout our service region of Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, and Wheeler Counties.
The ACE galleries at 1006 Penn Avenue in La Grande hosted a full complement of monthly art exhibits. The artwork of more than 150 artists was displayed in 2022. We continued to support Eastern Oregon’s arts economy by showcasing and promoting the work of local and regional artists in our Main Gallery, Orlaske Gallery, and Gift Gallery. The galleries were also the setting for many community gatherings (art exhibit opening and closing receptions, annual Día de los Muertos celebration, and annual Handmade Holidays Makers Market).
ACE is a member-based non-profit organization and encourages community members to visit artcenteast.org to learn more about ACE classes, exhibits, events, and volunteer opportunities. The organization’s website also has information about its Youth Arts Learning Fund. This fund provides children and teens up to age 18 with free or reduced-cost arts experiences such as ACE classes, take-home arts learning kits, music lessons, and more.
ACE continued a capital campaign to make its historic 1913 building ADA-compliant – a lift will be installed and the facility will undergo renovations in order to make all the gallery and classroom spaces in the building accessible to everyone in the community.
ACE continued partnerships with Union County Juvenile Department and La Grande Parks and Recreation to reach more youth through arts education opportunities. The organization began partnerships with Catherine Creek Community Center in Union and Peak Lifestyle Studio in La Grande.
ACE is continuing to grow, and the organization is excited to offer more arts experiences in 2023 through our Youth Arts Learning Fund, Artists in Rural Schools Program (for K-12 students across Eastern Oregon), Community Music Program (private and group lessons), arts classes at ACE and partner locations, STEAM classes for children and teens, and gallery exhibits.
Find out more about ACE classes, exhibits, and events at artcentereast.org. Art Center East is located at 1006 Penn Avenue in La Grande. Regular business hours are Wednesday-Friday 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Exhibits can also be viewed online at artcentereast.org thanks to a partnership with John J. Howard Real Estate in La Grande. Galleries are open to the public and admission is always free.
Art Center East, based in La Grande, Oregon, was founded in 1977 and is a member-based 501(c)3 arts services organization that brings arts opportunities and education to the residents of ten Eastern Oregon counties. Our historic Carnegie Library building hosts art classes, art exhibits in our three galleries, and cultural events such as Día de los Muertos celebrations and literary readings. Our Artists in Rural Schools Program engages K-12 students in the arts across Eastern Oregon and our Community Music Program offers private music lessons and a community African drumming group.
Art Center East programs are supported by our members, community donations, local businesses, and regional and statewide foundations. For a list of supporters and more information, visit www.artcentereast.org or call 541-624-2800.