The mission of the Art Garage is to encourage an appreciation for and participation in the visual, performing and literary arts.
The Art Garage was founded by local artists who, upon finishing a studio arts class at UWGB didn’t want to lose the experience of making art in a studio. They approached the landlords of the Cannery complex for space to work and display their art. Soon, that led to the creation of a board of directors and the vision to apply for a 501c3 status as a not-for-profit organization. Sandi Van Sistine was instrumental in getting the organization established and acted as both the founder of the Art Garage as well as the first non-paid site director. By March 17, 2006, the Art Garage was open. In the beginning, the Art Garage was sustained by a small board of directors and a lot of sweat equity. In 2007, our first staff member was hired. By our fifth anniversary in 2011, the Art Garage had expanded to two rooms in 6,000 square feet, with a board of 21 people, two part-time staff members, two staff serving under SeniorCorps grants, over 150 volunteers, and more than a dozen artists and teachers who work with our organization on a regular basis. The Art Garage purchased the cannery complex in January of 2015.