Tidewater Art Alliance

Our Mission is to Support, Develop and Promote the Visual Arts in Hampton Roads



The origin of the Tidewater Art Alliance began with the dreams and dedication of two women, both teachers, Miss Irene Leache and Miss Anna Cogswell Wood. They moved to Norfolk after the Civil War. Anna Wood had been Miss Leache’s student. After meeting Miss Leache, Ms. Wood wrote, “It was on a September day of the year 1868 that my eye first lighted on that rare woman whose influence was thence forward to dominate my life, and develop in my character all that it should possess of significance.” Their friendship and collaborations would last over 30 years.

A group of women, members of the Arts Society, studied painting in the Arts Club Building at 622 Mobray Arch in 1925. This group founded the Arts Corner, met bi-weekly to study art and held annual art exhibits in the Mowbray Arch building.

The long awaited dream of the Art Association and other area citizens was finally realized in 1933 when the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences opened on Mobray Arch. More local artists joined the association and it changed its name to Tidewater Artists in December of 1950. In the years between 1940 and 1971, the Art Corner and Tidewater Artists meetings and art shows were help in the museum.

Art collector, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., presented the museum with his collection in 1971 and the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences became the now world-renowned Chrysler Museum of Art.

In 1959, the name of the Tidewater Artists was changed to the Tidewater Artists Association (TAA) and in November of 1972, the first TAA News sent out its first issue. In October of 1982, the TAA was incorporated in Virginia. Two years later, TAA sends out Volume 1, Number 1, of its newsletter, the TAA Artline in September 1984. That same year, the first miniatures show at the Hermitage Museum was scheduled for the fall in a tradition that continues.

The Tidewater Artists Association incorporated as the Tidewater Art Alliance on July 8, 2005 and now has the status of a nonprofit corporation. The founders of what is now the Tidewater Art Alliance worked diligently to honor and cultivate the arts. The times have changed, but the need for advocating the arts has not. The mission of the alliance is to support, promote, and develop the visual arts in the Tidewater area.