The Art Associates was born in the Snead home when a group of interested people gathered to form Lake Charles’ first art support group dedicated to encouraging education, appreciation and participation in all forms of artistic expression.
Early on, the fledgling group began to focus on the visual arts. At least four exhibits a year all free to the public and art programs for youth became prime goals geared as community projects. Within a few short months, the Art Associates presented the organization’s first formal exhibit at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall. The exhibition showcased a collection of French paintings from Houston, including four Renoirs, and an eclectic group of Gulf Coast artworks both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.
Some 150 formal exhibits followed through the years drawn from the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum of Arts, American Federation of Art, and other institutions as well as works from private collections. In addition to the first formal exhibits, AALC introduced other "firsts" in Lake Charles: house tours, Christmas-Around-the-World exhibits, children's art classes and student art exhibits are just a handful of the exciting events hosted by the Art Associates. In addition, over fifty organized art trips sponsored by the Art Associates took participants throughout the U.S. and Europe.
The Art Associates is also proud of the collaborative relationship it's forged with the McNeese State University’s Visual Arts Department, sponsoring scholarships for McNeese art students and contributing to the McNeese National Works on Paper purchase award. Other organizations with whom AALC has had a longstanding relationship include: the Imperial Calcasieu Museum's Gibson Barham Art Gallery, the Children's Museum of Lake Charles, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana.