The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) opened in 1956 as a non-profit visual arts organization in Winston-Salem, N.C., in response to a community and regional need for exhibition space devoted to work by area artists. By 1972, when industrialist James G. Hanes willed his 32-acre estate to the gallery, its scope included all 11 southeastern states.
Renovation of Hanes’ English Hunt-Style mansion, as well as the construction of an 8,896 square foot gallery addition and receiving area, was completed in 1976.
In 1990, a 24,500 square foot addition was built. With the completion of this space, SECCA began a national focus on exhibiting the work of the country’s major contemporary artists while preserving a commitment to southeastern artists.
In 2007 the Board of Directors and the James G. Hanes Foundation transferred the building and operations of SECCA along with a portion of the grounds, to the State of North Carolina. The Department of Cultural Resources accepted this transfer, and determined that SECCA would be an independent entity (with its own Advisory Board) and operate as an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Mark Leach is SECCA’s director.