CULTURE CORNER: Bellefonte Art Museum

Central Pennsylvania artists and art lovers have a great resource right in their own backyard.

The Bellefonte Art Museum is located in the Linn House, an historic structure on the National Historic Registry. The museum is only 20 minutes from State College and Penn State, and is centrally located in the downtown area of Bellefonte.

The museum has a strong focus on local art. The Artist Registry contains over 165 local artists, many who show their work at the museum. The Community Gallery, Pottery Gallery, Photography Gallery and Sieg Gallery all showcase the work of these different artists, rotating out every month.

The museum hopes to enrich the community not only through local work, but through the Special Exhibitions Gallery, which includes work from China, Vietnam, East Africa, Haiti, Japan and South America.

Perhaps one of the most though-provoking exhibits at the gallery, however, deals with local and U.S. history. A Journey to Freedom, a permanent exhibit, highlights the building and our area’s role in the Underground Railroad. Before and during the war, the museum building was occupied by a Quaker family who reportedly helped shelter those trying to escape to a better life, and this and other stories are part of the powerful exhibit.

The museum also has a great resource for members in the Art Library. This resource provides a variety of literature on art history, artists, museum catalogs, how-tos and more, all available to help local artists hone their craft.

The museum is also a great place for locally produced gifts. The Twiga Museum Store is filled with fine handcrafted items made by its registry artists, along with a group of select artists from outside Centre County.

No matter the time of year, the museum is a great place to visit. You can even stop by for a dose of art when the museum is closed, as it just recently opened a 24/7 display window, which offers a variety of art and objects with illumination, forming an exhibit that can be viewed day or night.

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