In 1995 Sumter County officials agreed to a proposal from the group of 12 artists and provided free gallery space in the Sumter Sheriffs Annex in return for an opportunity to have fine art on their walls. Thus the Visual Arts Association was born. As the group expanded, it needed more structure, and in 1997 Bylaws were approved, officers elected and an Executive Board formed. These bylaws have been updated regularly due to the needs to accommodate growth opportunities. As may be seen in the venues listed in this Membership Year Book and on the web site, the VAA now provides many opportunities for members.