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Susquehanna Life

Bellefonte Art Museum Contributes to Community & Culture

Jun 08, 2017 02:59AM ● By Melanie Heisinger
By Jennifer Pencek

Central Pennsylvania is home to a plethora of talented artists producing original artwork. Helping to expand the visibility of those artists and pieces of art is the Bellefonte Art Museum of Centre County, which first opened its doors in the historic Linn House nine years ago.
The museum plays a unique role in the region as a place for art and community to connect.
“We have created a community for families and art and collectors, which is very exciting,” said Patricia House, executive director. “We are pleased to help artists display and sell their works. We also try to include support and enrichment for the artists who are on our registry and also try in several ways to provide enrichment for the community with art shows from other cultures, children’s camps, and special events focusing on art, poetry, and stories.”
The Linn House, which was built in 1810 of Trenton limestone, is listed in the National American Buildings Survey and on the National Historic Registry. Prior to the art museum residing in the home, Linn House was a private residence and also was used for local history exhibits. However, House, who came from a museum career background, felt the location would be better suited as a community art museum and began efforts to create Bellefonte Art Museum. The museum now has more than 500 members and more than 170 artists listed on its registry.
One of those artists is Judith Finkelstein, a fiber artist living in Stormstown. Finkelstein first became affiliated with Bellefonte Art Museum in its infancy, starting as a registry artist and then a docent.
“One of the many attributes of the museum is inclusiveness for artists and visitors,” she said. “One may become involved as a volunteer or come to eat the goodies on First Sunday (monthly community event). Either way, you feel a part of supporting art by our talented producers and fostering an appreciation of art in our community. It’s kind of like a big family.”
Alice Kelsey, a landscape and still-life artist from Warriors Mark, exhibits her work regularly at the museum, as well as in national juried exhibitions and in several regional galleries.
“The diverse array of exhibitions presented by the museum both broadens our horizons and celebrates the vitality of local visions,” she said. “Creations by artists in our midst, as well as those from other nations and eras, can be seen up close in a multitude of media and styles, igniting discovery and appreciation.”
Learn more about the Bellefonte Art Museum of Centre County, including accessing its artist registry and viewing examples of artists work, at
Jennifer Pencek is a freelance writer based in State College and programming coordinator of the Center for Women Students at Pennsylvania State University.

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