The Spirit of Bradford

Nathan Lawyer, executive director of the McKean County Arts Council, stands near a display of art that will be included in the upcoming art show at the organization’s headquarters in the Old Post Office on East Corydon Street in Bradford.

Visitors to a variety of events and festivals in the upcoming weeks will be invited to stop in at the McKean County Arts Council headquarters in Bradford to enjoy “The Spirit of Bradford” art show.

The inaugural show, which will feature art and artists of all mediums that are inspired by Bradford, its history and region, is now accepting artwork and items for display.

Nathan Lawyer, executive director of the Arts Council, located in the Old Post Office at 80 E. Corydon St., said the show will open Aug. 10, the last night of Festa Italiana in downtown Bradford, and will run through Sept. 30.

Lawyer said the Arts Council board decided to set up the exhibit and have it in place when visitors are in town for Festa Italiana, as well as the Summer Wine Walk on Aug. 10.

“We’re also going to do a reception during move-in weekend for students coming back to Pitt-Bradford (the weekend of Aug. 23) as well as the Pumpkin Festival” on Sept. 28, Lawyer said. “So it’s going to hit a lot of the bigger events downtown.”

Lawyer said art inspired by the Bradford area can include paintings, photography, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and even blacksmithing, among others.

“Bradford has a way of melding industry and nature and that is sort of the feel I want the show to have,” he explained. “Greg Souchik (local artist) has a painting I love of a train — it’s going through the forest and it is what I’m envisioning moving forward with this.”

He said there are photographers with the Arts Council who are currently recreating some of the older, iconic photos found on postcards and among archived materials to display in the show.

“I had someone tell me they had some old paintings that were done in the Foster Brook area from when all the trees were cleared,” he added. “It’s perfect, it really captures the artistic and historical elements.”

Kristin Asinger, president of the Arts Council, said the organization also invites people who have collected items from local artists, both past and present, to consider sharing them in the exhibit.

“I believe that when people come and see this exhibit, the items on display will give them a sense of pride and bring back many fond memories,” Asinger said.

Lawyer said all items will be secure while on display as there will be volunteers in the facility monitoring the show which will be exhibited in the lobby of the building and two rooms in the Arts Council office.

He said artwork can be left for as short or long of a period as the artist or owners desire.

“People can submit (and retrieve) art to us anytime during the show,” he continued, noting artwork can be left with the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau located across the lobby in the same building.

“Because it’s such a long show, it is my hope that someone could come back (to view the show) three times and it will be different every time,” Lawyer remarked.

He said the exhibit is also expected to be open on Sundays after the initial opening Aug. 10 and continue through September. The exhibit’s schedule will be posted on Facebook at McKean County Arts Council as well as at the Arts Council building.

For more information on the show, visit the Arts Council website at info@mckeanarts.org.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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