The PJ Olivier Art Centre was established in 1953 and was named after a former administrator of the old Cape Province. The first home of the Art Centre was in the Fernbank Villa in Van Riebeeck Street, Stellenbosch, where we started with only a handful of learners. In 1967 the Art Centre moved to its current location in Blom Street, on the historical Braak.
The buildings which house the Art Centre have been declared a national monument and are regarded as one of the historical treasures of Stellenbosch. The original single story building was built before 1817. Additions to enlarge it were made between 1880 and 1890. These additions were made in order to house the growing Rhenish Institute. The Annex building which was previously used to house the classrooms and school hall of the Rhenish Institute was built in 1905. The stately architecture and surrounding gardens of the Art Centre offer a peaceful atmosphere which stimulates the imagination and encourages creative activities.