Visarts Center

155 Gibbs Street
Rockville, MD 20850


Neighborhood: Rockville

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Begun as an initiative of the Cultural Arts Commission of Montgomery County, VisArts’ predecessor “Rockville Arts Place” incorporated in 1987 as an “artists only” organization, and three years later, moved to a space providing classrooms, galleries, and eight artist’s studios. Over the next nine years, the organization added 4,000 sq ft. offering fiber and ceramics studio, a darkroom, and four new artists’ studios. As we grew, so did our mission. In 2004, the City of Rockville decided to demolish the space and many other businesses to make way for the New Town Center.

Although VisArts was a private organization, they were able to form an innovative “partnership” with the City of Rockville to construct the new art center. This unique partnership benefited VisArts by allowing it to build a high visibility, readily accessible, permanent home in a dynamic new downtown slated to become an outstanding restaurant and cultural district. It also positioned VisArts to become a major multi-faceted visual arts center for Rockville, Montgomery County and the Washington Metropolitan area.

During the construction in early 2007, the organization occupied temporary space in a Gaithersburg business park, changed its name to Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts (VisArts at Rockville), and expanded its mission to include new programming, more exhibitions and services. The grand opening of our new center for the visual arts on September 30, 2007 marked the start of an important new era of VisArts’ expanded service to the Washington metropolitan area. Today VisArts continues to develop visual arts programs and standards that have established the organization as an innovative leader and significant contributor in arts education, exhibitions, professional development, and community outreach.

301-315-8200 (P)

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