Friends of Art

FOA logo

Fostering the study of visual art at Sweet Briar College since 1937.

The Friends of Art is a philanthropic organization comprising alumnae, students, faculty, staff, friends and neighbors of Sweet Briar College that encourages the study and enjoyment of the visual arts on campus by supporting art acquisitions and educational programs. Click here for the Friends of Art constitution and bylaws and a list of current board members.

The Sweet Briar art collection was established in the mid 1930s with the enthusiastic support of the newly-formed Friends of Art and the College’s third president, Meta Glass. In the decades since, the organization has provided funds for the acquisition of more than 80 works of art and its individual members have donated scores more. The Friends of Art board and general members likewise played a key role in the 1983-1984 transformation of the Refectory into the Anne Gary Pannell Center. The Friends of Art organization remains central to the effectiveness and vitality of the Art Collection and Galleries, providing funds for acquisitions to the permanent collection and supporting important initiatives such as renovation of galleries in support of the College’s overarching strategic plan. The Friends of board is currently pursuing several initiatives outlined in its 2011-2012 strategic plan.

In 2009, the Friends of Art board established an annual writing prize for currently enrolled Sweet Briar students to recognize excellence in academic and creative writing about or inspired by works in the permanent collection. This has been followed in 2012 by the establishment of a similar prize recognizing excellence in studio art work that references in some manner works in the permanent collection. In 2013, the Friends of Art began offering a stipend to support a currently enrolled Sweet Briar student in a summertime museum internship. This initiative was enhanced in 2014 with the addition of an internship stipend for students apprenticing in a creative visual arts organization (such as an atelier, retreat, or studio). Current information of these student prizes can be found by clicking here. In addition to this direct support of student work, the Friends of Art, through the geneorsity of Helen Scribner Euston ’65, purchases books relating to the College’s art collection for Cochran Library. 

The Friends of Art board meets twice a year: in New York in the fall and on campus at the Florence Elston Inn and Conference Center in the spring. The annual membership meeting is held in conjunction with the spring board meeting. Following its mission statement, Friends of Art board members guide the organization’s activities as an integral part of Sweet Briar College’s liberal arts curriculum. A portion of the spring meeting is set aside for a general membership meeting, to which all current members are invited.

Mission Statement 

The Friends of Art of Sweet Briar College actively supports the acquisition, preservation and presentation of the visual arts in service to education at the College and in the broader community. The Friends of Art recognizes both the benefits and joys that knowledge of the arts can bring to one's life. It advocates study of the arts to develop understanding of the present and historical world and to foster a disposition to think critically and creatively.


Membership is open to anyone interested in fostering the study and appreciation of the visual arts at Sweet Briar College. For information on joining the Friends of Art, please contact the College’s development office at (888) 846-5722 or [email protected]. Or click here to join or renew your membership online. Gifts at any level always make a difference. Gifts for special one-time projects and gifts in memory or in honor of a loved one are welcome, too. On behalf of Sweet Briar’s students and professors, thank you very much!

Friends of Art levels of support (annual membership)
General donor up to $25
Individual & Student/Young Alumna  $25
Family/Couple  $50
Contributing  $100
Sponsor  $250
Benefactor  $500
Patron  $1,000
Sustainer  $2,500 and above


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