History of the Artists Guild
In 1950, Boca Raton had a population of less than 1000. The library was the cultural center of the community. Community members began an "Open House," to exhibit their individual arts and crafts accomplishments. In 1951, the Art Guild of Boca Raton was organized and later incorporated on December 12, 1954.
In 1960, five adjacent lots were purchased on West Palmetto Park Road. Construction began in 1962 and, in the fall of that year, 12 years from it's founding, the Art Guild dedicated its first home.
Because of a pressing need for studio space, due to the growth of its classes, a building committee was created in 1968. On March 29, 1969, the Studio Building was dedicated. Since 1969, the growth of the Art Guild has taken many different directions. The Exhibiting Artists Guild, known as the P.A.G. or Professional Artists Guild, was formed.
Artists of the "Guild," held critiques, presented demonstrations by well-known artists and were invited to exhibit their works in several hotels, corporations and clubs. In 1975, the Center changed its name to Boca Raton Center for the Arts, and then, 10 years later, the Boca Raton Museum of Art. In a relatively short period of time, the enthusiastic support of a group of community artists led to the foundation of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
In 1992, in keeping with the growth of the Museum, requirements for membership in the P.A.G. became more stringent. Applicants had to be accepted into three recognized juried shows, and/or teach qualified classes, and/or be represented by one or more galleries. Exhibitions were juried by outside Professionals instructed to select a high quality, professional show.
In 1997, the name was changed to Boca Museum Artist Guild. Membership was opened to the community. Guild membership was divided into two categories: Associate and Exhibiting. Associate members could participate in all aspects of the Guild, including membership guild shows, offices and committees. Exhibiting Members had to be juried as Exhibiting Members by an outside juror. Artists had to bring 4 or 5 pieces, representing a body of work, for consideration by the juror. These outside jurors were instructed to select only artists who produced "Professional Fine Art." These juror instructions continue today in our ongoing efforts to maintain and improve very high standards for Exhibiting Membership. In 2001, the category of "Exhibiting Membership" was re-titled "Signature Membership" to better reflect the high standards of the Guild, and the organization came to be knows as The Artists Guild, as it is currently known.
Guild activities have significantly contributed to positive public relations for the Museum. The Guild has participated in Boca Festival Days for 16 years; exhibited with Northern Trust Bank at their request; and provided artwork for Boca Raton Community Center, City Hall and Patch Reef Park. For two years, the Guild provided the Art Department of Pine Crest School with exhibits for teaching tools and with member lecturers. For the past three years, the Guild has participated in a joint exhibition project with the students of Boca Raton High School. Several Guild members serve as teachers at the Museum's Art School. Additionally, Guild artists support the Museum's Annual Auction with donated artwork and volunteers.
In 2000, The Artist Guild moved its exhibition center from Royal Palm Plaza to the Shops at Boca Center. This exhibition center, known as the Images Gallery, offered Signature Members a first class exhibition space in a popular, commercial center. It proved to be a very positive public relations effort for both the Guild and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Professional artists were drawn to the center, as there was no comparable exhibition space for local artists in the tri-county area.
Membership in The Artists Guild doubled between 2000 and 2004. We currently have several hundred members, both artists and lovers of the arts. Increasing art sales produced real year-end contributions from The Artists Guild to the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
The Artists Guild moved to Mizner Park in Boca Raton in April 2005. Between April 2005 and September 2008, the Images Gallery was in three different Mizner Park locations. The Guild lost its space in Mizner Park and The Images Gallery closed at the end of September, 2008.
In October 2008, the Guild secured a new location for its gallery, this time on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. This new gallery, now known as The Artists Guild Gallery, reopened in November, 2008, with participation of over 100 Signature Members of The Artists Guild.
In September 2017, the Guild moved back to Boca Raton in a new larger space on Federal Hwy. This new gallery, known as The Artists Guild Gallery, is over 3,000 square feet. It reopened in October, 2017, with participation of over 100 Signature Members.