The Yaquina Art Association is a community based non-profit art organization whose primary purpose is to provide art education and promote appreciation of the arts. This is done by providing a variety of tuition free classes, maintaining a gallery and gift shop for local artist’s to sell their work, and funding a scholarship program for students in the community. It has been a steady artistic and educational influence in the Lincoln County area since 1947.
Our primary purpose shall be to teach and further the pursuit and appreciation of the visual arts and crafts in every possible way, and to exhibit and provide an outlet for the benefit of the association and membership, as well as the community, and not for the benefit of any individual.
Cloe-Niemela-Clark Scholarship Program
YAA has been giving an annual scholarship to Oregon State University Art Department for over 20 years. The OSU awards those funds to a junior or senior majoring in visual arts.
Community Outreach Program
One of YAA’s founding members, Harry Niemela, was an avid supporter of elementary art programs. Upon his death in 1996, a Trust in his name was established to fund an artistic development program for local pre-teen students. Each year a YAA member assists some of the Lincoln County schools with art activities for their youth. The program also provides financial assistance to YAA members attending art workshops.
In 1947, residents of Oregon coastal towns had little if any interest in the Arts. Most were trying to carve out a living in the logging and fishing trades. A small group of artistic wannabes began meeting in homes to share their passion in the Arts. From this group the Yaquina Art Association was formed. We have gone from a hand full of interested people to an average of 150 member/students yearly. The members continue the forward looking vision of the founders who sought to teach the arts in every way possible. For over 60 years, YAA has produced an endless array of craftsmen and artists who have worked, taught and displayed their skills here. We continue to be one of the very few not for profit art education organizations on the Oregon Coast.
In 1914 a building was erected as a changing facility for swimmers and others who enjoy the popular Nye Beach Area. During the next several years and many changes to Nye beach, the building fell into disrepair. In 1956 the Yaquina Art Association asked for the building to use as a meeting place for artists. The building was given to YAA for not-for-profit purposes. Individual loans were acquired and repairs were initiated. Over the years the building has been used as an assembly hall, classroom, meeting place for artists and finally an Art Gallery & Gift Shop. It is located where the sand and ocean meet in Nye beach. During the beautifully calm days of summer the high tide occasionally caresses the galleries concrete foundation. On the stormy days of winter the tide can turn from a caress to an exciting and sometimes intense workout. Therefore ongoing building maintenance is necessary. It’s worth every gust of wind.