Springfield Art Association

click to enlarge BEST ART STUDIO/GALLERY
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Springfield Art Association (SAA) is a community-based nonprofit that has been a mainstay of Springfield's north side for over 100 years. Located just north of downtown in the Enos Park neighborhood, SAA offers a variety of classes for all ages and summer camps for children and teens.

Children's art classes at SAA are creative and contemporary, producing original works of art that will be treasured by the artists and their families. Classes touch on a variety of media including clay, plaster, painting, fiber arts, collage and pencil.

Summer camps by SAA not only teach art basics and art exploration, but give children opportunities to socialize and be active. Want a camp with a support animal? You got it! Camps that touch on science, world history, architecture, cooking or culture? Yes, those are available, too.

Older children are given the opportunity to engage with history through SAA and Edwards Place, a historic house museum built in 1833. Camps with historical themes include toys, crafts, Civil War encampment, preserving food, embroidery and sewing, cooking and archeology. High school campers are given the opportunity to engage in public art in the form of painting murals off-site and crafting a large wooden troll at Lincoln Memorial Garden.

SAA operates two galleries. The M.G. Nelson Family Gallery is located on SAA's campus and features about 12 rotating exhibitions each year. Some exhibitions are yearly, such as the Central Illinois Scholastic Competition and works displayed by members of the Illinois Prairie Pastel Society. Others are one-of-a-kind, such as 2022's No Place to Show, in response to the Illinois State Fair's elimination of the professional artist exhibition and competition.

The SAA Collective, located in the historic Broadwell building downtown at 105 N. Fifth St., features the work of juried artist members with seven rotating exhibitions per year. Artists' work can be viewed online via The artwork showcased at the Collective gallery is for sale and features a vast variety of media. Both galleries are free and open to the public.

It is no surprise why SAA won Best of Springfield in three separate categories. This is an organization that leads in creativity and community engagement, for the benefit of us all.