Pieces shine at Bellefonte museum exhibit

bmilazzo@centredaily.comNovember 9, 2013 

— Copper art figures brought in from Haiti accompanied bedazzled art pieces on the walls of the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County on Saturday.

A handcrafted metallic creation by Serge Jolimeau named “Adam and Eve” depicted the biblical version of the story, while a smaller copper bird, by Georges Liautaud, was erected on a table nearby.

Along other portions of the walls in the museum’s designated exhibit area hung glittery handcrafted flags that glistened when the sunlight peeked though the front door of the art museum on North Allegheny Street.

The unique pieces were part of the art museum’s “All That Gleams and Glistens” exhibit that showcased metal and sequin art from Haiti. The exhibit began Oct. 6 and runs each weekend from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. until the end of the month.

“It’s a little slow today, but it’s been getting a really good outcome,” said volunteer Karen Grine. “Sundays are probably the busiest.”

The average day sees more than a dozen viewers, Grine said.

Bill and Janet Miscavage have been Nittany Valley Region residents for about six years. The retired couple, originally from Philadelphia, said that when they first moved to the area, they were looking for an art museum where they could admire the work from locals and other artists without a large crowd.

“We’re artsy people,” said Janet Miscavage. “We’re always looking for something crafty, yet still get the small town art feel.”

The couple visit the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County at least twice a month to see what new art is displayed.

Grine said that nearly every month, a new art show hits the museum, while a local featured artist is showcased. The current featured artist is Denise Wagner.

Wagner is a 1991 Penn State graduate who paints and photographs nature. She is also a longtime volunteer at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, where she created a “Birds of Prey” painting series and teaches art workshops.

Grine pointed out that the artwork at the museum is also for sale. Red dots were posted next to the pieces that had already sold, but its new owners won’t be able to pick the work up until the “All That Gleams and Glistens” show is done on Nov. 30.

Laurie Beasley, the show’s curator, said the copper art pieces and the sequins flags might look vastly different, but share the same meaning of Haitian Vodou through their imagery and artistic expression.

She said that Vodou is a system of beliefs honoring the African ancestral spirit that “emerge in response to chattel slavery” and is practiced by 90 percent of Haitians.

“I think when new art shows are brought in here, the museum wants to show a variety of different art forms,” Grine said.

The museum also features a “Windows of the World Gallery,” which showcases art from around the world; an Art Registry that promotes local artists; a creativity center for children that offers free classes to kids the first Sunday of each month; a print room where art classes are offered and more.

For more information, visit www.bellefontemuseum.org.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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