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Downtown Businesses

The Art Center: For Something As Unique As You

“Art is essentially the affirmation, the blessing, and the deification of existence”

Friedrich Nietzsche

When I first entered The Art Center, almost a year and a half ago, I wanted to inquire about getting some pictures framed, but I found so much more. The gallery space is filled with unique pieces of renowned artists from all over the country. From original oil paintings to exquisite wooden vessels to handcrafted jewelry, the selection of The Art Center never fails to disappoint.

The Art Center has been in business since 1974, exclusively as a custom framing shop. However, when Jane and Dave Arnold bought it in August 2006 they decided to convert the front into a gallery space. And they couldn’t have done better. With artists from across the nation showing their original paintings, porcelain, ceramics, blown glass, wood, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and functional art there is no end to the possibilities of what you may find at The Art Center. I love to go there and just wander around, browsing the diverse artwork and existing in that singular moment. Here is a small selection of beautiful things I stumbled upon on my last visit:

Some of the guests who came to celebrate The Art Center 5th Anniversary

The Art Center just celebrated their 5th Anniversary on November 5th, and I was happy to be part of the festivities. Earlier in the day special guest Mary Engelbreit was signing copies of her new book, “The Nutcracker.” The event drew a big crowd and was enjoyed by everybody who attended. Later on, at the birthday party, lots of artists and friends came to celebrate with Jane and Dave and to show their appreciation for their work. As one of the guests put it, “The Art Center brings a class to Washington, that this town needs.”

I love the fact that The Art Center is located right in the heart of Washington, but I know that from a business point of view this has its pros and cons. I asked the owners, Jane and Dave Arnold, what made them choose downtown and here is their response:

“We love the”small town” feeling and knowing that when people come into the businesses downtown, they are here for an experience and not just to run a quick errand. We are happy to have visitors from all over the country and have made a lot of friends that start out as customers.”

The Art Center Gallery and Custom Framing

You might have missed Mary Engelbreit’s booksigning and The Art Center 5th Anniversary, but there are more events to come! On November 18th the husband and wife duo Kelly G. Martin and Remley Martin will be celebrating 10 years of painting together. The reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public. On November 25th, The Art Center will host the Logo Contest for the 175th Anniversary of the City of Washington. For more information on these events and future happenings you can visit the Art Center website http://www.theartcentergallery.com/ or become a fan on Facebook.

A visitor examining pieces of Mary Elgelbreit's art

No matter what time of the year, The Art Center always has a wonderful selection of art on display. Whether you are looking for a unique gift for a friend, or something beautiful for your home, you will be sure to find the right thing at this wonderful gallery located right in the heart of downtown. What I love best is that you can browse the art without feeling rushed, but if you have a question there’s always somebody around to answer it.

The Art Center has extended working hours for the holidays! They are as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.  – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Art Center is located on 120 West Main Street, Washington, MO. You can reach them at 636.239.5544 or artcenterwashmo@sbcglobal.net Don’t forget to visit their website theartcentergallery.com, and even better, take a stroll downtown and experience the relaxing atmosphere at the gallery for yourself 🙂

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


3 Responses to “The Art Center: For Something As Unique As You”

  1. The Art Center wishes to express our deep gratitude for having Slava Bowman do such a good job on her blog about us. she is truly an example of one of our “customers becoming a great friend.” Thank you for all of the encouragement Slava!

    Posted by Jane Arnold | November 11, 2011, 6:27 pm


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