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HISTORY

The Frederick County Art Association (FCAA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to encouraging artistic growth and exposure within its membership along with promoting community interest and participation in the visual arts. The FCAA was formed in 1979 by a small group of local artists. The first meetings were held on East Street at the former Frederick Academy of the Arts. The group focused on finding venues to show their work, sharing information about shows, and exploring art techniques and materials. By 1981, the FCAA began meeting regularly at Frederick Community College. Enthusiasm for the association was high when the election of officers was held. There were multiple candidates running for each office.

By 1982 there were 65 member artists. Plans were made for group exhibits, trips to out-of-town museums, social events, and a scholarship fund. In that year, FCCA began awarding scholarships to talented Frederick County high school seniors who intended to pursue art in college.

In that same year, FCAA was approached by the owners of Lily Pons Water Gardens about holding an arts and crafts festival on Labor Day Weekend at the garden. The Koi Festival as it became known, was the association's major fund raiser for its scholarship fund. The art show saw great success and drew crowds of up to 7,500 people during the weekend. The FCAA produced the Koi Festival for 17 years, with 1999 being the last year. The organization is proud to be able to continue its scholarship program by helping to sponsor the Elizabeth Barker Delaplaine Award for Young Artists.

Spearheaded by past president Meredith Springer, the FCAA was in the forefront of a campaign to bring a first class visual arts center to Frederick. Many members worked tirelessly on this project, and with the help of their grassroots efforts, the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center was formed. As an organization, we support The Delaplaine Visual Arts Center with financial donations and are represented on its Board through the Art Center Alliance, a group of art organizations whose representatives meet regularly to be updated and to discuss the activities and concerns of the Delaplaine.

FCAA has sponsored many member group shows throughout the years such as the Fine Arts Affair in 1982, and the Mid-Atlantic Juried Art Show from 1984 to 1986. Our annual members show at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center started in 1989 and has continued to the present. We have also organized members group shows at Frederick Community College, Hood College, The Frederick Festival of the Arts, and more.

Our members have enjoyed many quest speakers and social events over the years including trips to the Brandywine Museum, Longwood Gardens, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and Brookside Gardens. Our first summer picnic was held in 1981 and has continued every year, thanks to our generous members who open their homes for this popular event. Since 1989, the FCAA has wrapped up the year with a potluck holiday party and silent auction that benefits local art students.

The Frederick County Art Association has donated over $80,000 in scholarship money and donations to the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center. FCAA has enriched the lives of its members and the community.