Downtown Art Gallery to open

By Michelle Reed

Contributing Writer


University students and Lewisburg residents will soon have new opportunities to view and interact with contemporary art at the University’s Downtown Art Gallery.

Richard Rinehart, director of the Samek Art Gallery, sees the new gallery as an important part of the growing emphasis on the arts in Lewisburg.

“I think this new gallery could effect a dramatic positive change in the cultural landscape of Lewisburg,” Rinehart said. “We have the capability to bring the best art being produced in the world today to the heart of this community. There is a bit of a sea change taking place in this region currently with the newly renovated Campus Theatre, the Presidential Arts Initiative, edgy new galleries in Williamsport and a collage center opening in the future in Milton. Joining existing art and performance venues in the area, these new venues–including Bucknell’s new Downtown Art Gallery–can further Lewisburg as a cultural destination.”

The exhibitions at the Downtown Art Gallery will be separate from the program at the Samek Art Gallery on campus. Rinehart views the separation of the galleries as an opportunity to provide the campus and community with two different artistic experiences.

“By having distinct exhibitions, we double the opportunities for connecting with audiences,” Rinehart said. “Plus, the Samek is in the heart of academia, which suggests one kind of exhibition, whereas the Downtown Gallery is in the heart of the community, suggesting a different sort.”

The smaller size of the Downtown Art Gallery will allow for a much different presentation than one might encounter at the Samek Art Gallery.

“Size suggests the type of exhibition. The Samek is a relatively large gallery that suggests group shows and historic retrospectives, whereas the Downtown Gallery is much smaller, suggesting single-artist solo contemporary art shows where we can take advantage of living artists to visit town for residencies, lectures, and so on,” Rinehart said. “So, I see the two galleries complementing and balancing each other and providing a richer mix of cultural programming for the area.”

The Downtown Art Gallery will open its doors on March 31 with an opening celebration for the public on March 31 and April 1 from 12 – 5 p.m.

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