A Collaboration Between a Broad Spectrum of Art Genres & Related Sciences
Laying Groundwork for Westmoreland County's First Artists Retreat
The natural beauty of Southwestern Pennsylvania often takes visitors by surprise. But for the artists who call it home, the rivers, mountains, and change in seasons are inspiration. Travel Lemming patrons named our region the 3rd most beautiful globally. Country Magazine called out one of our small towns as 2nd best in the nation. It is what motivated River Art Works to seek out property as a place for artists to gather and create.
River Art Works is a 501c3 with great potential to increase tourism, quality STEAM employment training,
reverse population decline and be the first artist retreat in Westmoreland county.
CNN has listed River Art Works as one of a 1000 Points of Light.
Upon graduation, our well trained and talented students leave the area and many businesses leave the area because there is no visionary, centralized program encouraging STEAM training and resources and private personal development in the area. They don’t want to leave, but they are not seeing the support needed to keep them in our region. Thus, the exodus of students and families which the Reimagine Westmoreland Comprehensive Plan of 2018 (section 2.2)* called out as the county’s most alarming statistic. Westmoreland County faces a continuous downward spiral in population decline. The county's 2018 Comprehensive Plan calls out art a a primary tool to rebuild our region. River Art Works' goals include being a considerable part of that plan.
An art retreat of this magnitude would provide the gathering space and collaboration points needed for continual support of our creatives. It is a massive project that will take continued preparation and efforts to turn around the downward spiral that has gained momentum though the last decades of outward migration. Please support this impactful project with continued support; be it through donation or volunteerism. You will become a part of our much needed solution.
To create a space for artists of all mediums to come together to
create, teach/learn, perform, exhibit, sleep, and eat.
To increase regional tourism though the retail of art.
To bring the arts and science together to learn from each other.
Founder & Executive Director
Jane has a history of making history. As an artist she is written in the antique journals as formative
artist for Libby Glass Division in Mt Pleasant, Pa. In the antique world she began a symposium that
was later enveloped by the Southern California Collector Conference as a foundation to educate novice buyers on forgeries.
As home and building restoration specialist, she was featured on HGTV for West Coast renovations
and gave back to her Pennsylvania hometown by restoring the town’s most prominent blight (on the
town’s square). In the fashion industry she introduced futuristic printing process and helped innovate the technology as needed to be utilized in the fashion industry and create a base income for artists.
Jane has also been a business advisor and influencer for a broad range of industries and school
related committees, veterans advocate. Graduate of Art Institute of Pittsburgh and University of Utah.
A local Pittsburgh artist. Working mainly in oil paint, using her open heart and open mind to create works of art both realistic and abstract. She has traveled the world, studied in India and USA, speaks multiple languages, and is an IT expert.
Rosalind believes in Creativity of many forms and appreciates a platform where art and science both can grow at River Art Works.
She wishes to bring peace, love, and happiness to the world one painting at a time.
Laura is widely recognized in the regional community not only as a dedicated volunteer, but as a fitness industry leader. Laura has been trained extensively in all forms of dance. She is the 2015 dance instructor of the year and a competitive dance champion. Laura has been, and continues to be, a vital part of many community and regional fundraisers throughout her adult life.
Roberta Pfeiffer Altman
Secretary & Legal Counsel
Roberta is most known in the Pittsburgh region as lawyer for Commonwealth in the Department of Labor and Industry and Education Director for the Allegheny Legal Institute.
Roberta has also served as a business teacher in high schools, proprietary business schools, and in colleges in PA, WV, TN, and OH. Her volunteer time includes acting as legal counsel for the Tea Party and Pregnancy Crisis Center. Her work history also includes entrepreneurial endeavors.
Roberta has agreed to join the River Art Works board because
“ I think River Art Works has the ability to help revitalize our region with a thriving arts community under Jane’s direction.”
