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Laying Groundwork for Westmoreland County's First Artist 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.

TODAY'S CREATIVES: Our Future in the Technology Age

Incredible young men and women are leaving this region to find a better quality of life, 10% annually. This is your children and grandchildren who are leaving for other states. The exodus of students and young families are what Reimagine Westmoreland Comprehensive Plan of 2018 (section 2.2)* called the county’s most alarming statistic.  The last three years Westmoreland County has experienced an escalation in a continuous downward spiral in our youth's population decline, which is our future. River Art Works' goals include reversing this statistic, which in turn will provide an opportunity to build a stronger workforce. We take advantage of this opportunity. 

Artistic communities have been the most successful tool to revitalize for over 150 years in the USA. Our goal is to build the hub that connects our region's existing art culture, dramatically strengthening it. River Art Works also includes sharing knowledge between professional artists and related sciences in order to broaden their concept and knowledge of creative opportunities. Related sciences (STEAM) include, but are not limited to holography, 3D printing, digital, artificial reality and laser sciences. Pittsburgh is the global leader in robotics, Westmoreland has poised itself to be the leader in 3D print. This is a fantastic opportunity for our creative. Time away from daily distractions will allow the artist to not only further broaden their traditional skills, focus their energy, but also use the retreat time to connect with other arts and sciences to collaboratively develop creative businesses and connect to the local creative tech community. Artists shape their own creative lives in a broader sense as well as contribute to our region's development.

An art retreat of this magnitude would provide the gathering space and collaboration points needed for continuous, inspirational 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.


River Art Works is a 501c3 and EITC tax status 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.

Our Goals

To create a space for artists of all mediums to come together to

create, teach/learn, perform, exhibit, sleep, and eat.

To bring the arts and science together to learn from each other.

Workforce Growth and Community Revitalization

Jane Altman


Jane began life as an artist, then turned art patron. She is written in journals as formative artist for Libby Glass, art teacher, symposium and trade show developer, 

building restoration and inspection, HGTV featured, co-invented futuristic full dimension textural print process, restauranteur, and lodging entrepreneur.

board members
(roll over photos for details)

Doug Chew



Douglas W. Chew graduate of University of Pittsburgh, member of University of Pittsburgh faculty for 26 years, grant writer, bioengineer, Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award. His interests are music and artistic endeavors. 

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Douglas W Chew


Secretary &

Legal Counsel

Roberta is most known as lawyer in the Department of Labor and Industry, Education Director for the Allegheny Legal Institute, college educator in PA, WV, TN, and OH.  “ I think River Art Works has the ability to revitalize our region as a thriving arts community under Jane’s direction.”

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Roberta Altman

Secretary, Legal

Rosalind Panda

As an author, writer, and technology expert, Rosalind promotes balance and purpose of life: Founder of Rosalind Arts Gallery and Oqulus Tech, Co-Founder of Jupitor AI, CTO Jeanensis Ventures.

"I love to serve"

Technology Advisor


Douglas Chew

Westmoreland County Commissioner, one of the first to support River Art Works. Doug sees the importance of the impact our mission will make on the entire region.

Doug's accomplishments are long and impressive. Please refer to the dedicated BOARD page for more information about Doug's background.



Lead artist educator for the disabled at Friendship Community in Lancaster, PA. Under Linn’s tutelage millions of dollars were raised to continually support the disabled artists. Art produced earned national recognition for its’ quality workmanship.

Linlee Nagy


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River Art Works has developed a high school after school program based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts, Mathematics) that prepares artists to be career ready. This can include:
  • FAA Commercial Drone Licensed

  • comprehensive 3D Print knowledge

  • broaden practical technology skills

  • 3D Print, Drone Pilot, & holography

  • learn art business skills.


River Art Works uses the most artistically interesting technology to entice young artists to reach over the tech divide.

In other words, we offer artists a chance to develop the power of using both sides of the brain. Why business? It is a hard to find class even in colleges. 79% of artists are entrepreneurs. 

In turn they become more globally competitive in the arts.

Artist Flyer Shanna_edited.jpg

Art Tournament
Mammoth Park, PA
Pavillion 13 at the Lake

SAT: August 31, 2024

2:30 - 7:00









All Art to be Auctioned

end of each round

auction items : 60% donated to

River Art Works Building Fund

40% to the Artist

FOOD: Roast Beef Sandwich, Hotdogs, Pop, Truley Drinks, Beer

PUBLIC TICKETS: $8 Early Bird by Aug 1

ARTIST ENTRY FEE: $30 before Aug10 $40 after Aug 10

includes 16x20 canvas and rent of easel

Artists responsible for supplying media

ARTIST  ENTRY & Tickets below

Painting Outside

Pop-Up Art Events

There will be a number of

plein aire events

during the warm seasons....

Pop-up in nature!

Ligonier Diamond events have ended for the summer. Indoor events are to come.

Submit Inquiry:

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

We embrace diversity and equality in a serious way. We are committed to building a team with a variety of backgrounds, skills and views. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. Creating a culture of Equality isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing.


Thanks for submitting!

phone:  724-547-4121

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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 using creativity.  The retreat will focus on enhancing artists’ education with exposure to global influences from visiting experts, cutting edge STEAM, and provides a diverse collaborative setting.  This retreat will include a broad genre of arts and related sciences. Amenities will include solitary and collaborative work spaces serving a broad genre of arts, creative technology center, commissary, sleeping quarters, indoor performance and amphitheatre, gardens, gallery, and a business center that educates as well as provides space and auxiliary staff for our region's art organizations.

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.










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?

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