Our Mission and History

The Bay School Community Arts Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunities to learn, experience and appreciate the arts.

Through excellence and diversity in classes, exhibits, lectures and performances, the Bay School will be a gathering place for all. 

To fulfill this mission, we:

  • Sponsor or conduct educational workshops, training, programs and demonstrations of techniques employed in the visual arts.
  • Support and encourage the economic development of Mathews County in an environmentally sustainable manner.
  • Foster an appreciation of the arts and encourage people of all ages and abilities to explore their own creativity.
  • Provide a resource for lifelong learning.
  • Support local artists' endeavors by offering space in our gallery.
  • Aim to become a regional arts center and community asset, supporting all aspects of the arts, including music and theater, and to contribute to the revitalization of Mathews Courthouse.

The Bay School Community Arts Center was founded in 1997 by Wendy Wells.  The original name was Mathews County School of Country Arts!  Wendy was passionate about her vision to have a community arts center in Mathews, a small rural town on the Middle Peninsula in eastern Virginia. 

In 2000 the school became a 501c3 non-profit organization.  In 2001 the school moved to its present day location on Main Street in Mathews Courthouse area.

The Bay School conducts over 100 classes in fine art and crafts.  There are three classrooms, one of which is a pottery studio.  Classes are also scheduled offsite at local artist studios.

Over 30 talented local artists teach our classes.  Please check out our online catalog to see the wide variety of offerings for adults and children.