A New Vision: Making the Windsor Art Center a Destination for Everyone

The Windsor Art Center Studios | Photo via Windsor Art Center Facebook page

If you live, work, or play in Windsor, CT then you are most likely well-acquainted with the Windsor Art Center. The Windsor Art Center is housed in a historic Freight House located directly next to the Amtrak train line in downtown Windsor. Across the street in the former Windsor Train Station lies 8 studio spaces currently leased by local artists. Holly Pelton, Founding Board Member of the Windsor Art Center says, “We are creating more opportunities for artists.” On select Saturdays the artists leasing these studios will open their doors to the public to showcase and sell their artwork as well as provide insight into their creative processes.

The Windsor Art Center is coming up on a 10 year anniversary and reflects on how much they have grown throughout the years. Holly describes the realization and need for change, “When you look at the past ten years, we have really grown substantially. We are in a place now where if we are going to keep going in this forward momentum of becoming a destination more so, [it requires] really getting up-to-speed and running more like a business as opposed to a volunteer organization. We are a completely working board. We have no paid staff, which is challenging.”

The Human Condition: New York City Humanity Exhibition | Windsor Art Center Facebook page

As one of the six community art centers partnering with the Greater Hartford Arts Council in the Catalyst program, the Windsor Art Center has identified the following primary goals; to revise the vision statement, reinvigorate the organization’s business plan to align with the vision statement, create a cohesive value proposition, and to create a marketing plan that activates the business plan.

Under the guidance of Raymond Lamoureux, their Business Volunteer for the Arts consultant, Windsor Art Center is already using it’s fresh new vision to sculpt the future of programming and outreach. Raymond is a well-known artist in the Greater Hartford region with a bonus attribute; he has specialized in developing marketing strategies and overseeing marketing organization for over 20 years. Ray describes what he loves most about working with the Windsor Art Center, “Outside of the people being fantastic, I love being associated with a group that is a very supportive arts and community base. To me [it] is a dying thing to have community based organizations focused on the arts.”

The establishment of the new and improved vision statement was the platform for identifying new revenue opportunities. Ray was able to offer an outside perspective on how to accomplish the goals of the Center’s newly appointed vision statement. Ray describes the raw details of his thought process, “How do we do this? If we want to be more educational, let’s look at what our current educational programs are and do we need more or do we need to enhance them? If we want to enlighten people, what do we do around our exhibits? Do we do enough to enlighten people around who the artists are and what they do? Do we have artists come in and speak? [If we want to] engage [people], Do we have cocktail receptions? Can we do other things? Do we do yoga classes in the gallery around the art? Really our vision statement helped kick start our goals.” Special event possibilities outside of the Art Center’s operating hours were identified as Paint Night, Yoga Among the Art, and special catered brunches to name a few.

Irene demonstrating with some of her examples up front | Windsor Art Center Facebook Page

 At the end of the day it is not hard to see that the Windsor Art Center working diligently to become a destination in their community and beyond. They offer an extensive list of programing anywhere from art classes to art camps, from exhibits to performances, and now even yoga and film nights as well. Holly describes what motivates her to put the Windsor Art Center on the map, “I love the community effort. When I go down there and see people’s enthusiasm; that is what keeps me going.”

 

Check out their current exhibition; Members’ Show 2017 running June 24, 2017 – July 29,, 2017! For more information on the exhibit please visit the Windsor Art Center website here.

Exhibition Hours
Thursdays: 6-8 PM
Saturdays: 10 AM – 4 PM
Sundays: 11 AM – 4 PM

Stay tuned for Stories from:
Art League of New Britain
Farmington Valley Art Center
Southington Community Cultural Arts
 

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