Naperville Art League (NAL) and its Fine Art Center & Gallery are an essential and historic part of Naperville, fostering the values of creativity, excellence and community. Established in 1961 under the leadership of Hayman Herndon, the non-profit, volunteer-based organization has grown in size and reputation with a membership dedicated to promoting and supporting the visual arts and encouraging artists within the community.
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With thanks to Dee Pasternak, one of the league’s charter members, the organization was able to purchase a building in central Naperville, Illinois in the mid-1970s. Pasternak’s employer, Naperville Sun owners, Harold and Eva White, endorsed the League and donated generously to ensure its longevity, first by paying the outstanding mortgage balance and later with an endowment, which allowed the League to expand the existing building in 1996. Known now as the Naperville Fine Art Center & Gallery, the building annually serves over 250 NAL members and approximately 500 students of diverse backgrounds, preschoolers through seniors.
"The Naperville Art League, founded in 1961, is a non-profit organization created to support and sustain development and diversity of all forms of art. "
NAL, driven by its mission, continues to support and sustain development and diversity of all forms of art. Through educational programs, workshops and exhibits, NAL dedicates itself to raising awareness and appreciation of the arts for the cultural enhancement of the community. In 1984, the organization began to foster the development of public art seen in the area when it commissioned one of the first sculptures in tow: the striking 15-foot-high, red sculpture on the city’s Riverwalk entitled “Landforms,” created by artist Jack Arnold. NAL also supports the Century Walk, Naperville’s captivating public art project, as it advances in depth and magnitude. In 2009, the Naperville Fine Art Center & Gallery became a part of the Century Walk with the addition of the World’s Greatest Artist mural. Designed by Mike Venezia and painted by Marianne Lisson Kuhn, both active members of the league, this signature piece invites visitors to come and explore the treasures within.
In addition, NAL founded the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair in 1985, a show that has earned the reputation of being one of the top outdoor art fairs in the country. As host, NAL has made great strides by engaging the corporate community through sponsorship opportunities, enabling the fair to attract some of the finest artists in the country. Embraced by artists and art lovers, this highly acclaimed event draws thousands of festival goers to downtown Naperville on the third weekend of every September.
Naperville Fine Art Center & Gallery
Since its inception in 1961, the Naperville Art League has provided support for local emerging and established artists. The Naperville Fine Art Center & Gallery (NFAC&G), supported by the Naperville Art League, provides a place for artists to gather, exhibit their original work, and share their appreciation of art with the community. The NFAC&G is open to the public and features classes for adults and children, workshops, demonstrations and regular exhibits.
The Naperville Art League provides a referral service for community residents seeking to commission original art by league members. We also refer artists to do demonstrations or art instruction outside of our regular classes. Contact us at Naperartleague@aol.com for more information.
The Naperville Art League is a volunteer based organization. Members are encouraged to support at least one NAL activity during the year. Opportunities include helping at the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair, the Annual Holiday Show, the Annual Auction, and other events. Our Membership Application contains a list ways in which members can be active, including participation on the NAL Board of Directors and a variety of event committees.
Fine Art Center and Gallery
The Fine Art Center & Gallery is located close to downtown Naperville at 508 North Center Street, on the corner of North Center St. and North 5th Ave., one block east of Washington Street, and just north of the Naperville Train Station. All NAL classes, workshops and events are held at the NFAC&G unless otherwise indicated.