Council takes on gallery approach at new Chambersburg spot

August 04, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The decor in the office of the Council for the Arts is a Civil War theme, befitting the heritage of the Chambersburg area, but that will change in a few weeks, and change again a few weeks after that.

"It's an office and a gallery at the same time," Paul Cullinane, executive director of Downtown Chambersburg Inc., said Wednesday as he escorted a couple of guests through the Capitol Theatre Center at 159 S. Main St., where the council recently relocated.

"We like that," said Anne Finucane, gallery director and program coordinator for the council. Theresa Bachmann-Myers is the executive director and Jane Carlson is the administrative assistant. All three work part time, Finucane said.


The council, formerly the Chambersburg Area Council for the Arts, moved to the center last month from another office building on South Main Street.

The new office now is the showcase for seven local artists whose works will be on display until the end of August. Painters Charles Brown and Melanie Hunsecker of Chambersburg; Wen Knight of Greencastle, Pa.; and Bob Morrow and Landis Whitsel of Waynesboro, Pa., have their watercolors, pastels, acrylics and oils displayed there, as do sculptor Tarry Swailes and model cannon maker Foster McNew, both of Chambersburg.

McNew's bronze and iron Napoleon cannons and Parrott rifles are based on original designs and "he casts them in his back yard," according to Finucane.

Swailes, working in a polymer sculpting material, has created figurines of common soldiers of the war, along with Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stewart and Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside.

In September, the look of the offices will change when the works of Chambersburg painter Jeff Barnhart and Greencastle sculptor Doug Hodges are brought into the facility.

Created in 1987, the council sponsors a number of programs in support of the arts, including the TGIF Brown Bag series each Friday at noon in front of the Franklin County Courthouse.

Last week, the ARTS Express! Showcase featured the works of children who participated in the council's summer fine-arts program.

"The basic idea is we want to provide arts experiences to the community, particularly free arts education programs for children," Finucane said.

The council also helps more than two dozen arts-related organizations with grants and other assistance, such as the Chambersburg Quilt Guild, Caledonia Theatre Co., the Franklin County Art Alliance and individual artists, she said. The council has an annual budget of approximately $120,000 made up of state funding, the council's local campaign and sponsorships for various programs from area businesses, according to Finucane.

"It's for the community and it's for the artists, too," said Finucane.

In addition to the refurbished Capitol Theatre, the building also is home to the Chambersburg Community Theatre and soon will house the offices of Caledonia Theatre Co., which runs Totem Pole Playhouse.

The council's office hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

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