Our History

The Whitemarsh Art Center was founded in 1964 by Dena Sher and a capable, visionary group of area residents that included Dorothy Nofer and Julia Cottrell. The original mission was to offer after school arts programming for children in the community. From its inception, the art center has partnered with the Whitemarsh Township to make its expanding vision a reality. The township originally offered classroom spaces in various locations until 1970, when a farmhouse dating back to 1730 in Cedar Grove Park became available as a dedicated space. The original floor plan of approximately 400 square feet doubled in size in 1991 and included a well-designed, handicapped-accessible space.

  • What began as programming for children quickly evolved into classes for all ages and all levels of experience. Early programming included dance and meditation and were often held in the Barn next door, where we continue to hold our larger classes and events.

A membership-based Board of Directors meets regularly to provide vision, policy, financial oversight and promotion of the Art Center. Countless volunteers have and continue to make the Art Center an ongoing asset to our community. The Art Center is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit corporation.

Exciting News

On April 8th, 2021, the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors approved an agreement for the Township and Whitemarsh Art Center to purchase the Corson Tract, where the art center is expected to relocate. The art center's purchase portion would be made possible by a donation from a private donor. To read more about this recent development, see our Board President's statement and this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

What We Offer

The Whitemarsh Art Center offers day and evening programming for children and adults. Our children’s classes are mixed media and offer a safe and fun environment in which to work with clay, paint and draw, build and sculpt using a variety of mediums, including collage and printmaking. The Art Center has offered a focused children’s summer art camp since 2006. Our adult classes focus on clay: functional, wheel thrown and hand built pieces and Raku techniques. Professional area painters guide painting classes for complete novices through experienced painters; additionally, we offer workshops in clay, book making, jewelry, sculpture and printmaking.

  • We conduct outreach into our schools and work with area corporate partners and local businesses to offer art enrichment and programming to all residents of Greater Whitemarsh, including those who face economic, physical and learning challenges.

Annual Whitemarsh Art Center highlight events include a Plein Air Paint Out open to all painters over 18 and juried by a leading area painter or educator, Art in the Park, student and teacher exhibitions and other art events accompanied by music and food – free to the public.

Starting in June of 2020, Whitemarsh Art Center transitioned to online learning due to the pandemic. As of September 2021, the art center has offered hybrid learning both online and in-person. To see our current class options for youths and adults, visit our class page.