WMAA Grows 21st Century Inspiration

Westmoreland Museum of American Art developing new inspiration, development, and a future location.

In the small town of Greensburg, a 21-century museum is growing. As of now, the Westmoreland Museum of Art (WMAA) is temporarily holding up in a small building next to Mt. View Inn, dubbed Art on Route 30.
The museum exhibits many different types of art. They have everything from modernized “selfies” on display to colonial paintings and exhibits of colonial clothings, antique furniture and fine china, all hand crafted by different regional artists.
The museum features a permanent collection in the upper-level. It is a collection of artwork selected by the museum curator that the museum owns and will always have on display. To create interaction with the art while answering curiosity, the museum offers sticky notes that are open to viewers to write questions/comments on and post the next to the paintings. The curator will then answer them at a later date.
Through the multiple classes for students of all ages that the museum offers, use of the trending term “selfie” was popular among students. Surprisingly good self portraits were done by eighth graders, as well as other work from younger students that were done through instagram. The kids answered some questions about ‘selfies’ that they created, and then posted a ‘selfie’ to instagram answering the question that they asked. The museum also created an entire wall of selfies that is open to anyone to join. By submitting a ‘selfie’ to the email provided, anyone and everyone can get their selfie posted to the wall.
An entire room is dedicated to architecture with displays of what the new building will look like after construction is finished. The goal of the museum is to bring modernized and eccentric art into Greensburg, exposing people to art culture and attracting tourists from all over.
“This is Greensburg’s Museum. This is America’s Museum. This is my museum. It is your museum,” said Alyssa Dreliszak, Seton Hill graduate and former Museum Visitor Service Staff.
The museum is working with Ennead Architects and LaQuatra Bonci Associates: Landscaping Architecture to create a museum for the 21st century. The property of the future site was a gift from a visionary women, Mary Marchand Woods, fifty years ago. It was her intent that the gift would be used to develop a new museum in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The goal is to transform the museum experience. “A creative spirit was born in 1959 when the Westmoreland Museum of American Art opened it’s doors. The future museum is vivid and and I am sure that Mary Marchand Woods would be pleases to know that…the Westmoreland would not only realize her vision but exceed her expectations,” said Dreliszak.
One of the current temporary features that the museum hosted was called “Thrust Excavation” a collection of artworks by Chris Mcginnis. The exhibit ran from January 7 to February 1, 2015. “While it is hard to determine a favorite from all of the works on display, I would select the Deformation Dining Table. This was something I had wanted to do for a while and was excited to pull it together for the show,” said Mcginnis.
Mcginnis was very honored to have his artwork on display “This was my first exhibition in Greensburg PA. I was honored that the WMAA provided this platform to showcase my work and remain excited to see the new venue.”
The museum featured Art On Tap nights, where music, beverages, and light appetizers were available while Mcginnis’s art was viewed. “I exhibit my work often and in varying contexts. Overall the exhibition space and individuals involved made for a pleasant experience. The Art on Tap events were likewise enjoyable and brought a nice mix of people to the museum. I would show with WMAA again and hope to have the chance in the new wing,” said Mcginnis. Mcginnis also gets lots of comments from peers and other people who admire his work. “I did receive numerous compliments from visitors regarding the color pallet chosen for many of the works and the variety of media on display,” says Mcginnis.
WMAA is working hard to create a nice museum for all and is working to feature a new artist’s work every month. The staff is busy planning for the future site and excited for construction to be finished.