In November 1993 three women opened a gallery and small classroom on Essex Street in downtown Lawrence and were determined to show fine art and teach art classes to any citizen of Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley who was interested. The Essex Art Center was an instant success. Eighteen months later we moved from our small storefront to a large mill building on Island Street. The mill building was perfect for our purposes with plenty of windows, light, and cement floors for easy care. With the help of our landlord, Chet Sidell, we made 56 Island Street our home and now occupy 10,000 square feet for our gallery and classroom areas. Thanks to all our wellwishers, volunteers, donors, artists, class participants and friends, EAC has grown to be a diverse and thriving art community of folks at all different stages of art exploration and appreciation.

- Founders, Leslie Costello and Helen Tory
(Our third founder was Linda Maddox who left the team soon after our roots were firmly set)