The Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center at 134 Main St., Wellsboro, has a new director. Carrie Heath has taken over for Anna Wales, who served a 10-year tenure before turning over the keys.

“There are so many positives here,” said Heath, sitting amongst the current exhibit, “About three hours from being somewhere” by Chad Andrews, a printmaker, painter and art instructor at Bloomsburg University.

Heath is a Tioga County native who has a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of Southern California. She spent her early career on the west coast, returning to Tioga County in 2002. Heath taught adult basic education at Mansfield University, then taught in public school for 15 years.

Heath is no stranger to the arts in Wellsboro. She is a former president of the Wellsboro Art Club and a former board member of the Green Free Library. She has also been heavily involved in other civic activities.

Heath’s artistic endeavors are admittedly amateur.

“My go-to now is photography,” she said. “I’ve also done oil painting, oil pastels and quilting.”

Heath’s goal is to expand the free offerings the Gmeiner has to offer.

“I want to make it a space that the community feels is theirs,” she said. Current groups using the Gmeiner space are the Wellsboro Art Club, Friday Club, Wednesday Morning Musicales, Grand Canyon Photography Club and Wellsboro Knitters and Spinners.

Past groups who utilized the space include the Audubon Society, Vesta, Pine Creek Decorative Artists and a meditation group.

“Given COVID restrictions – and we adhere to state guidelines – we welcome any new groups,” Heath said.

Arthur Gmeiner founded the museum in 1969. He was a businessman and artist whose 400-plus paintings are housed in the Gmeiner. Board guidelines dictate that Gmeiner’s paintings be exhibited every five years or so, and that exposure is on Heath’s agenda.

“These haven’t been archived, and some of them are in rough shape,” she said. “I would love to get them into better condition and show them; some are primitive, but some of the paintings are very detailed and meticulous.”

Heath looks forward to the Gmeiner’s upcoming events, which includes a joint presentation by Melina Lorenz Moyer and Lilace Guignard on the connection between women, nature and art. The program is Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. Discussion and refreshments will follow.

The Gmeiner is open Monday-Friday 2-5 p.m.

For more information, visit Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center on Facebook or gmeinerartculturalcenter.org.

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