“In 1959, it was a small, neighborhood child’s desire to learn how to paint that sparked the concept for turning a former convent into a place for arts instruction. Ever since, Locust Street Art (formally known as MollyOlga) has been providing free or low-cost art classes to the communities of Buffalo, New York.

In 1980, a generous stream of donations from students’ parents, people around the neighborhood and other supporters allowed us to purchase the convent outright. We added photography classes at the request of our growing body of teen students in the ’80s and have recently added animation and digital media. We’ve also continued to find new opportunities to exhibit the stellar artwork that our students create. This includes our Annual Art Show and many other off-site exhibitions.

We are proud to serve Buffalo and are especially proud to provide a space of exploration and creativity for a diverse array of students, especially those considered to be at-risk or members of marginalized groups. 67% of students are people of color, primarily African American (77% of students ages 4-13). Among the at-risk youth who attend classes, 90% live in zip codes considered low-income and 86% participate in free lunch programs.

We hope to continue to expand into the future so that we can offer free or low-cost art classes to as many people in the Buffalo, NY area as possible. We are always eager to meet new students of any age and skill level and registration is ongoing. So, if you are interested in taking classes at Locust Street Art, please contact us or just stop by!”