The Kishwaukee Valley Art League was conceived by Virginia Lary at the Town & Country Art Show in February 1972. The sign-up sheet showed that interest in a local art league was overwhelming. With the kind assistance of the Dekalb County Cooperative Extension Office, people were notified of the organizational meeting held in March where Virginia became the first President of KVAL. Membership soon numbered eighty.
During the League’s existence, it has donated art scholarships to Kishwaukee College for outstanding art students; donated art to the Northern Illinois University Art Department’s permanent collection; and given monetary and other support to a range of area institutions including Habitat for Humanity, the Egyptian Theater, 4-H, DeKalb High School Art Department, Sycamore High School Art Department and the Dekalb Public Library.
KVAL was formed to support the arts in the Kishwaukee Valley area. Our purpose is to encourage the practice and appreciation of the arts in all media and to provide art education opportunities for citizens of the community.
KVAL welcomes artists and art supporters in all media and of all experience levels to attend its monthly meetings. Membership is not required to attend a meeting, although additional benefits are available to our membership.
Throughout KVAL’s existence the organization has upheld the value of philanthropy by giving back to the community. Throughout the year KVAL holds raffles and other fundraising activities to support operations as well as philanthropy, and each year in December KVAL collects voluntary donations of art supplies as well as monetary donations if offered from members to distribute to local charities and organizations. Also in December KVAL invites exceptional youth artists to the General Meeting in order to share their recent work and receive prizes in a program called the “Art of Giving.” Contact the Philanthropy chair or check the newsletter for more information on making donations and current recipients of KVAL’s philanthropic activities.