"Bringing ART to LIFE in Ellis County"....since 1958
Ellis County Art Association was organized in January 1958. Beginning with the first president, Elizabeth O'Donnell and other members, including Venia McCartney, Ina Bess Lumpkins and Harriet Grandstaff, the organization has grown from 22 to a current membership of over 100.
For several years, the members contributed to a special fund for the purpose of purchasing a building to call their own. In the meantime, meetings were held in members' homes and various other places, such as the former Texas Power & Light building on Ferris Avenue. In 1979, under the leadership and guidance of President Evelyn Sivley, the association purchased the historic building at 501 West Main Street from the Presbyterian Church. Funds were raised for the annual mortgage payment through fundraisers, grants and generous donations from art patrons. In the winter of 1982, a benefactor -Dallasite Howell Hight and his daughter- retired the mortgage on the building in memory of their beloved wife and mother, Leta Mae Cunningham Hight.
The historic building at 501 West Main served Ellis County Art Association for almost 4 decades but in recent years, the cost of maintaining the 100 year old building was becoming unsustainable. Fundraising was focusing more on repairs to the building and less on fulfilling ECAA's Mission - promoting the arts. In addition to maintenance issues, access into and within the 3-story building was only by stairway...even the restrooms.
In the fall of 2014, faced with escalating cost of maintenance, insurance, and no accommodation for the physically disabled, the Board of Directors made the decision to sell the building and enter into a long-term agreement for a "store front" location on the courthouse square, 113 W. Franklin Street. The association is moving forward into a new adventure with an exhibition space for members' art and hosting special events as well as a large room specifically designed for classes, workshops and art demonstrations by guest artists.
Organized in January of 1958, Ellis County Art Association is an independent, nonprofit tax-exempt organization within the meaning of Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and is a Texas nonprofit corporation under Chapter No. 485071 granted by the State of Texas July 26, 1979. The Association is supported by funds received from annual membership dues, individual and corporate gifts, grants, and proceeds from fundraising projects.
ABOUT US....AND BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
AFFILIATIONS: Ellis County Art Association is a member of Waxahachie Arts Council, Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association and Historic Waxahachie, Inc.
GENERAL MEETINGS: Regular membership meetings of the Association are held on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at ART On the Square, 113 West Franklin Street. When the first Monday occurs on a holiday (Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc) the meeting is held on the second Monday. Occasionally a meeting is scheduled on a Saturday and members will be notified in the monthly newsletter one week prior to the meeting.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS: Unless otherwise notified, the Executive Board meeting is held the last Monday of the month (one week prior to the regular membership meeting).
GUESTS: To promote art and goodwill, guests are welcome at all general membership meetings - free of charge - in the hope that they will become dues paying members and get involved with the projects and activities of the Association.
NEWSLETTER: Each month the Association publishes a newsletter containing items of interest to the membership regarding ongoing activities and projects. The newsletter is published and emailed approximately 1 week prior to the next general meeting.
DIRECTORY: Please "click" on the menu tab to see the list of members.
EXHIBITIONS: The Association endeavors to sponsor 2 adult juried visual art events and 2 youth events each year. A Spring event held during May and June which is open to all artists and in the Fall there is a Members Holiday Show and Sale. There is a Youth Art Show in the Spring for Ellis County children K through 12 grades, and a Summer Art Academy for children ages 6 to 13.
CLASSES & WORKSHOPS: Check out the workshop and class schedule on this website - classes "ebb & flo" with frequent changes in format and discipline. Drop by anytime to see what's happening - there's always a "sign up" sheet for classes.
PAINTING SPACE: Members are welcome anytime and encouraged to paint in the classroom, during regular business hours - 10am to 6pm. We ask for a minimum $5 donation to defray cost of utilities. If there is a class in session, just set up anywhere "out of the way" or talk to the instructor about the "daily rate" to join the class for the day.
HOLIDAY MEMBERS SOCIAL: 1st Monday in December - Members and their guests look forward to this social event and for good reason; food and entertainment! Details are published in the November & December newsletter.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: As with any non-profit organization, every event and activity is produced with volunteer hours. We have no paid staff; Our art gallery, the newsletter, exhibitions, and social activities are made possible by members volunteering their time. ECAA Board of Directors and sub-committees collectively volunteer more than 100 hours per month. Please step up and offer your services whenever and wherever you can....thanks!