Valley Art Center Responds to COVID-19 with ARTLIVES

With business-as-usual at a standstill, Valley Art Center staff and instructors organized ARTLIVES, an online platform to offer classes, gallery, and an art marketplace.

2020 was shaping up to be a banner year for Valley Art Center. We were experiencing the most vibrant program year in the Center’s history. Class enrollment was robust. Artist applications and gallery attendance were steadily climbing. A historic exhibition was installed in the completely refurbished gallery. The facility was humming with the daily activity of classes, gift shop sales, and partner events. Then, like the rest of the world, our business-as-usual came to an abrupt halt. So, in response to COVID 19 and the governor’s orders, Valley Art Center staff and instructors pivoted to build a new ship while sailing in this strange new sea of social distancing.

With around fifty percent of our operating budget coming directly from class enrollment fees, it is critical to our survival and our mission to continue to get our brand of arts instruction into the homes of our patrons. ARTLIVES is Valley Art Center’s newest platform for visual art experiences that will eventually encompass virtual classes, gallery experiences, and an art marketplace. Education content will range from free online instructor demos that patrons can easily complete at home to full six-week in-depth courses that will include lessons, personal feedback and critique, and an online gallery display of student work. The ARTLIVES platform allows Valley Art Center to expand its mission of providing excellence in visual arts instruction to the Chagrin Valley—and beyond! ARTLIVES will also eventually include an art marketspace featuring exclusive work by VAC member artists, VAC gallery exhibits, and artists who participate in our flagship annual event Art by the Falls.

Valley Art Center is poised to celebrate its fifty-year history of bringing visual art education and enrichment experiences to the region this year. In 1971, Valley Art Center was incorporated with the purchase of the current building. Programs included visual art, music, dance, and theater education and production. In 1983, VAC launched Art by the Falls outdoor art festival in Riverside Park. VAC completely renovated the facility including the classroom spaces, the gallery, and the Valley Art Center Gift Shop. In 2014, a stunning exterior mural was completed—the first sanctioned outdoor mural in Chagrin Falls. Today, Valley Art Center has compelling art education and exhibitions programs and vibrant community partnerships. We are planning a year full of art experiences open to the entire community and we can’t wait for you to join us!


155 Bell Street

Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022