About the Watertown Art Association
In the spring of 1952—the year Queen Elizabeth II took the throne—a group of amateur and professional artists laid the foundations for the Watertown Art Association. The town had a rich artistic legacy. Within a single decade, three of the country’s leading women artists—sculptors Anne Whitney (1821-1915) and Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908) and watercolorist Ellen Robbins (1825-1905)—were born there.
A century after these pioneering women had left Watertown to make their mark in nearby Boston and faraway Rome, 30 amateur and professional artists and art lovers attended a meeting of what would become the Watertown Art Association. A steering committee proposed that WAA sponsor exhibitions of members’ work, art instruction, demonstrations by members and guests, critiques, and screening of art-related films. At the second meeting in April, three artists gave a demonstration of techniques for painting with oil. In May, the first Board members were elected.
In May 1952, 15 artists exhibited their work at the first annual exhibit in the library’s historic Pratt Room. The following fall, the exhibit was held on the front lawn of the library.
For more than six decades, the Association has continued to sponsor an annual exhibit of members’ work and a series of free programs featuring the demonstration of various artistic techniques and media. In 2015, WAA began offering hands-on programs for children before each demonstration. It also gives scholarships to artistically talented graduates of Watertown High School.
The Watertown Art Association receives support from the Arsenal Project and from the Watertown Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Donna Gaspar, President
Louise Nugent, Vice President
Dawn Evans Scaltreto
Mary Spiers, Treasurer
Joy Vlachos, Assistant Treasurer