After establishing the first juried Chesterton Art Fair, a group of local artists founded the nonprofit Association of Artists & Craftsmen of Porter County (AACPC). Ernest Schwidder was the AACPC’s first chairman and Gloria Rector was the Center’s first paid director.
The original Art Center was located on the top floor of the Main Street building in Chesterton. Later, the building on 4th Street was acquired and christened the Gilbert Gallery. The Center’s name later changed to the Chesterton Art Gallery, and presently the official name is the Chesterton Art Center.
In 1992, a two-story classroom was added adjacent to the main gallery which now hosts over 200 classes annually.
Today the AACPC can proudly say that the Art Center membership has steadily increased to over 500 members, offers continuing education for the arts, and is a venue for regional artists to display and sell their artwork.