Roberta Pfeiffer Altman
Secretary & Legal Counsel
Retired Engineer: 1962-1975 Plant Engineer, Herbick and Held Printing Company, Pittsburgh
1975- 2016 Chemco Systems LLC Sr. Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Education: Mechanical Engineering and Graphic Arts, Printing Management, Stained Glass and Woodworking
Co-founder: Pittsburgh Art in the Park
Three Rivers Arts Festival and faculty
Carnegie Museum Adult Education, member SW PA Woodworkers Assoc
Exhibited: Three Rivers Arts Festival, Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh
Commissioner Douglas W. Chew joined the River Art Works Board of Directors as Treasurer in December 2019. A Hempfield Area High School and University of Pittsburgh graduate, Doug also worked at the University of Pittsburgh as a faculty member for 26 years. As educator, Doug wrote grants, taught biochemistry, spearheaded research, and published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific pieces. Doug is most proud of his 1999 Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award his volunteer work bringing advanced DNA experiments to local high schools.
He served one term as auditor in Hempfield Township and elected twice as Chairman of
District 5 of the Westmoreland County Republican Committee. Doug feels that the arts are what separates humans from the other animals; he brings a strong passion for music and all manner of arts to the Board.
Alice A. Hassibi
Retired Art Educator: Art Teacher Brownsville Area School District, Brownsville, PA
Asst Principal, Jefferson Morgan School District, Jefferson, PA
Education: Edinboro State College: Degree in Art Education
Masters Degree in School Administration
Avocations: Batik and Fiber Arts, mainly quilting, taught Batik at Carnegie Museum
Exhibited at: Three Rivers Arts Festival, Exhibited at Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh
Alice A. Hassibi
River Art Works was established in 2018 to build our region’s first comprehensive art retreat for professional artists and students whose goal is an equitable career in the creative. The retreat will focus on enhancing artists’ education with exposure to global influences from visiting experts, cutting edge STEAM, and a diverse collaborative setting. This retreat will include a broad genre of arts and related sciences. Amenities will include solitary and collaborative work spaces, creative technology center, commissary, indoor performance and amphitheatre, gardens, and gallery.
Self-sustainability will be in the form of tourism. Opening the galleries, gardens, performance areas, and commissary to the public for income is the goal.
Our vision for River Art Works is to share knowledge between professional artists and related sciences in order to broaden their concept and knowledge of creative opportunities. Related sciences include, but are not limited to holography, robotics, digital, and laser sciences. Time away from daily distractions will allow the artist to not only further broaden their skills, focus their energy, but also use the retreat time to connect with other arts and sciences to collaboratively develop creative businesses. This also frees the artist to shape their own creative lives in a broader sense as well as contribute to social development.
ARTIST INTERVIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ucdvQFCvJZs
River Art Works will serve ALL acclaimed professional art forms and sciences that relate to arts bringing a positive energy to our region as well as its visitors.
River Art Works will need a core group of citizens, businesses, and foundations to support the buildout of the retreat. Interested in supporting River Art Works?
High School ArtTECH
River Art Works has begun development of a High School Extra curricula that prepares artists to:
broaden their skillset
introduce related technologies
digital, laser and holography
learn basic business skills.
Almost every artist, with the exception of corporate artists, is an entrepreneur. River Art Works teachs artists how to make this skill as painless as possible, as it is a left side of brain task VS Right side creative thinking.
In other words, we offer artists a chance to develop the power of using both sides of the brain. In turn they become more globally competitive in the arts.
There will be a total of three 20-minute rounds and 15 juried artists. FINAL ROUND includes the winners of the 3 rounds
1ST Place Winner takes home $250
2nd & 3rd Place takes home $100
All Art to be Auctioned at end of evening.
60% donated to River Art Works Building Fund
40% to the Artist
FOOD: by Food Trucks
TICKETS: $15 each, includes one beverage
ARTIST ENTRY FEE: $25, includes canvas and rent of easel
Artists responsible for supplying media
APPLICATIONS to be juried due by April 15, 2021
Pop-Up Art Events
There will be a number of
plein air events
during the warm seasons....
Pop-up in nature!
All Pop-Up Art events will take place in tourist driven locations. This allows artists opportunity to sell their creation and market themselves.
Ligonier Diamond: Every 2nd Saturday June-Sept: 10:30-4:00
Artists must submit art examples
and be approved:
Artists may bring up to 6 paintings to sell, be prepared to produce art onsite. Supplies are responsibility of artists, including dropcloth.
easels available: $7/day.
remaining sites and dates to be announced