Springfield Art Association

The Springfield Art Association (SAA) has been a part of the Enos Park neighborhood for more than 100 years. The SAA was founded in 1909 by local community members and formally incorporated in 1913 when they received the deed to Edwards Place, a historic Italianate mansion.

Edwards Place

The SAA now encompasses seven different structures spread out over five acres of land located between 4th and 5th St. in Enos Park. In addition to maintaining and operating Edwards Place historic home, the Association maintains a Gallery of Art presenting historical and contemporary exhibitions, a School of Art offering classes and workshops year round for youth and adults and the Michael Victor II Art Library offering more than 5,000 art related volumes and periodicals to the public and through the Rolling Prairie inter-library loan system. Annually, the SAA serves more than 94,000 persons with quality visual arts programs and services. Recently, the SAA has been restoring the historic Fleischli House and the Executive Director, Betsy Dollar, has turned the top level into her personal residence.

The SAA is governed by a 25 member volunteer Board of Directors and is managed by a professional staff. The SAA is the only visual arts organization of its kind serving Springfield as well as preserving an important part of Springfield’s rich cultural history, Edwards Place historic home.  The SAA offers audiences of all ages and interests a well rounded approach to the visual arts through high quality exhibitions, innovative arts educational programs, library resources and services and unique events such as its annual Edwards Place Fine Art Fair and Beaux Arts Ball.

The annual Edwards Place Fine Art Fair, held the third Saturday of September, draws hundreds of visitors to Enos Park. With dozens of artisans offering unique items for sale as well as live music, demonstrations, and food, the Art Fair is a popular local event. For many years, the EPNIA has had a presence at the Art Fair and sells water and soda to raise funds for ongoing activities as well as increasing awareness for the organization. Volunteers from the Association take turns staffing the booth over the course of the Art Fair weekend.

Enos Park display booth at Art Fair
with Edwards Place in background.
In 2016, the SAA partnered with the City of Springfield and EPNIA to launch an artist residency program for Enos Park. Modeled after many successful residency programs around the country, the goal is to attract up and coming artists to Springfield to complete a 6-12 month residency. The SAA utilized TIF funds from the City of Springfield to purchase a brick duplex on Fifth Street just to the south of their campus. Artists receive low-cost housing as well as studio space during the course of their residency and become involved in the neighborhood through various art projects.

For more information about the artist residency program, visit www.enosparkresidency.org.