We are proud to be the repository for an extraordinary permanent collection of textiles, featuring one of the finest representations of handweaving in North America!
As a non-profit educational institution our concern is with preserving our collection, as well as, preserving the skills of traditional artists, artisans, and the heritage arts. In addition to caring for our renowned textiles, library, and archives, the Arts Center maintains a year round arts curriculum, has two dedicated studios for weaving and pottery and a retail store which represents a select group of regional artists. The Arts Center organizes additional educational programs, such as an annual Weaving History Conference and several yearly exhibitions for the public. The Arts Centerís goal is to sustain and grow this resource for artists, students, and the broader community while developing awareness, fostering skills and building appreciation for its permanent collection and the heritage arts.
In 1990 the Arts Center was granted a state museum charter. True to its charter the Arts Center collects preserves and interprets a permanent textile collection. Over a two year period in 2009 and 2010 we successfully completed a project made possible through a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project was to digitize the entire collection and over 11,000 photographs were taken as a precursor leading to making the collection accessible to the world through a searchable database on our web site and through this kiosk.
The Arts Center began as The Thousand Islands Craft School founded in Clayton in 1966. The first class had 44 students. Currently we serve over 500 students on an annual basis with a diverse demographic. Today over 100 classes are held annually focusing on a wide variety of mediums and techniques in the heritage arts.