Supporting the Arts at Chautauqua Institution

VACI Partners is an all volunteer membership organization with a mission to promote awareness, education, appreciation and excellence in the visual arts at Chautauqua Institution. The Partners support the Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, the Melvin Johnson Sculpture Garden, and the Chautauqua School of Art. VACI Partners encourages an appreciation for all forms of art making, by both professionals and amateurs.

VACI Partners is managed by a Board of Directors who work closely with Sharon Louden, Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Artistic Director of the Visual Arts, and Judy Barie, Susan and John Turben Director of VACI Galleries.

Over the course of the season VACI Partners hosts events for its members and for the general public. These have traditionally included art fairs, lectures, exhibition openings, and fundraising activities. Please join us and take advantage of all that Chautauqua has to offer in the area of visual arts.


Community Events

VACI Partners Community Events

All VACI Partner events for the 2020 season have been canceled.

Art in the Park  (Canceled for 2020)
Sundays, July 5 & August 2, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

An open art fair with 75 vendors held in Miller Park, showcasing art by members of the Chautauqua community, students from the School of Art, and artisans from the region around Chautauqua Institution.

To register as a vendor at one or both Art in the Park dates apply online or fill out this form.

Opening Receptions for major exhibitions. View the schedule of exhibitions here.

Stroll Through the Arts Auction and Gala  

Each summer VACI Partners hosts a ticketed event to raise funds in support of student scholarships. This year the Gala takes place on Friday July 31, from 5:30–8 p.m. in the VACI Piazza with music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on original piece of art. All proceeds benefit Chautauqua School of Art Student scholarships.

Tickets may be purchased in advance using the VACI Partners membership form or at the Strohl Art Center once the season begins.

Chautauqua Connections

VACI Partners facilitates connections between the Emerging Artists enrolled at the School of Art and Chautauquans who are interested in learning more about the art making process and who are willing to make time to enrich the experience of the Emerging Artists in Chautauqua. This year VACI Partners will be experimenting with an online community tool rather than making one-on-one pairings. You do not need to be on the grounds for an extended period in order to volunteer for the program. Even if you are on the grounds for just one week you will able and welcome to participate. Please email to be invited to join our online community.

Welcome Picnic 

On Wednesday, July 1 at 5:30 p.m. VACI Partners will host a picnic dinner for the 2020 Emerging Artists to celebrate the opening of their exhibition in Fowler-Kellogg Hall. Any Chautauquan who is interested in participating in VACI’s Connections program is welcome to attend. A small fee is charged to non-students to cover the cost of dinner. This is your chance to meet the artists who will be working in the Art Quad the next seven weeks.

Please email to be added to the invitation list. RSVP’s will be requested to help us plan this special event.