History

In the summer of 1955, Frances Thompson, Anna James and Eleanor Burton were discussing the possibility of forming an art club. They received a call from an interested newcomer, Laura Crowl, who was also interested in the same idea. The four women continued their discussion and quickly learned that you don’t just start such a club -- you work at it for months. In 1956, their hard work and dreams were realized.

Many more members could be mentioned as contributors to the growth of the LAA. Eleanor and Ben Burton would be highlighted as tireless workers in promoting the club. In 1956, there was a membership of 20. Today, LAA is a vibrant organization with over 100 talented members.

• The first regular meeting of the LAA was held in the Melon Patch Theater on October 9, 1956.
• The first LAA exhibit was held in April, 1957.
• The 1958 Spring Show, held in the Leesburg Community Building, was the first show to present judged and popular awards.
• In 1959, a building committee was appointed and a building fund initiated. For many years, a percentage of LAA members’ art sales helped to create this fund.
• LAA members were instrumental in the award of a grant to the City of Leesburg for construction of a building dedicated to the cultural arts.
• In 1979-80, the LAA moved into the new Leesburg Cultural Arts Center.
• In 2010-2011, the terms of the grant were fulfilled and the City took full possession of the building for its own purposes.
• In October, 2011, LAA began meeting at the Leesburg Center for the Arts.