133 N. Allegheny Street Bellefonte , Pennsylvania 16823
For ten years now, the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County (BAM) has run all kinds of camps and programs for kids in the summer. Which means that over the last decade, countless local youth have passed through the old Linn House doors at 133 N Allegheny St and entered into an entirely different world. An escape, if you will, into the possibilities of both creativity and creation. It has has provided more summer memories for both parents and their kids than we will ever likely know.
But still, if you're around these parts in the summer of 2018, well, consider yourself lucky. Because this year seems poised to be the best summer ever at the museum.
Truth is, this year the museum seems bound to outdo itself. And they want you and your kids at the center of the action.
"Our motto is NO spectators!," exclaims Patricia House, Executive Director of BAM. "Admiring art is important and does so many good things for you and your mood and brain but it’s not enough! Adults and children benefit from opportunities to get involved and work with each other not just as teacher and as co- realtors, each having different perspectives. You benefit from experience and gain confidence by DOING."
'An Imagination Celebration!' is the name chosen for this summer's program at BAM, and if you're thinking to yourself, "Hmph, that name is kind of exciting sounding!", you're not at all wrong. Launched on Bellefonte First Sunday June (6/3/2018) with a special opening reception, the public is invited to come out to the museum throughout the months of June and July for whole lot of interactive art and experience. 'There's something for everyone' is probably one of the most abused clichés in the history of event writing, so I'm not even gonna go there, my friends. But.
THERE'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
Okay, okay! I'm sorry But there is! There really really is something for anyone you can imagine hitting the museum with this summer.
For starters, check this out. Five of the main galleries in the museum will be places where you don't just LOOK at art this summer, they'll be places where you go to CREATE your own! That's right, Executive Director, House, and Gallery Manager, Lori Fisher, have both come up with a particularly brilliant concept for June and July. The museum's galleries will be transformed into Co-Creating Galleries where every single one of us is needed to create the art on display.
Each gallery will focus on a specific medium, and each will be influenced by some of the most renown artists the world has ever known. Want a chance to contribute to a mural side-by-sde with your children? Then head down to the Windows Gallery where they'll be painting murals inspired by the legendary Mexican painter, Diego Rivera. Plus you can help create wood assemblage art inspired by such legendary artists as Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson.
In the Community Gallery visitors can add “Dots” to the infinity room, which is a space born up out of the spirit of Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. “Our Earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the Universe," she once said. Her use of polka dots in her art was an effort to help people experience the wonder of life and the vastness of the universe.
These Co-Creating galleries will give us all the unique opportunity to be a part of the art in ways which I'm almost positive would have made Rivera and Kusama giddy with joy. Kids will have the chance to do what they do best… dive on in.
But those galleries, as wonderful as they will be, are only the very start of things with 'An Imagination Celebration!'
There's just so much more too.
There will be two different EcoArt sessions with artist, Nicole Tucker, on Thursday, July 12th and Saturday, July, 14th . These will be on-location events out in nature where attendees will be able to learn how to see the natural world as sculptural material. Times and meeting places will be announced so, so make sure you keep a watchful eye on the BAM website or Facebook page for details.
Love music? Who doesn't, right? Especially kids in the summer. They go hand-in-hand. So make sure you don't miss the CoCreating Music program at the museum on July 1st. This will be a once-in-lifetime chance for everyone to participate with a real live band! World Rhythm Academy from Brooklyn, New York will be outside (inside if it rains) the museum bringing out your best inner musician. This event will be hugely popular, so make sure you're a part of it.
Creating with the Potters Guild of Centre County will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th at the Koll Farm in State College. Those days the museum will bring together fantastic local potters to offer demonstrations on the Potter’s wheel and ways to fire pottery, as well as helping attendees get their hands dirty with some real-life pottery making themselves! This will be a tremendous chance to experience the very special skills that our local potters possess, and to dig into the clay of this old Pennsylvania art form yourself. Address, map and event time will be announced soon, so check with the museum.
Look, this museum of ours,… we're lucky to have it. We just are. And this summer's programs are only going to serve to prove that to us. Don't forget though, it's not all about kids. Adults can and should try a little art now and then too. For so many of us, creating art becomes something we seem to do less and less as we grow older. We forget the simple joy of splashing color orn a page, of drawing a leaf or pushing down into a mound of clay.
In many ways, 'An Imagination Celebration!' is for parents and grandparents and anyone who hasn't turned to art for a while now. It is, it seems to me, an attempt to remind folks that anyone can return to art at any time...and that the benefits are innumerable.
And what could possible be wrong with that, you know?
While at your visit to BAM, head up to the 3rd floor to witness Underground Railroad: A Journey to Freedom exhibit. That permanent feature highlights the escaped slaves who sought safe passage to freedom in the north via a secret network of people who wanted to help abolish slavery altogether.
'An Imagination Celebration!" - June 1 throughJuly 29, 2018
Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County
133 North Allegheny Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823
Summer Hours: June and July 2018, Thursday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 12 to 4:30.
Groups and private parties are welcome to schedule separate hours.
*This exhibition is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency fund-ed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
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