Current Exhibitions

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Exhibition in the George A. and Herbert T. Wolf Gallery

September 4, 2021 - December 5, 2021

The exhibition will feature Leff’s hanging sculptures and panoramic projections. The small sculptures, lit from inside, both glow and project light outward. The resulting piece is an overwhelming experience with form, light, and space. Leff’s abstract, otherworldly artwork encourages the viewer to disconnect from their everyday and to explore this light-altered space.


Joshua Leff is an artist originally from New England, where he grew up playing in the woods and by lakes and streams. There, he developed a free relationship with the natural environment. It was through these experiences that he realized the dissociation between people and their own nature. In his art practice, Leff creates installations in order to facilitate the wonder and intrigue that he had experienced as a child. Using light and lenses, he creates surreal environments through light projections and built forms. Often encouraging interaction, Leff is interested in using his art to draw out natural responses from viewers. Leff’s artwork facilitates space in which the viewer may forget the everyday and may experience a sense of intuitive wonder.

Feral Grounds


Exhibition in the Shirley and Fred A. Pechter Gallery

June 25, 2021 – Sept 25, 2021

The exhibition will feature Lovett’s black and white cityscapes and a mural installation in the museum. Evan Lovett was born blind into a world of nothing but indistinguishable, muted tones and sharp sounds. As a small child his eyes, not knowing their limitations, clumsily scanned the terrain around him, finding only blurred edges and unremarkable colors, a fault that was not his own. As a boy, he struggled to fill in the blanks of the world around him and was forced to do so creatively. When his clinical lack of vision was discovered and corrected, Evan became consumed by his observations and those new details became an artistic obsession. 

Lovett, born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia area, built an artistic career off his continued explorations. For over a decade, his curiosity of the subtle and often overlooked parts of life have become a constant source of inspiration, perpetually fueling his passion to create. From portraits of the working class, celebrating trades and creators of his city, to large scale murals of nature adorning forgotten walls, Evan’s hands tell tale of what his eyes could once only dreamed. 

Lovett’s work embodies the juxtaposition between abandoned, derelict structures, the lives which had once inhabited them, and the new life that has emerged in their wake. In his most recent work, Lovett strips away the subtlety of color and focuses on dynamic compositions found between dark and light. The timeless imprint remaining is undisturbed by the relentless echo of time. It is in direct opposition of the blurred softness and subtle hues from his childhood vision. His artistic approach utilizes the stark contrast of almost abstracted details to represent life, new and old. Lovett’s images capture a quiet, primal stillness devoid of human presence, leaving the viewer alone in a silent world. 

Almost Endless

Exhibition In the Paul I. Detwiler Education Center

July 30, 2021 – September 25, 2021

This exhibition explores the act of art making during a global pandemic. Art arises and thrives out of necessity, boredom, and creative inspiration. Almost Endless celebrates the role creativity plays in society.


Artists submitted JPGs and PDFs of artwork to be displayed at the upcoming exhibition, Almost Endless. These works were be printed by the museum at 4 inches x 6 inches and created an installation celebrating creativity. We received more than 300 artworks from around the world including India, South Korea, Italy, New York City, Los Angeles, and of course, many local submissions from Altoona.



Industry: The Building Process

Exhibition In the Titelman Galleries and the Paula and Dean Lemley Gallery

July 17, 2021 – October 23, 2021

Since it’s inception in 1976, SAMA has focused on exhibiting American art. This exhibition captures the evolution of industry in America though selections of work from the permanent collection.


The Industrial Revolution had a strong impact on the artistic world. Artists began giving a truthful vision of modern life, everyday people and normal objects in their art.  In our newest exhibition you will be able to see the industrial world through different artists’ perspectives in various mediums.  The Paula and Dean Lemley Gallery will house our featured artist, B. (Barbara) Strank Zivkovich, with a variety of colorful watercolor scenes.

From Inception to Execution

Exhibition In the Ashe Gallery and Regional Galleries

August 21, 2021 – November 14, 2021


This exhibition will feature artwork by local artists Richard and Susan Coble, Mary Beth Landis, and Heather Davis. Join us as we showcase works that range from sculptural metalsmithing to photography and painting. There is an eclectic mix of thinking and building from four artists that work with different mediums. They will step us through how they started with an idea and moved through their preferred medium to have a final piece of art. This exhibition is an exclusive sneak peek into the thinking behind the work. You don't want to miss a step as we move From Inception to Execution. 


Susan and Richard Coble are gifted jewelers who have experience over the past several decades throughout the northeast. Susan has a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and School for American Craftsmen with a concentration in jewelry design. On her work, she states, “The work displayed in this collection represents a time when I had the freedom to design as I chose and a time when I worked under the constraints of a client's objectives. Those constraints included appeal to the general buying public, price points, and story lines… As with many industries, the demand for these types US made products diminished when buyers could source products for pennies outside the country. At that point in time, I chose to pursue another career. During those years I had the opportunity to travel widely and add to my mental inventory of art and design.” Richard similarly remarked, “Inspiration for jewelry design stems from my love of geometry in nature and architecture and a strong background in graphic design. I enjoy exploring the contrasts between mixed materials: precious diamonds accenting fragile paper or warm wood wrapping around cool silver. While this free expression is an outlet for my creativity, I also enjoy the design challenge of creating pieces on commission for clients.”


