Anna Dunlop

Anna Dunlop

1932 

Miss Anna Mercer Dunlop, considered the Dean of Petersburg Artists, founds the Petersburg Area Art League, creating a legacy of art in downtown.

1959 

PAAL begins the Poplar Lawn Arts Festival, an annual tradition drawing people from around the region until the late 1990s.

1971 

PAAL moves into the building at 7 E. Old St.

1983 

Nan Seward Jones donates the building to PAAL.

The entrance in 1971

The entrance in 1971

1993 

Old Towne Petersburg is hit by a huge tornado, which tears the roof off the building and completely destroys the gallery space.

1998 

Tornado damage

Tornado damage

After existing in temporary quarters, PAAL returns to the front of the original building, although the gallery is not restored. 

2008 

The Cameron Foundation awards PAAL a $1.5m challenge grant, of which $750,000 is directly awarded and $750,000 is set as a challenge for Virginia State University to raise matching funds; funds are to be used toward renovation of the gallery and creation of an Education Center, with VSU able to use a portion of the renovated space for a VSU Museum. · PAAL launches a one-week Summer Art Camp program for elementary school children. · Groundbreaking on renovations and Education Center. · The City of Petersburg agrees to donate lot adjacent to PAAL for use as an Art Park.

2009

PAAL hosts first annual spring fashion show. · PAAL celebrates completion of Phase I gallery renovations and Grand Opening of Education Center. · PAAL expands Summer Art Camp to two weeks, and includes sessions for elementary as well as middle school aged children. · City of Petersburg transfers lot designated for use as an Art Park to PAAL. · PAAL hosts first fall crafts show.

2010

PAAL hosts first annual gala event. · PAAL breaks ground on open-air community Art Park. · PAAL expands two-week Summer Art Camp to full-day programming, and doubles the number of participating youth it can accommodate. · PAAL launches first phase of after-school arts education program in partnership with the Petersburg YMCA.