It is
in the contrast of light and dark that design happens.
Helen Van Wyk

KAA History & Credo

The Kent Art Association was founded in 1923 by nine established artists who were drawn to Kent in the Litchfield hills for its rustic and pastoral beauty: Rex Brasher, Elliot Clark, Floyd Clymer, Willard Dryden Paddock, F. Luis Mora, George Laurence Nelson, Spencer Nichols, Robert Nisbet and Frederick Waugh. Their commitment to excellence in representational artwork forged the groundwork for what was to become one of the oldest art associations in the state.

In the beginning, these founding artists held an annual show in which only their representational artwork was exhibited. As interest grew, more artists were accepted into the association and others were invited to be associates. By 1935, they had a membership which accepted a set of rules as the Association's By-Laws and were issued a Certificate of Incorporation by the State of Connecticut. In 1940, they were granted non-profit status.

Up until 1956, the KAA held exhibitions in various community venues in town. In that year, the old Kent Inn, which stood in the center of town, was acquired and taken down by the Gulf Oil Co. to make way for a new gas station. After much opposition and concern for the potential loss of such an iconic building by the founding members, the Association was given a two-story section of The Kent Inn and the structure was moved down the road to South Main Street (Route 7). Over the years, architectural improvements were made through generous donations from the association’s patrons to allow the entire interior to be converted into its present day galleries and meeting space.

Today, KAA is a vibrant organization with many artist members of varied artistic styles and backgrounds. In addition, many who simply appreciate the joys of diverse artwork are members and engaged in KAA’s activities.

We hope you visit us soon!


Kent Art Association provides emerging and established artists a venue to display artwork to a wide audience, recognizes artists for their achievements, and presents art related programs for the education of artists and the public.