Heather Davis graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in painting. After graduation, she relocated to Chester County and worked in the building trades as a general contractor and chief construction designer of her own corporation. By 2013, after a life-changing experience, she gave up construction altogether to paint full time and immediately emerged as an award-winning artist in the prestigious Brandywine Valley. In recent years, Heather relocated to beautiful Bedford County, PA where generations of her family are from and includes landscapes and people in the greater community and the meaning they bring in her artwork.


Most photographic works by Mary Beth Landis are based on her interpretation of the subject’s geometric structure. Her photographic compositions are a point of view that best accentuates the patterns. On her work, Landis states, “A camera does not make a creative image, it is the person behind the camera just like a baker who makes the best tasting cake is not asked what type of oven do you use?”

Pennsylvanian Seasons by Donald M. Robinson

Exhibition In the Donald M. Robinson Gallery

August 21, 2021 – October 23, 2021

Donald M. Robinson, an internationally acclaimed photographer, traveled the world in search of compelling images. Numbering in excess of 800 objects, the Robinson collection includes documentary and nature photographs taken on six continents and in more than 60 countries. Although diverse, Robinson’s subjects are united in the artists self-conscious search for beauty and universal empathy. Echoing nineteenth-century paintings of the Hudson River School, Robinson’s landscape photographs are notable for their amplitude and scenic grandeur. 

Robinson studied photography with Cole Weston, Jay Masiel, William Neill, Arnold Newman, and Philip Hyde. His first mature works were made in Mexico around 1960; since then, Robinson has traveled extensively throughout the world and in the United States. He has exhibited his work widely, and has received numerous distinctions, including the tile of EFIAP (Artist of Excellence) from the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique and the Galaxy Award of the Photographic Society of America.




Reopening TBD


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Here and Beyond


Exhibition In The Elizabeth Shaw Gamble Gallery

August 13, 2021 – October 31, 2021

Experience an exceptional and illusory exhibition, “Here and Beyond” with artists Alexis Dillon and John (Jack) Mayer. The mixture of fantastical sculptures and complementary otherworldly photographs will be on view from August 13, 2021 through October 30, 2021 during regular museum hours of operation.


John (Jack) Mayer is a gifted artist who has worked with a variety of media over the past several decades including woodworking, photography, and jewelry. In the past twenty-five years, Jack has focused his work primarily as a sculptor using masonry over metal armature. His work both small and extremely large, has been featured in many juried shows throughout the region and has taken countless awards. Jack’s work can be viewed in fine galleries all over southwestern Pennsylvania. Jack also completes incredible commissions which can be seen on his website or by visiting his gallery in New Alexandria, PA.


Alexis Dillon has been photographing the world for over 30 years, specializing in infrared imagery. She has long been fascinated by the invisible and infrared film with its dense filtration as it is the perfect tool for the job. Infrared radiation is inherent in all living matter which provides the basis of her work. It articulates the ethereal and timeless character of the medium and message of her photos. Alexis is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Visual Arts and Photography instruction. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Society of Artists, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. Alexis taught art and photography in a public high school for 30 years. She is now concentrating on her own work. 

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45th Anniversary Celebration


Exhibition In the Sullivan Gallery

July 9, 2021 - October 9, 2021


The exhibition features cherished artworks from the landscapes and Steuben Glass sculptures of the permanent collection. Since it’s inception in 1976, SAMA has focused not only on exhibiting American art, but also collecting and preserving it for generations to come. This exhibition captures the evolution of landscapes from vividly realistic to painterly abstract styles and much more by featuring works from George Hetzel, Frederick Alan Counsel, and Ron Donoughe, just to name a few. Steuben Glass Works opened in 1903 under the direction of Thomas G. Hawkes along with glassmaker Frederick Carder, who specialized in colorful, art noveau art glass typical of that period. In 1933, Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. is brought in to run Steuben and color is phased out of their designs.  SAMA’s Nicholas Unkovic Collection consists of 95 Steuben Glass sculptures dating from 1940 to 1980. These ornamental pieces are made of clear glass and are notable for their expressive, free-flowing forms. In combining the various characteristics of the landscapes and the brilliant clear glass forms, this exhibition is sure to delight visitors.


101 Artists: Selections from the Fred Danziger Collection of Contemporary Art


Exhibition in the Margery Wolf-Kuhn Balcony Gallery

July 9, 2021 - October 9, 2021


This 101 Artists exhibit was organized by artist and art collector, Fred Danziger, partially in response to lockdown that occurred in March causing the art community: galleries, museums and art schools to close their doors. On the 101 Artists exhibition, Danziger states, “Art is one of the rare constants in human civilization. From prehistoric cave paintings, to the museums and private collections around the world today, it is quite clear that art is an essential part of our humanity.” These are all works from his personal collection. They have been purchased from a variety of galleries and artists during the past 10 years. They span a wide variety of styles, from abstraction to highly rendered photorealism, from conceptual to perceptual approaches. The media include oil paintings, watercolor, drawings, prints, constructions, and sculpture. This exhibit is not about a particular aesthetic, it is about collecting art. It is essentially a traveling museum of contemporary art.


SAMA Loretto Site Director, Jess Campbell, says on the exhibition, “When you think about what goes into an exhibition, you probably think of hanging the art on the walls and maybe informative text panels next to the artwork, but there is so much more to an exhibition. In the case of “101 Artists: Selections from the Fred Danziger Collection of Contemporary Art,” it is really a labor of love from an avid collector, artists, patrons, and museum staff. Our intentions in joining forces for this exhibition was to share a personal collection of art that would cause our audience to be blown away with energy and excitement.”