Pitt-Johnstown's Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center is host to various exhibitions of paintings, photos, and sculptures from the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA).
Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center
SAMA, a community art museum founded in 1976, successfully operates the nation’s longest-running museum satellite system with four museum facilities in the southwestern Pennsylvania cities of Altoona, Johnstown, Ligonier and Loretto.
The museum group maintains a permanent collection of more than 4,000 works of local, regional, national and international artists. SAMA's mission is to preserve, exhibit, and advance American art, and is dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania.
SAMA’s four museums offer award-winning education programs, special events, and approximately 24 exhibitions annually.
Unlikely Heroes: Selected Prints by Leonard Baskin offers about 40 woodcuts, etchings and lithographs from the SAMA permanent collection.
A well-known printmaker and sculptor as well as a gifted teacher, Leonard Baskin brought new currency to figurative art during the 1950s and ‘60s. Turning away from the abstract styles that dominated the art world at that time, Baskin advocated a return to the humanism of the Renaissance.
Baskin revived ancient printmaking techniques and created images that reflected both the dignity and the suffering of humanity. He also placed a strong emphasis on faith and traditional religion, themes that were generally ignored by modernists but which were at the heart of much great art of the past.
Unlikely Heroes spotlights the artists, revolutionaries and people of faith that Baskin revered. Native Americans, characters from Moby Dick, Old Testament queens and nineteenth-century painters all appear in Baskin’s personal pantheon.
There are even self-portraits, in which the artist stakes his own claim to the force of will and visionary insight that mark the Baskinesque hero. Rendered in Baskin’s inimitable expressionist style, Unlikely Heroes is a striking celebration of the inner strength and creativity of mankind.