The mission of Main Line Art Center is to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences.
As a non-profit community arts center, Main Line Art Center serves as a destination for discovering, creating, experiencing and sharing visual art, while providing opportunities for personal growth and joy.
Everyone is welcome at Main Line Art Center! Our accessible art programs for artists with disabilities have been a cornerstone of our programming for over fifty years. Along with our accessible art programs, we also work with an ever-growing list of community partners to provide visual art education and programming to those who would otherwise experience barriers to participation. Main Line Art Center grants over $25,000 in need-based scholarships annually and offers a wide-variety of tuition-free classes for artists of all ages.
All of our classes are taught by dedicated and respected teaching artists who offer hands-on experiential learning in a fun and supportive environment.
Throughout the year, we present innovative art exhibitions in our galleries, celebrating our students, teaching artists, community partners, and established and emerging artists. The art we exhibit, teach and share is intended to inspire and encourage conversation and connection.
We hope Main Line Art Center provides a refuge for artists seeking a creative home, where they are encouraged to explore their own artistic journeys while being inspired and energized by their fellow artists.
We invite you to come and discover your creativity!
Main Line Art Center’s Organizational Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Main Line Art Center is committed to a diverse, accessible, inclusive, and equitable environment where all members of our community including the staff, teaching artists, board members, students, exhibiting artists, and visitors are respected and valued regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or identity, disability, education, or any other bias. Consistent with our commitment to serve the needs of a wider and more diverse constituency, we will actively and authentically engage with our community to ensure that we are cultivating a culture of inclusion and equality.
We recognize and respect the value that people with diverse life experiences bring to our community and organizational leadership and strive to listen to their views and give them value. We are committed to proactively reaching out to underrepresented communities and individuals to offer opportunities including visual arts education, exhibitions, employment and volunteering, and board service. At Main Line Art Center our values lead us and we prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the fulfillment of our mission to inspire and engage people of all ages, abilities, and economic means in visual art through education, exhibitions, and experiences.
In 1937, a group of artists founded The Bryn Mawr Art Center, located on Polo Road in Haverford, around the corner from our current building. In 1948, the Center purchased the property where the current building stands and offered classes in oil and watercolor painting, sculpture, music, dance, creative writing, and flower arranging.
A parallel organization, the Suburban Center of the Arts, began offering classes and lectures at the Penn Wynne School in 1954. In addition to art, music, and dance classes, the Center offered film screenings and spring arts festivals. It helped to pioneer outreach programs, introducing sculpture classes for the blind in 1960.
Before long, the two organizations merged and in 1963, the Main Line Center of the Arts was born. Thirty years later in 1993, the name was changed to the Main Line Art Center.
The building that houses Main Line Art Center was built in 1868 and referred to as the “white house.” It has undergone a number of renovations over the years, including gallery and studio additions, a new front porch and other cosmetic improvements. In 2013, Main Line Art Center renovated and expanded the facilities to include new jewelry and painting studios, natural light in our ceramics department, a new front entrance to the galleries, and numerous improvements throughout the building. In 2014, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Center’s accessible art programs for children and adults with disabilities, the Center enhanced its campus by planting a sensory garden.