Vero Beach Art Club

Timeline of our history


The first person here in Vero Beach to form a group interested in art was Miss Jeannette Beach. Six persons met at her home on 21st Ave. on Jan. 15, 1936. They called themselves the “Sketch Club”. The name of the six were Miss Jeannette Beach, Mrs. Harry Damerow, Mrs. Dorothy Poole, Mrs. Agnes Gay, Mrs. Ruth Jett and Robert Reid.

There was a similar group in Sebastian, organized by Mrs. Virginia Jordon and Maj. William J. Patten.


On Feb. 8, 1937 the group from Sebastian joined with the Vero group forming the Club we have today, and called themselves the Vero Beach Sketch Club.

Mar. 22, 1937 found the group lacking on member of having enough to join the National Federation, so Mrs. E. J. Burtt, who had been meeting with them during the winter months was asked to join.

Charter members are listed as Miss Jeannette Beach, Mrs. Garnet Hanshaw, Major William Patten, Mrs. Roaslee Hume, Mrs. Virginia Jordan, Miss Mary Taylor, Miss Catherine Carter, Mrs. John Coker, Count Frederick de Berg, Mrs. Harry Damerow, Mrs. Sara Houghton, Mr. A. E. Backus, Mr. H. R. French, Miss Louise Dodge, Miss Edna Tyler, Miss Margaret Gaines, Miss Mary Newman, Arthur Talbert and Henry Dickson.

Others that joined that year of 1937 were Mrs. B. L. Mead, Miss Elena K. Mead, Mrs. Meta Chesser, Mrs. Annette McNaught, and Mr. Leo Schlitt.

That same year the Club joined the Florida State Federation of Art and Mr. A. E. Backus assisted in their getting organized and arranged for the members to display 13 pictures at St. Augustine where the annual meeting was held that year.

The first art exhibit of the Club was held at Miss Jeannette Beach’s home on March 22, 1937.


Formal organization of the Art Club.

By-Laws were drafted.

We held our first outdoor art show, which became "Under the Oaks Fine Arts & Crafts Show".

 The membership for a few years was:
            1950 – 11
            1951 - 25
            1952 – 31
            1953 - 65


The “Sketch Club” was renamed “The Vero Beach Art Club” and had over 60 members.


In 1954 the Club was incorporated, and the corporate papers were signed June 1954 by T. A. Peebles, Peter Lundquist, J. H. Coon, Mrs. Mark Jefferson, Mrs. Harry Damerow, Mrs. J. L. Hutchinson, Elena K. Mead, Martin Hoag, W. E. Sexton.

Officers listed in their records when incorporated were President Miss Elena Mead, J. P. Durham, Vice President; Mrs. J. A. Hessler, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Mark Jefferson, Corresponding Secretary; and George Warrell, Treasurer.



First publication of the Art Club’s goal was printed by the Press Journal, the Art Club was re- incorporated, Mrs. William J. Walters, vice president at the time, was chair of the Mistletoe Market.

Throughout the years the aims of the Vero Beach Art Club has been the same: 1. To promote an interest in art. 2. To give those who have a taste for art an incentive to indulge their hobby. 3. To supplement teaching of art in the schools. 4. To provide an art center for Vero Beach.

The Art Club has met at many different places during its history, first at Miss Jeannette Beach’s home, over the downtown Theatre, at the Hotel Del Mar, at Mrs. Damerow’s home, the Community Building, the Air Base, Chamber of Commerce Building, the Womans Club and the Community Center.

VB Logo 1971sm.jpg


This was the logo used in a 1971 History document. We are still researching to find the years this logo was in use. At the time of the writing of the Vero Beach Art Club History there were 129 members.

Vero Beach Art Club began negotiations with City to obtain a site for the purpose of building an Art Academy and Gallery.

The Workshop Gallery Committee offered it “House Tour” of artists studios in their homes on Saturday, November 9th. Tickets were sold for $2.00 and the proceeds went to the Workshop Gallery. The tour was for members and their friends only. This would eventually evolve into Art Trail which is now open to the public and includes 10 artists studios homes.


Art Academy and Gallery by-laws were drafted and a space rented at 1965 14th Avenue to establish first Art School.



VBAC Logo mid - late 70s_sm.jpg

This logo was used in a printing done in 1977-1978. It reflects the updated look.

There was a Membership Directory printed that year.

These were the Dues:

Dues shall be paid annually, covering the fiscal year. (Official year ends April 30th - begins May 1st). Dues paid in March or April shall date from the following October 1.

Dues shall be payable October 1 and delinquent December 1.

  1. Active Members $5

  2. Associate Members $7

  3. Sustaining Members $10

  4. Life Members $100

  5. Patrons $1,000

Vero Beach Art Club began a cooperative relationship with the "Alliance for the Arts" in an attempt to further the building of an art-centered facility.


First annual Art in the Park is held at Humiston Park.


Vero Beach Art Club & Center for Arts (museum) joined forces to become "Alliance for the Arts".



VB Logo 1990s.jpg

Curtis McMichael designed a new “Logo” for the Club.

The Vero Beach Art Club & Center for Arts signed a joint "Agreement" of cooperation.

The Golden 50th Anniversary of Vero Beach Art Club celebration was held a the Center For the Arts. In that year they sponsored 3 major shows: “Under the Oaks”, the “Florida Competitive” and the “Members’ Juried Show”. We held a Sunday afternoon Lecture Series which raised funds for the Education Wing. We also revived a favorite feature the Thursday Evening Demonstration Series.

The Vero Beach Museum of Art opens on Riverside Drive.


First Annual Art by the Sea Show and Sale was held.


1992 Original Exhibit Poster sm.png


The Vero Beach Art Club had their first exhibition at the new Indian River County Library. It continues today and changes quarterly. It is now open to all 2D Club Member Artists.

This poster was in our Club archives.

70th Anniversary Celebration took place on Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 pm in the Great Hall of the Vero Beach Museum of Art.


First Annual Art Trail is held at artists studios around Vero Beach.


75th Anniversary Celebration was held on April 21st, 2011 in Holmes Great Hall at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.


First Annual Art-tini Show and Sale by SpringHill Suites Marriott.


First Annual Art on the Island Show and Sale was held at Marsh Island Clubhouse.


September 2016 marked the first year for the Vero Beach Art Club members being able to purchase a banner to hang at Miracle Mile. The banners are a wonderful way to showcase your work with your contact information. These banners hang prominently in the Miracle Mile shopping district for 18 months (excluding the temporary removal during the holiday season).



80th Anniversary Celebration was held on November 3rd, 2016 at the Community Center.


The Vero Beach Art Club Board of Directors' approved the new President's Award in the amount of $100 in honor of our past President Rebecca VanCordt. It will be awarded in any category to a participant in Art By the Sea each year.