As spring blooms along the US Route 6 Corridor in Pennsylvania, it is time to celebrate the artisans and artisan groups that make the northern tier of Pennsylvania a beautiful place to live.
The PA Route 6 Alliance has declared April as Artisan Month along the 427-mile long Heritage Corridor and honors those creative geniuses that spark something in each of us and inspire us to new heights.
To highlight the diversity of art and culture along PA Route 6, the following is a list of six long time members of the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail and true supporters of the arts:
1.) Wendy Neckers/Painted Finch Gallery, Corry, Erie County
2.) Dan & Jan Niebauer/Ralph Miller Jewelers & Gallery, Erie, Erie County
3.) Art in the Wilds, Kane, McKean County
4.) Curt Weinhold, Coudersport, Potter County
5.) Connie Sickler/Settlement House, Sylvania, Bradford County
The Settlement House Gallery appears to be situated in an old house built along the highway, but it is actuall a relatively new structure (2001) so carefully crafted that it has the feel of an old, well-loved farmhouse. Inside, the gallery is filled with vibrant colors and textures curated by the owner and artist Connie Sickler, who has skillfully combined the work of potters, painters, glass and fabric artists, into a charming collection of artwork. You will see a careful attention to details, a little bit of humor, and a touch of whimsy.
Sickler (above) is a painter, designer and illustrator and her own work is well represented in the gallery. A recent watercolor “The Tree of Hope” is available as a print in several sizes.
6.) Dietrich Theater/Wyoming Cultural Center, Tunkhannock, Wyoming County
Originally built in 1936 by George Dietrich, the theater has operated for almost 50 years. The building includes four movie theaters showing blockbuster, foreign, independent, and classic films. It is also the staging ground for a wide range of cultural activities including film festivals, live theater, concerts, workshops and classes. Local artwork is exhibited in the William Norris Earnshaw and the Doris W. & Walter A. Sherwood Galleries and classes are taught in the Dorothy G. Sheldon Art Studio and the Peg Fassett Performance Studio.
The theater is a strong presence in downtown Tunkhannock. Last year, it was host for the guided and self-guided walking tours (below) of the historic town.
This is just a sample of the great artisans, organizations, galleries and retail shops along the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail. For a complete list, log on to www.paroute6.com/artisan_trail.
The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail was started in 2005 as a year-long trail, designed to establish Route 6 as a driving destination for exploring the heritage and folk- life of northern Pennsylvania through products produced in that area, specifically the arts and crafts. The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail covers the 427 miles from the New York border to the Ohio border.
The trail also serves as a network for artisans to share ideas and experiences. It is managed by the PA Route 6 Alliance and funded through the Heritage Area Program of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.