Wayne Art Center: a hidden gem on the Main Line

By Jessica Johnson-Petty
November 8, 2011

Above features artwork that is on display at the Wayne Art Center. Their gallery features a variety of mediums, from paintings and drawings to more three-dimensional sculptures and ceramics.

Tucked right off the Main Line in Wayne, Pa., the Wayne Art Center is a free gallery and serves as a studio and school for all of the community.

“This place is a gem and the art classes are spectacular,” Carol Stein, an adult student taking the pastel and photography classes, said.

The “gem” she is speaking of is the art center. Established in the 1930s, it was the first art center on the Main Line and it had 119 children enrolled in the art classes. Now, the art center has classes available at affordable prices for both children and adults.

“It’s good because it’s a small class and it allows you to ask what you want to know and go over what you need to when you need it,” Joanne Williams, an adult student taking the pastel and photography classes, said.

Now, when you walk into the door, you are welcomed into a comforting atmosphere that you can’t resist. You have the feeling of positivity and see the creativity right away.

The positivity was confirmed by Williams when she added that the teachers gave honest evaluations and critiques. However, it is the praise that keeps the students going. “I have never felt intimidated. The group is nice and encouraging,” Williams said.

The display case along the wall holds jewelry that was created by the students enrolled in the jewelry-making class. The pieces, many were of mixed medium, are for sale.

One then has the opportunity to experience what the school has to offer by seeing what work students and teachers alike have completed.

The artwork of the Fall Members’ 2011 Juried Exhibition varies from sculptures made of ceramic, wood and clay, to canvases painted with acrylic and beauties created by pastels.

The details of the gallery itself are gorgeous. The doorway of the hall is even a beautiful sculpture left there with Peter King covering the frame, which added to the ambiance of the room.

Walking through the hall, the natural light shines and one glass door leads you to the Meditation Garden. This garden is a place for people to do exactly that, meditate. With stones, fountains and greenery, the landscape calms and allows the person to think.

On the other side of the hall, there are tall finely-crafted bamboo table and chair sets that link the inside of the building with the outer portion, as it leads into the kitchen.

In the large kitchen, members, both young and old, can take culinary arts courses.

The final gallery is the “A Bounty of Farms” exhibition. In this hall, the various artists have painted in celebration of 30 years of conservation in the Willistown countryside.

“An exciting new collaboration bringing together a body of recent paintings that showcase the beauty of rural Willistown through the seasons. Proceeds from the exhibition sales will support art and conservation programs of the Wayne Art Center and Willistown Conservation Trust,” as stated on the exhibition page.

Not only does the gallery have affordable classes in fine arts, music and culinary arts, as well as free viewing of the galleries, you can also rent the facilities for weddings, conferences, workshops, meetings and special celebrations.

The art gallery is open all year. The exhibits change regularly. The upcoming exhibits are Craft Forms 2011 and ArtQuilt Elements 2012.

The Wayne Art Center website states, “Craft Forms 2011 will be juried by Elizabeth Agro, Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

ArtQuilt Elements 2012 is also described as an exhibition of “quilts that reflect or embrace original, unique and innovative methods incorporating impressive craftsmanship and technical prowess.”

The beauty of the atmosphere in general is that it will make you feel very comfortable.

“I come here and I feel like I’m at peace. It’s such a beautiful place to work,” Stein said.


Wayne Art Center

413 Maplewood Road

Wayne, PA 19087

Cost for Gallery: FREE

Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

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Jessica Johnson-Petty

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