Artworks by William (Billy) Mills, Special Talents & Special Needs
The exhibition is a large collection of paintings by self taught artist, Billy Mills, who lived from 1918 to 2002. Mills lived in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, during his life. He was a well known local hero who lived with severe difficulties. He could not hear nor speak. However, his art works were compelling, demonstrating talent and skills in creating works representing family and community and landmarks of the area. Mills story is an inspirational and amazing story of how desire and talent supersedes difficulties. His talents helped him enable others to see the world more clearly. The story is a tribute to the human spirit and to the idea that humans have many gifts, and some are not even realized.
Mills art style varies from photorealistic to impressionistic works. The exhibition will feature works from several periods of his life and interests. He sold his works at local galleries especially the Adam and Art Gallery in Bellefonte; now closed. He lived at, and worked in the laundry room of, Centre Crest and his story is one of love found when he met Sara C Lee, whom he married and they lived together until her death in 1986.
The exhibition at the Bellefonte Art Museum will be curated by guest curators and art collectors, Doctors Gay and James Dunne. The Dunne's were friends and supporters of Mills. They featured and sold his artworks in their gallery.
This is a rare opportunity to learn about a popular artist with special needs and members of our community whose lives he affected.
Windows Gallery - 1st FloorFridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 - 4:30 p.m. OR By Appointment
Joan Koester in the Community Gallery
Biography: Joan Koester is a lifelong Pennsylvania resident, growing up in Pittsburgh, with a few well-appreciated early years in Potter County.
Joan received a BFA (with sculpture option) from Penn State University in 1977. After graduation, her focus turned more toward painting and she began a decades-long exploration, mostly private and largely self-taught.
Joan was employed at the Centre Daily Times for 24 years, where she and desktop publishing grew up together. No doubt, graphic design, sculpture, and the constraints of weekend painting all influenced a quick style, with large, flat forms balanced within the space of the canvas.
Since “graduating” from her newspaper career, Joan has exhibited at the
Art Alliance of Central Pa., Bellefonte Museum of Art and the Images Show of CPFA. Her work is in numerous private collections.
Artist Statement: I have a love of simple forms, flat spaces and descriptive lines. I seldom look at nature to paint, but draw from my mind’s eye. My subjects are usually women, couples, and the natural world of Pennsylvania.
My paintings express consciousness…my sense of being alive and how that feels.
Community Gallery - 2nd FloorFridays, Saturdays & Sundays 12:00 to 4:30 p.m. Or By Appointment