Southampton Arts is a nonprofit organization that supports artists in our community at every stage in their career — from child to senior, novice to professional artist. We do this through arts education and instruction; community programs; and professional practice assistance including training, opportunities for social connection, and a professional exhibition space.
We see the creative expression as a powerful tool for individual and collective wellness, and our vision is that every member of the community should have access to this healing power of art.
Our Commitment to Diversity
Southampton Arts is committed to a framework for change toward diversity and inclusion. We will continuously improve through an ongoing process of evaluation and change, based on research and self-reflection. An inclusive approach will be thoroughly integrated into the ongoing activities, operations and relationships of the organization. Southampton Arts will make every effort to identify and remove barriers to inclusion. Southampton Arts is committed to employment diversity with respect to all aspects of employment. Southampton Arts will endeavour to ensure that the workplace, all policies, procedures and practices, are free of deliberate or unintentional (systemic) barriers so that no one is disadvantaged.
A 65-Year Legacy
Founded in 1957 by Bert Henderson, the Southampton Art School began with a dozen students and a $40 fee for one week, including tuition, accommodation and meals. The school’s original advisory board included 3 members of Canada’s original Group of Seven including artists A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris and Arthur Lismer. Iconic Canadian artist Alex Colville also lent his support — a legacy of excellence and response to the Canadian landscape that still permeates the spirit of Southampton Arts.
In 1986, a group of arts-loving community members formed the Southampton Arts Society as a registered non-profit charity. It provided a focal point for local artists and art lovers to appreciate, create and enjoy art as well as providing support for the art school. The Gallery began in 1999 as a cooperative formed by Carol Cleary and Tanya Weichel and now features the talent of over 30 local artists, housed in light-filled upper and lower spaces of the historic Southampton Town Hall. In March of 2017, the organization changed its name officially to the Southampton Arts Centre, more commonly referred to as Southampton Arts. Today, this vibrant nonprofit organization runs a thriving arts program featuring artist-led educational experiences for both children and adults as well as a professional exhibition space, continuing a legacy of providing support for both the making and appreciation of fine art and craft.