BY TOM LAVIS
In the case of the newest exhibit at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto, size does matter.
“Seeing the Big Picture: Larger than Life Work from the Permanent Collection,” an exhibit of 22 paintings from the museum’s permanent collection, will be on display April 19 through June 15 at the museum, located on the campus of St. Francis University.
“This is a real eye-popper,” said Scott Dimond, curator for visual arts.
“I think the smallest painting still measures at least 50 inches.”
The exhibit is in the museum’s main gallery, which allows visitors to stand back and get the full effect.
“It’s an impressive exhibition,” Dimond said.
The pieces were chosen from the museum’s large-scale collection.
“It’s a rare occasion when we can retrieve these large pieces from storage for the public to enjoy,” he said.
Pieces in the show feature Allen Capriotti’s “Pennsylvania Victorian Restoration,” an oil-on-linen painting that measures 72 inches by 48 inches, and Willy Heeks’ “Window,” an oil-on-canvas creation that is 64 inches by 58 inches.
The artistic styles in the exhibition feature abstract, landscape, mythology, portraiture and realism.
Featured artists include a mix of local, regional and national talent, including Allen Capriotti, Shirley Goldfarb, Kevin Kutz, Charles Olson, Gordon Russell and Francine Tint.
Other featured works include Richmond Burton’s “The Room Inside, That We Seek,” an oil-on-canvas that measures 107 inches by 60 inches, and Anna Marie Schnur’s “On Fire,” an acrylic-on-canvas that measures 78 inches by 121 inches.
Some of the smaller works include Bob Paul Kane’s “Cannes,” an acrylic-on-canvas that measures 56 inches by 70 inches, and Nathan Wagoner’s “Hammamet,” an oil-on-linen that measures 60 inches by 48 inches.
Several artists have created multiple panels to produce one piece for the exhibit.
Besides showcasing a range of artists and styles, “Seeing the Big Picture” highlights the diversity and growth of SAMA’s collection.
When the museum opened in 1976, its permanent collection consisted of 47 paintings, sculptures and drawings, plus a collection of 20 etchings by John Sloan.
Since 1976, the permanent collection has grown to more than 4,000 works.
The collection offers a comprehensive introduction to 19th, 20th, and 21st century American art, Dimond said.
The collection includes works by nationally recognized artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Mary Cassatt, Helen Frankenthaler, Thomas Moran and Andy Warhol.
Most of this large-piece collection is stored at the Loretto facility.
The mission of the museum is to have the collection on display, and it often rotates the collection among its four facilities.
“I really don’t know if this show could travel, except for perhaps to the space in Johnstown,” Dimond said.
“But hanging these large pieces requires special care.”
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
Admission to the museum is free.
What: “Seeing the Big Picture: Larger than Life Work from the Permanent Collection.”
Where: Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Loretto.
When: April 19 through June 15.
Information: 472-3920 or visit www.sama-art.org.
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