Krasl Art Center
St. Joseph, MI
The Krasl Art Center, owned and operated by the St. Joseph Art Association, Inc., was built in 1979 - 80 due to the beneficence of local industrialists, George and Olga Krasl.
The Art Association began in 1962 when a small group of local artists organized and presented a summer art fair in St. Joseph's Bluff Park. Within three years, members of the Association realized that the area was extremely art-receptive as the art fair crowd grew during those years from 5,000 in 1962 to 20,000 in 1965.
The Association was incorporated in 1967 as a non-profit organization. At that time it was a volunteer run organization meeting at the local YWCA and offering classes in painting and drawing. In 1972, due to the diligence of these founding members, the Association purchased a stately 100-year old house in downtown St. Joseph. Olga Krasl, an accomplished painter (she had studied with Oskar Kokoschka in Europe), was President of the Association at the time, and played a prominent part in the acquisition of the house.
On November 22, 1976 a major announcement was made: The St. Joseph Art Association had been named a beneficiary in a trust fund established by the late George J. Krasl who had died in August of that year. "We wanted to do something for the community and to make life more worthwhile. I'm happy to be able to do this - art was always one of my loves", Olga was quoted as saying at the time of the announcement. In July of 1979 ground was broken for the new Krasl Art Center which was to be built on one complete city block in downtown St. Joseph. Many of the people at that ceremony still have strong ties to the Art Center.
With the opening of the Krasl Art Center building, the St. Joseph Art Association moved into a professional realm. Staff including an Executive Director, and office staff; educational programming and the exhibition schedule were expanded; and the Association began to acquire sculpture. The Krasl Art Center received accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1983 and was re-accredited in 1998.
Your donations help:
To support the educational programming offered by the Krasl Art Center and to support the its outreach programs.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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