Founded in 1965

The Oakville Art Society began in the Fall of 1965. Esther Demeny was considered the driving force behind this new local society. She had taught art, painting, and drawing in her Oakville home and felt the need for a place where artists could meet. The first home was in an old unused cottage in Coronation Park, on Town property. It was leased to the members for a nominal fee. In 1967 membership rapidly expanded to 165 members when OAS began workshops and classes in the renovated cottage.

In the first year, these included a demonstration of batiks by Ester Demeny, a weekend of oil painting instruction by Tom Chatfield, a watercolour weekend by Donald Johnson, and an indoor demonstration and class on acrylics by Tom Mathews. By 1970, the membership had grown to over 300 and the Oakville Art Society expanded and moved into the adjacent century-old farmhouse, formerly used by the Parks and Recreation commission as office space.

By 1980, the facilities in Coronation, with help from Lake Ontario and Mother Nature, deteriorated and the Oakville Art Society needed to find a new location thus purchasing the current home at 560 Bronte Rd.

Become a Member! 
As an OAS Member, you’ll receive a discount on classes, workshops, entry fees, art supplies, and framing.

Today, we are still best known to locals as the place to go for classes and workshops in visual arts. We offer proven instructors for beginners to the experienced artist. The OAS has offered a wide range of classes covering different media, styles and expertise. Trends have been followed including traditional, impressionistic, abstract and others which all play a role in the development of the artist. Drawing classes, considered by many, the basic for success in painting, have always been included.

Workshops also provide inspiration for the more accomplished artist who is looking to grow and experiment with a new approach or just looking for a fun way to spend some time with other artists. Children and young people have been introduced to the visual arts by many dedicated teachers. Professional artists through to keen amateurs have all contributed to the ongoing success of the OAS.

Some members meet regularly to share ideas, learn and enjoy other artists company. Over the years many friendships and shared experiences have enriched the lives of members. We also provide opportunities for artists to show and sell their original work to the wider community.

Our History - Oakville Art Society.

The August Civic holiday is our annual Art in the Park, our key fund raiser. It is an event looked forward to by so many, the vendors, the community, local businesses, and art lovers. Over 175 artists came to Bronte Heritage Park to sell their original artworks. Each year thousands of folks make the trip to Bronte to enjoy this day with great art by the lake.

In 1966 the first OAS auction took place in the Chamber of Commerce Quarters, 231 Lakeshore East. Down through the years, many of the members who went on to form their own careers have continued to support the Oakville Art Society by participating in our auctions, and donating quality artwork.

Our Outreach Program began in 2014 as a way to engage with and give back to the community, something we have always tried to accomplish as part of our mission. We have partnered with a number of Oakville/Halton charitable organizations to bring the gift of creativity to those who are most in need. We supply, without fees the instructors and materials for these groups.

Oakville Art Society - Our History.