Weekender

Bellfonte Art Museum brings unconventional touch to holiday show

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Bellefonte Art Museum.

There aren’t any trees, per se, but there are plenty of potential gifts hanging on the wall in accordance with the museum’s annual holiday show and sale, open now through Dec. 23.

This year’s theme, “Creating the NEW: Inspired by Great Artists,” has yielded a slew of original paintings, sculptures and other gift wrapping challenges ripe for the picking.

Like any of history’s truly great gift-givers, curator Dotty Ford was looking to surprise with her non-traditional take on what a seasonal display should look like.

“It’s not your typical holiday show. It’s not about Christmas ornaments,” Ford said.

There is, however, a very tall fish sculpture carved from wood, which doubles as proof that a chainsaw can, in fact, be a precision tool.

The label attached to “Leaping Trout” says that artist Ed Crow’s source of inspiration was his sister, who stands in the company of other illustrious muses on display like Georgia O’Keefe, Claude Monet and psalms from the Bible.

It’s great company to keep, sure — but still not at all conducive toward the mass production of holiday paraphernalia.

Instead, visitors will be greeted by watercolors inspired by quotes from Alfred Russel Wallace or cut paper art molded straight out of the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland.

“People put a lot of thought into it,” Ford said.

While nearly 100 works by 60 different artists should keep the space under the evergreen spruce more or less stocked, there are also a few of the reliable old standbys on hand — purses and ornaments make great stocking stuffers — just in case.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

IF YOU GO

  • What: “Creating the NEW: Inspired by Great Artists”
  • When: through Dec. 23
  • Where: Bellefonte Art Museum, 133 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte
  • Info: www.bellefonte museum.org
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