Bellefonte Art Museum kicks off 10th anniversary with exhibition of artist self-portraits

This self-portrait of Zheka is among those in the exhibition.
This self-portrait of Zheka is among those in the exhibition. Photo provided

Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County is celebrating its 10th anniversary with “The First Decade at the Museum: Portraits and Posters.”

The exhibition will be on the first floor in the Windows on the World and Sieg galleries and is open now through Feb. 25.

The show reviews the first nine years with self-portraits done by artists from the museum’s artist registry and includes a collection of the many posters that were created to announce the shows over the years. The goal for the museum is to show visitors who it is and to help them appreciate the work done by talented local artists.

“We are all so pleased to know the museum has become an important destination for artists, patrons and families in central Pennsylvania,” said Patricia House, the Bellefonte Art Museum Director who came up with the idea for the exhibition. “We hoped the exhibition would remind our visitors of the last nine years by exhibiting posters from most of the shows we have mounted.”

The artists were asked to create self-portraits as a way to challenge them and also introduce them to the visitors. The self-portraits include those of artists Douglas Weirauch, of State College; Bellefonte Art Museum Gallery Manager Lori Fisher, of Bellefonte, and Zheka.

“Most of the artists had not done self-portraits before,” House said. “The collection of portraits are a variety of styles and interpretations. Some are classic portraits, while others are more representative of the artist’s alter self.”

The show contains artworks by 68 artists from central Pennsylvania.

“Some are collage, some water color, some sculpture, and there are a couple fiber and a few mixed media,” House said.

House believes the goal of this show — and the 2018 schedule — is to showcase “art from around the corner and around the world.”

“We enjoy our first Sunday openings because so many folks come out,” she said. “We frequently have 200 to 300 visitors drop by on a first Sunday. Our goal has been to create an artistically based community — a place to create, to share, to inspire and to connect.”

House said she feels that their scheduled shows this year reflect the region and its people.

There’s a collection of images of fans from football games, a show of works by high school graduates, a collection of landscapes of central Pennsylvania, a collection of Kangas (wearable art) from East Africa — for which the museum received a Pennsylvania Arts Grant — and a private collection of Native American art collected by a local couple to help encourage a conversation about collecting. Those are just a few of the collections that visitors can look forward to in 2018.

“The museum has stimulated interest in the arts and expanded folks vision of arts in our region,” House said. “We have encouraged artists to create and to sell, and we have inspired a renaissance in Bellefonte.”

If you go

  • What: “The First Decade at the Museum: Portraits & Posters”
  • When: noon-4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 25
  • Where: Windows on the World and Sieg galleries, first floor, Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County, 133 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte
  • Info: www.bellefontemuseum.org/events/exhibits/?exhibit-type=Current