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About Arts and Design Society

The first meeting of artists was in 1956…

Since 1956, the Arts and Design Society (ADSO) has been a mainstay for Arts in the local community, enriching the culture and lives of adults and children along the Emerald Coast. The first meeting of artists was in a private home with 17 in attendance. Today, ADSO has over 200 members. It occupies the Old City Hall Complex of the City of Fort Walton Beach.

A non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, ADSO serves all ages within our community. Besides adult programs, ADSO sponsors an annual art show for middle and high-school students. In June and July, Summer Art Camp is offered for children ages 6 to 13, and filled to capacity each summer. Members also volunteer to teach classes at such organizations as Head Start and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and ADSO provides tours for groups like the Girl Scouts working toward their scout badges.

ADSO maintains a free art gallery that is open to the public five days a week; two studio areas including a fully equipped pottery studio; the Lolly Carley Art Library (one of the most extensive libraries of art book in the area and available for use to ADSO members); offers monthly luncheons with art demonstrations or lectures, offers reasonably priced classes and workshops for children and adults with regional and nationally acknowledged instructors in a spectrum of media; and frequent art competitions, resulting in some twelve exhibitions each year.

All that ADSO accomplishes is done by volunteers, working under the guidance of a Board of Directors including one paid employee who serves as Office Administrator. All funds are provided by members’ dues, fees for shows, class tuition, various in-house fundraisers, and donations. We are asking you to become part of this, to help continue ADSO’s work in our community.

Mission

The mission of the Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton Beach, Inc., is to facilitate fine art exhibitions, conduct art classes to enhance the appreciation of the visual arts, and to further educate fledgling and established artists. Toward this goal, the Arts and Design Society (ADSO) was organized in Fort Walton Beach in July 1956 and was incorporated in 1962 as a non-profit organization.

  • Board of Directors

    • President – Nick Smith
    • Vice President – Wally Ratcliffe
    • Treasurer – Hanna Joensuu
    • Recording Sec – Julia Allen
    • Corresp. Sec – Pat Z. Roberts