Buffalo Niagara Art Association

About the BNAA

The Buffalo Niagara Art Association (BNAA) is an artistically diverse network of western New York artists bonded together to promote community understanding and interest in the visual arts.

Originally named the Amherst Society of Creative Arts, the Society adopted its charter on March 16, 1955. The original membership of twenty one artists elected William H. Gage as its first president. Its main objective continued to this day was to promote an interest in the visual arts by holding group exhibitions of members' works. The first formal exhibition was held in the clubrooms of the Junior League of Buffalo in January 1956. The Society promoted annual auctions of works donated by members, using the proceeds to fund scholarships for talented and deserving senior art students in Amherst and other area high schools.

In 1957, the Society sponsored its first outdoor art festival on the lawn of the Amherst Central high school. Over time it developed a tradition of annual spring and fall exhibitions held in various galleries throughout the area. The exhibited works and awards were selected by a non-member juror who possessed reputable credentials in the art field. This tradition continues to this day.

Originally the Society hosted bi-monthly dinner meetings and invited a guest speaker from the art community, or an artist to demonstrate in a particular medium. Demands on members' time diminished interest in such frequent meetings and the Society shifted its guest speakers to its annual meeting. The annual meeting was typically held in the fall season but currently occurs in the spring.

Over the years the geographic location of its membership expanded to include members who lived as far south as East Aurora, north to Lockport and west to the Niagara River. To reflect the increasingly diverse communities in which the members live, the Society formally changed its name to the Buffalo Niagara Art Association in January 2006.