SAMA-Bedford dual exhibition showcases permanent collection

Nov. 3—BEDFORD, Pa. — Works from Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art's permanent collection are being showcased in a dual exhibition.

"Hidden Gems" is on display through Nov. 20 in the first-floor Titelman Galleries, and "Geometric Abstraction" is featured through Feb. 5 in the Ashe and Hawk Galleries and the Children's Discovery Gallery at SAMA-Bedford in the Anderson House, 137 E. Pitt St., Bedford.

As a limited-release show, "Hidden Gems" is showcasing the most elusive and intriguing artworks from the SAMA permanent collection.

"It's a short-lived exhibition that's about a month, and some of the pieces are so unique that they might not fit into other groupings for exhibitions of our permanent collection," said Christi Draves, site director of SAMA-Bedford.

"Some have not even been shown before and some are different, unique pieces that are of their own."

Draves said it was decided to round out the show with some of SAMA's most well-known and popular pieces.

"We've made it our hidden gems for one month for people to see what we have for show," she said.

The exhibit features 40 pieces in various media.

"There's a full variety, and we have art from across the board," Draves said.

"There's sculpture, paper, etchings, sketches and paintings. It's a full museum in one gallery."

Artists featured include Salvador Dali, Leonard Baskin, Andy Warhol, Carole A. Feuerman, Peter Max and William D. Davis.

"It's an interesting assortment," Draves said.

When selecting pieces, she said she and SAMA's registrar went through the permanent collection list to pick art for the show.

"It's such an assortment that generally wouldn't be grouped together in any other type of situation because some are black-and-white, some are full of color and some are bridging the gap between downstairs and upstairs exhibits, so some of the artists who may not have shown before or are very unique fall in between, and they're on the stairs and they blend visitors from 'Hidden Gems' to 'Geometric Abstraction,' " Draves said.

"There's a flow, and it's just how the pieces talk."

The "Geometric Abstraction" exhibition combines color, shape and creativity.

The concept behind the selection of this set of works is to display a variety of abstract pieces from SAMA's permanent collection that illustrate the ability of each artist to express an assortment of emotions, from intrigue to calm, using forms and color.

Exhibiting the pieces in the newly opened Children's Discovery Gallery allows guests to interact with art in a unique way.

"To me, nothing speaks more to families and youth than color and shape," Draves said.

"With that in mind, it was easy for me to go through and select pieces that I thought were fun, energetic and interesting. When we have our guests come in, they can look at it and be creative and see different things."

The display includes 26 pieces of predominantly abstract work.

"There are powerful shapes and designs," Draves said.

"It's good for children to see art that's not realistic. I think going with some of the more abstract and colorful pieces allows for a playful nature, and children can see that this is real museum art and it is however you're perceiving it."

The hope is that those seeing the exhibit will be inspired to express themselves creatively by putting media on paper.

"The goal is you just try and do things, and they can see the art that's fun and different," Draves said.

"We want people to come in and then want to come back and create and try something new."

In conjunction with the exhibits, SAMA- Bedford will offer workshops for fall.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, local retired art teacher Tom McGahuey will hold a basic drawing class.

The class will encompass basic creative and abstract drawing skills using crayons, markers, pens and pencils.

McGahuey will present learning water- color techniques from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 11 and 12.

The first class will build the foundation on working with watercolors, and the second will continue to build watercolor skills.

The cost for each workshop is $20.

On Nov. 4, the museum will host its succulent pumpkin centerpiece class from 6 to 8 p.m.

Step-by-step guidance will be provided for creating a centerpiece.

The cost is $30 per person and all materials will be included.

To register for the workshops, visit

"We want to be relatable and welcoming, so I'm always trying to find ways that make people feel comfortable coming to the museum," Draves said.

"You can come in and do an activity that is relatable to the exhibition and to you, so there's a connection."

Museum hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

Admission to the exhibits is free.

For more information, call 814-589-3020 or visit