The mission of the Artists Association of Nantucket is to foster the visual arts on Nantucket. We create a vibrant arts community by promoting, supporting and encouraging the work of Nantucket artists, providing educational programs in the arts, and preserving the legacy of Nantucket artists.
AAN was born of necessity. The art colony on island bloomed throughout the 1920s, grew into a staple of the 1930s, and faced a crisis in 1943 when the lone exhibition gallery closed. A visionary patron spearheaded the transformation of an abandoned whaling-era warehouse on Straight Wharf into a new gallery space by the summer of 1945. The core of the art scene, both artists and dedicated patrons, formed the association that year, and our dynamic mission of promoting island artists, providing art education, and collecting Nantucket’s art history has insured the art colony’s future.
During the decades that followed, AAN has showcased fine art in a range from projects by school-aged students to exceptional works by professionals. The association has developed a museum-quality collection of historical island art, built and expanded its educational reach with the construction of the Visual Arts Center, and provided a kick start for many generations of artists.
After 3/4s of a century, AAN remains dedicated to supporting and promoting the visual arts and the artists of Nantucket.
All classes and workshops meet at the Visual Arts Center. Please feel free to stop by and pick up the latest brochure or membership information. The organization’s administrative offices are located within the Visual Arts Center as well.
The downtown gallery hosts a year-round schedule of changing member shows, featured artist exhibitions, artist demonstrations and lectures, and special events. Join us throughout the season.