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THE MUSEUM > LOCATIONS > LORETTO, PA > current exhibition
sama - loretto  

Stuart Thompson

Reality Comes and Goes, 2018

Oil on canvas, 54" x 72"

Courtesy of the artist

Deborah and R. Jeffrey Kimball Best of Show Award










Current Exhibition


Loretto - Every two years, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art celebrates Pennsylvania’s artists with its juried invitational exhibition, the Biennial. This fall, SAMA-Loretto continues the tradition with Biennial 2018. Attracting a diverse array of talents, the exhibition features juried work in many media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography and fine crafts.


This year’s offering highlights some of the finest contemporary artists in Pennsylvania. Out of the 214 works submitted for inclusion in the exhibition, Biennial 2018 features 78 works by 62 artists. The exhibition opens October 19 in the Museum’s Sullivan Gallery.


From paintings in acrylic and oil to drawings in pastel and pencil to sculpture in steel and wood, the exhibition offers a variety of media to highlight the latest direction and development among our region’s artists. This year, visitors will be able to scan QR codes placed near each work to watch video interviews on their smartphones of the artists discussing the process or meaning behind their work. Biennial 2018 will remain on view through January 19, 2019.


Serving as selection and award juror was Maureen Vissat Kochanek, art history professor at Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Pittsburgh. Vissat Kochanek also has taught at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, St. Vincent College and summer sessions in Lucca, Italy.


“Artists in this Biennial have crafted a range of responses to the human form in all of its complexity,” she wrote in her juror’s statement. “Realism and abstraction dominate this Biennial, yet there are significant examples of artists embracing the non-objective with confidence. The proficiency displayed in craftsmanship is staggering in some of the sculptures. The wide spectrum of media employed by artists to make their mark in responding to the world in which we live is impressive.”


The Museum will present a total of seven awards totaling $2,350 through Biennial 2018. Receiving the Deborah and R. Jeffrey Kimball Best of Show Award is Stuart Thompson of Whitney for his oil-on-canvas, Reality Comes and Goes. Pittsburgh artist Ron Donoughe received the Chantel Ventura First Place Award for his oil-on-linen, Elliott Shadows, and Daniel C. Helsel of Davidsville claimed the Dr. Magdi and Karen Azer Second Place Award for his oil-on-linen-mounted-board, Blue and White Teapot with Cherries. Third place awards went to: Dave Hammaker of East Freedom (Barbara and Larry Savino Third Place Award), Kevin O’Toole of Greensburg (Glenda and Michael Forosisky Third Place Award) and Joseph Ryznar of Lower Burrell (Marian and Dr. Owen K. Morgan Third Place Award). At the conclusion of the exhibition, the Museum will award the Barbara and Ed O’Brien People’s Choice Award, to be determined by popular vote.


The Museum will celebrate the exhibition with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 16. Cost is $25 per person and reservations are required by November 6 by contacting the Museum at (814) 472-3920 or Biennial 2018 is sponsored in part by Jim Cayce and Tom Dosh, Commercial Bank & Trust of PA, Eva and Michael Kranich, Dean and Paula Lemley, and Chantel Ventura.


The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Loretto is located on the campus of Saint Francis University. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is open to the public free of charge. For more information, visit