OUR MISSION: To inspire, to explore, to create and promote the visual arts. In 1961, a small group of artists organized an outdoor show for Punta Gorda. An astonishing 3,000 people came. These artists decided that maybe they had something, so they began to organize themselves into the Charlotte County Art Guild, Inc.They began to have informal meetings, organize more art shows, and held art classes in various spots around town: banks, schools, and small storefronts. At first, members had to be juried into the Guild - that is, an artist had to have a certain amount of experience and skill to be a member of the Guild. Membership was opened to the general public sometime in the 1970s.In the early 1980s, artist Henry Lohse led an energetic charge to get a Visual Arts Center built in Charlotte County. The Guild secured a long-term lease of Punta Gorda City property at Maud Street and West Marion Avenue. Fred Babcock was the first Patron of the Arts and contributed greatly to the building fund.