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William S Jenkins, Founder, Crealde School of Art
William S. Jenkins, Founder
Peter Schreyer, Crealde Executive Director
Peter Schreyer, Executive Director

“At the core of Crealdé’s mission is the belief that the arts are for everyone. Each individual has a story to be told and something creative to contribute, and thereby makes a positive impact on his or her peers, family and entire community. We continually strive to carry out Bill Jenkins’ dream to make art an integral part of community life and a positive force in the lives of individuals. Crealdé remains committed to offering stimulating, educational, hands-on arts experiences and gallery exhibitions to Central Florida’s diverse population. As we blossom and grow, we never lose sight of what Bill Jenkins intended for Crealdé. Even during his failing health, Mr. Jenkins stayed in close contact, attending gallery openings and sometimes just visiting to stroll the grounds and witness his work still in progress. We are dedicated to keeping his dream alive.” --Peter Schreyer

History of Crealdé School of Art Become a Fan  Twitter  Sign Up for e-mail Notifications

Crealdé Arts, Inc. was founded in 1975 by William Jenkins to promote local artists by providing studio and gallery space. With profits earned from sales and rentals, Jenkins established ArtReach to provide art experiences to seniors and disabled individuals. By 1978, Crealdé evolved into a teaching center and became a 501-3-C organization. In the 1980s, three artistic departments were established and the curriculum was expanded. A fine arts gallery was established in 1980 and in 1996 the gallery was named after Crealdé’s founder and his wife.

Throughout the 1990s, Crealdé expanded on its mission, established a scholarship fund, launched the new emerging artist programs, and deepened its commitment to make the arts available to the widest segment of the population.

By the late 1990s, Crealdé had established three permanent outreach sites to conduct free classes for children, teens, and seniors in under-served communities. In addition, over 20 collaborative public-art projects; murals, sculptures, and photo-documentaries; have been conducted through partnerships with other non-profit organizations including Boys & Girls Club and the Farmworker Association, and funded by many private foundations.

Crealdé’s free galleries host artists from throughout the United States and the world to exhibit, present lectures, and conduct workshops for the community. In 1999-2000, Crealdé undertook an aggressive capital campaign to construct its first building addition in over 20 years. Nearly $200,000 was raised including a matching Cultural Facilities Grant from the State of Florida. The 3,000 sq. ft. expansion features a second painting studio, the Showalter Hughes Community Gallery and lecture space, and a covered porch overlooking beautiful Lake Sterling.

In keeping with Crealdé’s mission to provide outreach, foster cultural diversity and preservation of our cultural heritage, Crealdé deepened its long-standing relationship with the City of Winter Park in 2007 by opening the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, which stands as a tribute to the past, present, and future contributions of Winter Park’s African American community. The facility serves as a home for the Heritage Collection: Photographs and Oral Histories of West Winter Park. In partnership with academic institutions and other non-profit organizations, the center also presents exhibitions and programs that focus on local history, cultural preservation, African-American experience and Southern folklore. The center has two classroom spaces and a digital classroom, which expanded Crealdé’s capacity to serve its students. With the addition of this new venue, Crealdé’s budget reached the million dollar mark for the first time.

Out of the desire to increase its participation in the economic vitality of the community, Crealdé secured its first Tourism Development grant from Orange County Government in 2007, which has continued, together with the City of Winter Park Redevelopment Agency, to be one of Crealdé’s largest funders.

After completing several well-received art projects, on site classes and exhibitions, Crealdé entered a new programming partnership with the city of Winter Garden in the summer of 2010, introducing a limited number of photography and painting and drawing classes for adults at the brand new Jesse Brock Community Center. This new Crealdé teaching site is located four blocks from historic downtown Winter Garden and only minutes away from the growing communities of Ocoee, Dr. Phillips, Windermere and Clermont.

In 2010 Crealdé completed a $220,000 campus renovation, funded by an Orange County Cultural Facilities Grant and matched by contributions from an enthusiastic Crealdé community. The renovation included the re-roofing of three studio buildings, installation of green air conditioning units on the galleries and office, painting and wall repair of the entire facility, and restoration of brick walkways. The creation of a new front campus entrance, complete with landscaping and a stunning mosaic mural, leads into the Contemporary Sculpture Garden, which has been updated with an educational walking tour. Crealdé dedicated the mural during a campus rededication and its 35th anniversary celebration.

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Copyright 2010 Crealdé School of Art

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