In 1972, the Island Art Association (IAA) began when a small group of local artists had a vision in Fernandina Beach Florida. Their 1st gallery was established in 1979, in a 2nd floor location called “The Upstairs Gallery” on Centre Street. By the end of that year, they moved to a better location on Centre Street where they stayed for 22 years. In 1982, Marshall Brainard, the husband of one of the early members wrote the bylaws that were finalized and approved by the members. Thus, the Island Art Association Inc. was created. Through the years revisions have been made to the original bylaws but their mission statement has remained the same “The Association is organized exclusively for philanthropic and educational purposes. To develop and sustain an interest, appreciation, and enjoyment in and of the arts of Nassau County, Florida.”
In 2001 IAA purchased property at 18 N. 2nd Street, in the charming historic district of Fernandina Beach, FL. IAA members renovated an old restaurant to convert it into an artist owned and operated Art Gallery and meeting place. By 2010 IAA had saved enough money from gallery sales and Shrimp Festival revenues to build their Art Education Center.
• We are an artist owned and operated Co-op Art Gallery with over 45 local exhibiting artists who:
• Recruit, jury and supervise artists for the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Fine Arts & Crafts Show, since 1976.
• Schedule classes and maintain our Art Education Center and studios.
• Provide monthly free youth art classes and Summer camps.
• Award scholarships for High School Seniors pursuing College.
• Provide funds and art supplies each year to teachers Nassau County schools.
The IAA Art Gallery features a wide variety of art works and media by local artists. View samples of their work on the Exhibiting Artist page and in our Online Store.
There is always something new to see in the Nouveau Art Hall where a themed and juried show is held bi-monthly. Membership is not required to enter these shows. One month each year the hall is dedicated to the Nassau County High School art show.