Fifteen years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program.
What this program has revealed is that the Pennsylvania Wilds has many talented artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs, but many visitors, residents and event artists are not aware of this due to the region's rural geography (the PA Wilds covers 25% of PA, but accounts for only 4% of the population). It can be difficult to appreciate the creative spirit and skill of the region's artists and craftspeople when so many of them practice their craft in a room at their house on a back country road, out of sight.
Telling the story of the region's creative makers is essential to developing the region's identity and sense of place and to helping the public appreciate and be inspired by the creativity around them.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is proud to present the Creative Makers Exhibit. This traveling exhibit showcases more than 20 makers working in their creative spaces, located throughout the PA Wilds.
PA Wilds Juried Artisan Katie Weidenboerner captured the images, which will be presented with a photojournalistic approach. Our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This exhibit is free and open to the general public.
3/06/18-3/30/18: Elk County Council on the Arts, Ridgway, reception 3/9.
4/6/18- 4/27/18: Factory Works Gallery at The Pajama Factory, Williamsport, closing reception 4/26 (as part of the PA Wilds Annual Dinner and Creative Entrepreneur's Conference)
WHERE WE'VE BEEN
11/3/17-11/30/17: Winkler Gallery of Fine Art, DuBois,
This exhibit will continue to travel throughout Pennsylvania, please check back often for updates to the touring schedule.
Venues interested in hosting the show can contact LaKeshia Knarr, our Outreach Specialist to learn more about how to be added to the touring schedule.
Participating Wilds Cooperative Makers
A Touch of Nature
This exhibition was supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.