In 2011, the Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors retired their chapter and deeded their clubhouse to the City of Wilton Manors. Built in 1955 on property donated by Algar Hagen, it is a charming, mid-century building that feels a lot like “old Florida.”
Soon after the City took possession of the property, the local neighborhood association inquired about using the building for an art gallery. Located on the north side of Hagen Park, it IS part of the Arts & Entertainment District. To the surprise of the neighborhood association and the artists, the Mayor and City Commissioners said, “Sure. Why not?”
Volunteers and artists joined forces on a couple of Saturdays and cleaned and painted the interior of the building. Robert Gross, a local art teacher and nationally known artist, served as our Art Guru and Curator and in July 2012, Art Gallery 21 opened its doors with 26 paintings from six local artists. The art social, held on a midsummer Friday evening, was truly a celebration of the creative spirit and inspired us all.
On April 1, 2015, Art Gallery 21, Inc. was incorporated by the State of Florida as a nonprofit organization. In coming days and weeks, we will share more about the origins of the gallery and the people who make it tick. Please come along! We’d love to have you!