NEW BETHLEHEM — From painters to potters, jewelry makers to sculptors, the new Gallery at New Bethlehem Town Center is now open with 10 artists offering their creations for sale in the heart of downtown.
Housed in the historic Keck Block building along Arch Street, the second floor gallery overlooks the Redbank Valley Trail a block from the Route 28/66 main street.
“It’s been a lot of work and it’s not all done yet,” the building’s owner, Sandy Mateer, said, explaining that since she purchased the large former warehouse building in March 2017, improvements have included a new roof, brick work, plastering and painting, the installation of new restrooms and duct work, a handicap accessible lift for the second floor, and much more.
The second floor space was outfitted with movable walls and display areas for the art gallery, which now features the work of 10 artists from the area. Mateer said additional artists are welcome, but must first pass through a judging panel to be included in the gallery.
“I’m still looking for more artists to fill up these walls,” she said.
In addition to the gallery space, Mateer said the second floor features two large conference rooms that she hopes will be used for art classes and other group meetings.
“We’re hoping for more events,” she said, noting that she hopes the space can be used to help provide local students with art and music programs since cuts to those courses were recently made at Redbank Valley schools.
Currently, the gallery features wood block prints from Pittsburgh native Katrina Carlson, and sculptures from her husband and New Bethlehem native, Zane Carlson.
New Bethlehem artist Linda Moore’s paintings feature landscapes, birds, flowers and some still life work. Several display cases contain the jewelry work of Beautiful Kreations by Keli Reddinger of New Bethlehem.
Digital artwork is on display and sale from Carolyn Schiffhouer of Limestone, nearby are various pieces of Pine Springs Pottery created by Marie Lewis, another Limestone area artisan.
Well known block print maker Mary Hamilton of Rimersburg has quite a few of her colorful prints on sale as well.
Rounding out the current artists are photographers Tom DiStefano, Vicki Minich-Manners and Kyle Yates.
Currently, the gallery is open Fridays from 1 to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., as well as other times by chance or by appointment by calling (724) 664-4754.
Although she operates her business from her home, Lewis said she was grateful to have another space where people can see her pottery and works by other artists.
“It’s nice to have this showcase,” she said, noting that she is a member of Pennsylvania Wilds group. “Tourism is building in our area; I think it’s really going to grow.”