Celebrating WAA: 70 Years in Art

Exhibits at @washingtonartassociation

Since first opening its doors in 1952, the Washington Art Association has been a treasured gem in our community.

WAA has enriched the Washington community through extraordinary exhibitions, classes, community events, and educational opportunities. The gallery has hosted over 600 exhibitions, including notable artists such as Cleve Gray, Alexander Calder, Louisa Calder, Charles Cajori, Tim Prentice, Tom Zetterstrom, Missy Stevens, Tom Doyle, James Grashow, Robert Andrew Parker, and many others. In addition to showcasing nationally and internationally known artists, the gallery also seeks to feature talented emerging artists and the art made by its gifted members and faculty.

This year, WAA marks its 70th anniversary milestone with an exhibition by renowned local sculptor Philip Grausman, opening on Saturday, June 11th, 2022, and will celebrate its 13th Annual Summer Solstice Party on Saturday, June 25th, 2022.

As we come together to celebrate this beloved Washington organization, here are a few interesting facts:


 A Brief History: 70 Years In the Making

  • 1952 — Founded by Margaret Train Samsonoff, a painter and portrait artist, and a small group of local artists and patrons as a summer endeavor. The group staged its first exhibition in July of 1952 in the former R.J. Benham drugstore.
  • 1960s and 1970s —Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s WAA continued to offer Innovative exhibits with such diverse art as the American Folk genre to Children’s Art from Around the World.
  • 1983 — The gallery space was enlarged and a multipurpose studio space was added, allowing for more ambitious exhibitions and greater educational offerings.
  • 2002 — Celebrates 50 years with “50th Anniversary Show” of the Washington Art Association in Washington Depot with paintings and sculptures by artists who were Associated in some way with the long-lived organization.
  • 2009 — Based on a fundraising atelier sale initiated in 2008, WAA holds its first Summer Solstice Party, which would become an annual event to bring the community together in celebration.
  • 2012 —WAA celebrated 60 years with 60 events in 60 days with the intent to bring art for all ages and to engage our community in the creative process.
  • 2018 — A Sculpture Walk was conceived and co-curated by WAA trustees Mark Mennin and Barbara Talbot. It was a community-wide effort, which transformed a tiny, peaceful village into an outdoor gallery.
  • 2022 — WAA celebrates 70 years with the exhibition, Philip Grausman: Sculpture & Drawings, and the 13th Annual Summer Solstice Party.

    View the historic timeline of the Washington Art Association

Old WAA Hall
WAA Founders

“The Washington Art Association is an open, welcoming community that includes beginners, highly accomplished artists, and those in-between. What has held it together for seventy years is a shared curiosity about human creativity and a deep respect for the importance of art in our lives.” Jay Kaplan, President of the Board


@washingtonartassociation's Art in the Open
WAA's Group Exhibition in 2022

Art Classes and Workshops

Whether you are an experienced artist or a novice, the Washington Art Association offers a range of opportunities for creative exploration. They provide a nurturing place for people of all ages to develop their skills and explore new artistic directions with classes in painting, ceramics, sculpture, drawing, and more.
View all upcoming art classes and workshops


A Look Back at Sculpture Walk 2018

In 2018, the Washington Art Association transformed Washington Depot into an outdoor art gallery! This public art exhibition featured over 40 internationally recognized artists, emergent sculptors, as well as participating local talents. The sculptures were placed in different points throughout the Depot, giving the exhibition cohesiveness and a distinct narrative among Washington’s landscape and natural surroundings.
Take a look back at Sculpture Walk 2018

Washington Art Association's classes and workshops
Robert Taplin / Punch is Homeless/ 2012 / Milled foam, reinforced gypsum (left), Currents / Mark Mennin / 2016 / Granite (right)

70th Anniversary Kicks Off with Philip Grausman Exhibition

WAA will mark its 70th anniversary milestone with an exhibition by renowned local sculptor Philip Grausman, a much-esteemed treasure of the community. Join WAA for the opening reception on June 11th from 4pm–6pm. The exhibition will be on display through July 24, 2022.
Learn more


13th Annual Summer Solstice Party: “A Night at the Copa”

WAA is thrilled to announce the return of their Summer Solstice Festival! Join WAA at this festive evening to enjoy live music and dancing and exquisite food and drinks at this long awaited summer festival. Don’t wait to purchase your tickets. We look forward to celebrating together!
Learn more

Susan by Philip Grausman
WAA's Summer Solstice Festival

“We know from the walls of ancient caves that human beings have always been making art. The urge to observe, record, and interpret the world seems to be a basic part of our nature. For seventy years, the Washington Art Association has promoted the arts through instruction, exhibitions, lectures, and other special events. Its longevity is a testament to the vital role it plays in enriching lives and building community.” – Jay Kaplan


Learn more:

Visit the Washington Art Association website
View their classes and workshops 
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram

"Evoking the Muse" Exhibit at the @washingtonartassociation
Visitors at an exhibition at the gallery @browngrottaarts