"Experience the Arts with Us!"
A Brief Art Center History
The ‘Guild’ began meeting in Mrs. R.C.Milsom Jr.’s living room in 1959, and became incorporated as a nonprofit that same year. The need for the guild was evident when private classes being held in the Glenshaw basement of Mrs. Emily Karlen in the late 1950’s with the original 20 members, left no room for expansion. Because so many North Hills artists and children wanted classes, but distances to established art centers in Pittsburgh made travel inconvenient, the Guild sponsored a workshop once a month for exchange of ideas among members as they worked on their own projects, as well as, guest artists series, films, exhibits and classes in oils, watercolor, art history, sketching, commercial art, sculpture, ceramics, flower arranging, life drawing and jewelry-open to the public. Classes were taught in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Shaler High School and Rogers School on Scott Avenue.
In April, 1960, the Guild’s temporary officers and committees were made permanent. Those officers were: Pres- Mrs. R.C. Milsom, Jr., Vice Pres.-Mrs. Paul Karlen, Sec.-Mrs. Scott Wycoff, Corresponding Sec.- Mrs. R. Weingard. General meetings were held at Shaler High School. Wasting no time, the first annual exhibit of the Artists and Craftsmen’s Guild of Glenshaw was held that October at Shaler H.S.
Art exhibits were held at Rogers School, area businesses, new home developments, and North Park Skating Rink, while the Guild looked for a building. The Annual Beaux Arts Ball became their only fundraiser for the building fund, until the first Annual Holiday Handcraft Sale was held in 1964 in the Northway Mall Community room. In 1968, they found the former White Heating Co. ( the Center’s current location) and started a drive to raise $75,000 for its purchase from their 215 members and public contributors, and held a public auction of 100 works donated by artists held at Northway Mall . The North Hills Art Center opened May 16, 1969 with 352 members. Renovation labor (except plumbing), was donated by members and their families. Guild members, including Emily’s husband, Paul, an industrial designer, redesigned the building into a gallery and classrooms.
Mrs. Emily Karlen, one of the co-founders, made the following comments at the time, “ To keep up mortgage payments through art efforts is really extraordinary. We are self-supporting and that’s unique. Though Guild members are proud of their center, you see the building, but it is just a building; the important thing is what happens to the people inside the building. Involvement in the arts, in general, and the Art Center has resulted in the exciting transformations in the lives of Guild members. People think the suburbs are a cultural wasteland….I think the center is important to the North Hills”.
60th Anniversary! Flashback Photo Gallery!
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The North Hills Art Center was Founded in 1959
(scroll down for brief Art Center History)
The North Hills Art Center (NHAC) was founded in 1959 as the Artists' and Craftsmen's Guild by a group of dedicated artists who understood the importance of having a permanent haven where people throughout the North Hills and surrounding areas could come and learn, express themselves, and appreciate all forms of art.
Today, amateurs and professionals alike enjoy that vision in the North Hills Art Center, where they can exhibit their artwork and benefit from the camaraderie found in our classes and open studio sessions.
Classes range from pottery to painting to jewelry making to weaving and more for adults, teens and children.
Additionally, the center offers after school and home school classes for children and teens. Other special offerings for young art lovers include our popular summer art camps and annual open house - RADical Day.
The North Hills Art Center instructors are specialists in their areas of interest and many have advanced art degrees. All are highly dedicated to our mission of providing quality, affordable art enrichment to everyone. Click here to read their biographies.
The center features approximately five shows per year, including five Gallery Shows (two are fundraising shows with other non-profit organizations) and one or two Artisan Markets. Show openings are free and open to the public. We also offer Special Events such as wine tastings, beer tastings, Summer Solstice Raku Party, and cultural events like the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Chrysanthemum Festival. Free Lectures are offered throughout the year to members and non-members. We also participate in RADical Day in the fall (this is a free event, open to the public).
These are just a few of the exciting reasons to join the North Hills Art Center. We continue to expand our offerings and improve our facility and are optimistic about a bright future.
NHAC is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.
"Give the Gift of Art!"
The North Hills Art Center offers gift certificates in any amount you choose! Gift certificates can be used for art classes, workshops and summer art camps, for yearly memberships, in the gallery for artwork and merchandise at our Artisan Markets.
Gift Certificates can only be purchased at the Art Center during business hours, in person or by phone.
Gift certificates can be redeemed in person or by mail only. Online redemption is not available at this time.
Benefits of Membership:
- Discount of $20.00 of the nonmember cost of classes at the North Hills Art Center
- 10% off art supplies at Artists and Craftsmen Supply in Squirrel Hill
- 10% off framing at The Frame Gallery in Sharpsburg
Student: $20 - Individual: $35 - Senior: $30
Family: $50 - Friend: $100
Click here to purchase a membership.
Please click above for Military and First Responder rate.