In the early 1950s, talented painter and instructor Pavo Airolo met Jean Burger while teaching in Cobourg, Ontario. It was her idea to create an art club and in 1954 the Cobourg Art Club was established with Jean as its first president.
Those early meetings were held at the old Orange Hall, a small one-storey building near the town's West Collegiate.
When Airolo moved to Phoenix, Peter Kolisnik took his place as instructor. He was followed by John Doherty and then Jim Paget held three, seven week sessions for the following ten years.
As the Club began to grow new venues were needed and over the years its members met at the Market Building, the east high school, Gummow P.S., Victoria College, Pad Two, the Grafton Inn and the Columbus Centre. In 2007 the Club moved to the Cobourg Public Library.
The CAC's annual art show is always well attended. It is usually held in Spring (April).
2014 marked the 60th year of the Cobourg Art Club. It has grown in membership and in professionalism with many of its members now working as full-time artists.
Notable long-time members included :
- Alf Blything (d.),
- Alan Sudbury (d.),
- Joyce Graham (d.),
- Joyce Bryant (d.),
- Irene Young (d.),
- Eric Wright (d.),
- Eleni Ponting (d.),
- Rosemary Davis (d.).
Original members who continued on the roster in 2016 :
- Anne Cortesis.
Past Presidents of the club include :
- Joyce Bryant
- Anne Wilson.
- Anne Plaxton.
- Molly Logan, (d.)
- Susan Statham.
- Maureen Mullally.
- Judy Hopkins.
- Sue Statham.
- Sheila McCoy.
Current President of the club is :
- Bärbel Smith.