Bellefonte ARTMuseum for
Families of Centre County
About the Bellefonte Museum
The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County: Learn about us!
“Expand Your World”
The Bellefonte ART Museum of Centre County started out as the Bellefonte Museum for Centre County in 1995, a showcase for local history and and an educational tool. Although the museum went through an early burst of strength, the first director passed away and then a series of issues kept the museum from growth.
The museum is located in the John Blair Linn House on Allegheny Street. The house, built in 1810 of Trenton Limestone, is listed in the National American Buildings Survey and on the National Historic Registry. The historic home was residence to many individuals and families who contributed to the growth of the town of Bellefonte, Centre County and Pennsylvania.
Over the years, many volunteers helped keep that original gallery open including several folks who are still helping like Dona Goldman, Judy Catherman, Milly Ragosta, Louise Mason, and Gloria Rogers.
In 2006, Patricia House moved from California and a career in museum work to live in Bellefonte buying an historic house on Spring Creek. Pat’s museum work included curating, fundraising, education and directing. As a young museum professional, Pat traveled to Africa many times and became interested in many aspects of the continent doing several different projects but what focused her interest was the wilderness and the wildlife. She worked to help local residents assume more responsibility for commercial enterprise especially safari travel and to embrace the animals as their legacy. She continues a little work in East Africa by organizing photographic safari travel.
Pat wanted to be a part of her new community. Walking
around the beautiful Victorian Town, she was both impressed by the history
and seriously disturbed by the lack of social and commercial activity. Pat
met several of the volunteers at the museum and felt both sad about the fate
of this vision and impressed about the perseverance of the volunteers. Pat
decided the museum was an idea that deserved resuscitation, this time as an
art museum with it’s own 501c3 not for profit charitable tax status.
"For six years, I have worked to create a destination in Bellefonte to celebrate the creative arts and pass on the importance of creativity to young people of our community. I call the museum “an Imagination Celebration” and a place to expand your world! We have grown from one gallery to six galleries with 250 members and 78 artists (half of both groups live in State College).”
The museum has acquired funding from government grants, individuals donors, members, classes and sales but receives no funds from the borough or county.
After two years, Pat was about to give up when she
met Judy Sieg who agreed with her that the art museum was an idea whose time
has come. Judy encouraged her personally and financially supporting the
programming for children and adults. Today, the Sieg Gallery shows an
intriguing collection of hand sculptures collected by her mother in law,
Louise Bloom Sieg. By 2008 the museum had many more volunteers including artists who were drawn
to the museum by the mission to showcase and help local artists sell their
works and to provide enrichment by showing art from other places around the
world as well as art from our own community.
The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County represents the heritage, culture
and commitment of a community exemplified by a deep respect for the arts.
• Exhibitions in the “Windows on the World Gallery” include works from China, Vietnam, East Africa, Haiti, South America, Native American Cultures, Europe and a NASA photography show about the solar system. Shows have themes as diverse as, "The Artful Dog", "Earth and Fire", “The Art of Adornment”, “Playing with Food” and "Society Silks".
• The "Artist Registry" that helps promote and exhibit art by local artists. This group now numbers 78 members. The three galleries that serve local artists change shows every two months.
• The spacious creativity center for children offers free art class very “First Sunday of the Month”, art activities for families and will soon offer a place for birthday parties.
• A recent addition is a print room where classes are offered in various printing arts.
• The architecture gallery shows the works and history of Anna Wagner Keichline. In 1920, she became the state of Pennsylvania's first registered female architect. Future plans include organizing interactive exhibition materials for this room that explain aspects of engineering and design.
• “First Sunday”, happening the first Sunday of each month, is a free open house with refreshments for visitors, the opening of at at least one gallery and free educational art project for children.
• Imagination helps us dream and create. In the summer the museum offers science and art experiences together in day camps for kids!
• Visitors have the opportunity to purchase art created by artists on the museums Artist Registry.