On January 15, 1942, the Lincoln County Art Center Association was founded by Maude Wanker. Maude was a leading artist of the Northwest who lived in Wecoma Beach, which is now in northwest Lincoln City. The Art Center was originally located in a rented building which served as a classroom and gallery. In 1938 the first of several remodels began. A south wing was added in 1949 with donated labor and materials.
At that time there were few galleries on the Coast and the Art Center became an attraction for Oregon artists. In addition, local students displayed work created in classes taught by Maude and the visiting artists. In 1964, after an extensive study of the architecture of California galleries, the west wing and its landmark, sweeping roof was added.
Maude passed away in 1970 and Bob Banister, one of the visiting teachers, continued her work. Eventually in 1974, he rented the gallery from the Art Center, whose name was then changed to The Artists’ Studio Association or ASA. From that time to the present, the west wing has been rented as a gallery or a gift shop with the rent used to maintain the building and subsidize classes.
In 1978 Steve Dennis leased the gallery space, remodeling, adding several windows, improving the lighting and landscaping. When the work was completed Steve opened the Earthworks Gallery. The partnership continued until March 2009 when new tenants, The Pacific Artists Alliance a group of 30 artists, chose to locate in this historic building under the business name of the Artists’ Co-Op Gallery.
The Artists’ Studio Association continues its mission of offering art classes in several mediums including watercolors, block printing, acrylics, drawing and mosaics. Children’s art classes, free open studios and workshops are offered throughout the year.
The ASA classroom remains the heart and soul of the building where artwork created by students and instructors is on display.