A nonprofit service organization for 46 years — the Austin Visual Arts Association (AVAA) is one of the oldest visual arts organizations in Austin. We have an active membership of 200+ artists, some of whom are emerging artists. Others, who began their careers with AVAA are now prominent artists, arts leaders and mentors. We reach a secondary audience of thousands more through our programming, communications and community partnerships.

AVAA is composed of working artists and supporters of the arts. Established in 1977 at the suggestion of the Arts Commission, AVAA (formerly Austin Contemporary Visual Arts Association, ACVAA) was founded by a group of interested artists, museum professionals and gallery owners to “encourage the knowledge, appreciation and practice of contemporary visual art.” The Association offers members an art-based networking structure, a Life Drawing Program, as well as the opportunity to exhibit their work. In addition, AVAA provides information to its members about art events, job opportunities, gallery contacts, and current trends in the Austin art market. AVAA’s vitality depends largely on the active participation of its members. AVAA is also the organizer of the industry’s Austin Visual Arts Awards, now entering its fourth year. Our artist community is located in two separate buildings. Our Work Space includes AVAA’s Life Drawing Program and artist studios located in central Austin at 3707 Home Lane, 78705. At our other location, Austin Art Space, we run the Exhibit Space with the help of our resident artists. Austin Art Space is a commercial storefront gallery co-op where we have rotating shows throughout the year. It is located in north central Austin at 7739 Northcross Dr., 78757.

AVAA Board

Artistic Leadership at AVAA involves direction from our talented Board of Directors, comprised of university professors, working artists, business executives and arts leaders.

Donna CrosbyDonna Crosby is the president of AVAA. She is a self-taught artist and a recently retired attorney. Crosby has been an essential leader on the AVAA Board since 2004, helping to build AVAA’s infrastructure, artist programs, grants and community relationships through countless hours of volunteer support.
Dr. Christopher AdejumoUT Professor Dr. Christopher Adejumo has been on the AVAA Board since 2002. Adejumo is a talented printmaker, well-respected professor and community arts leader. He has been the director of an art program for at-risk kids for more than 18 years now called Greater Tomorrow Youth Art Program. His artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions in Africa, Europe, and the United States, and he has made contributions to art Education through innovative programs (such as “Children of the Future” community art program) and research in the areas of Multiculturalism and Community Based Art Education. He has received many research and academic excellence awards in Nigeria and the United States.
(In memoriam) Abstract Impressionist Jack White was a long-time advisor and supporter of AVAA. White implemented African American painting into as many mainstream venues as any contemporary artist and has raised awareness of the black painter in the larger arts community. He has been featured in more than 40 solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad. He received the President’s Award at the Austin Visual Arts Awards in 2012 at the AT&T Center in Austin. He has made his studio his second home at the AVAA Building for the past 16 years. Jack passed away this year.
Hank WaddellSculptor Hank Wadell is a well-known figure in the Austin art scene. He has been involved in numerous art events, including the first People’s Gallery Exhibit at City Hall where his “West Texas Beach Ball” was selected as the people’s favorite. He was nominated by the arts community as a finalist in the inaugural Austin Visual Arts Awards for Artist of the Year – 3D in 2009.
Kelli MontgomeryKelli Montgomery has been AVAA’s executive director since 2001. She helped establish the city of Austin’s first Political Forum on the Arts along with the industry’s first awards show – the Austin Visual Arts Awards. In 2011, she took over management of Austin Art Space, a creative studio/gallery co-op run by AVAA.
Bob Coffee(In Memoriam) We are sad to announce our long time board member Sculptor Bob Coffee passed away on June 3, 2021. Bob had been on the AVAA Board since 2007. Coffee, a retired architect and cattle rancher, was a well-known Austin sculptor with impressive private and public art commissions throughout the nation. Coffee was the past president of the Texas Society of Sculptors.