Anna Dunlop

Anna Dunlop


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


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


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


Nan Seward Jones donates the building to PAAL.

The entrance in 1971

The entrance in 1971


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


Tornado damage

Tornado damage

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


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.


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.


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.