Coming up August 6th: ArtFest

This year, Bloomsburg’s annual ArtFest has a new organizer, the Exchange, collaborating with long-time producer Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, the Exchange (then the Moose Exchange) used to host the wintertime ArtWalk-In; as Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. reorients its priorities around a strategic plan for Main Street, the Exchange has stepped in to make ArtFest an even more successful event.

The ninth annual ArtFest will take place on Saturday, the 6th of August, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in its traditional location on Center Street between Main and Thirds Streets. With good attendance in all prior years, we look forward to a repeat showing this summer.

As always, ArtFest will showcase regional artists’ original work on this one day, accompanied by live music and activities for the whole family. A summertime art party, ArtFest draws families from well beyond Bloomsburg, and both art and food vendors have done well here year after year.

Stick around after the event, have supper downtown, and enjoy music by Gabe Stillman and the Billtown Giants at 7 p.m. in Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s Alvina Krause Theatre, brought to you by the Exchange’s Destination Blues Music Festival!

Please get in touch with Oren B. Helbok at or
570-317-2596 if you have any questions about ArtFest.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bloomsburg in August!

Now in the Gallery: High School Scholarship show; coming, Nest 2

For the third year, three members of the faculty of the University’s Department of Art and Art History selected the displayed pieces based on a review of the students’ art portfolios. The portfolio review and tuition scholarship program happens thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor inspired by First Columbia Bank’s Teen Star Competition.

Three of the student artists received B.U. tuition scholarship award offers during a reception
and awards ceremony on May 11th in the Haas Gallery. The first place student received a $1500
scholarship offer, plus a $50 gift certificate to the B.U. store; second place received a $1000 offer plus the gift certificate; third place received a $500 offer plus the gift certificate. Five students each received a B.U. store $50 gift certificate as honorable mentions.

The exhibit will appear at the Exchange Gallery at 24 East Main Street, Bloomsburg, through the 8th of July. For weekly open hours, see the Exchange calendar.


Nest 2
Version 2.0 of our very first community-based show
July 14th through August 19th, 2016
Artwork received on/by Saturday, July 9th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Reception: Saturday, July 16th, 6-8 p.m.

More information here.

Come visit us at the Exchange

The week of June 2025, you’ll find us here noon to 6 p.m. Monday; 10-6 Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 9-noon Wednesday.

Hours vary week to week; see our calendar for details.

Now in the Gallery: The Regional High School Scholarship Exhibition.

Thanks to Stairwell Gallery committee members Chad Andrews, Brock Dent, April Gilliland, Jason Godeke (stepped down, 10/15), Michelle Hintz, Dave Kube, Otto Kurecian, Ron Lambert, Jef McGreevy (stepped down, 10/15), Sue O’Donnell (stepped down, 6/14), Nick Rusnock, and Katie Starliper for organizing and hanging all of the shows here.

See you at the Exchange!

“Postcards” and Madelin Beattie

The Exchange Gallery in Bloomsburg made an international call for artists to connect with one another through the exchange of personal postcards.  Inspired by the Griffin and Sabine books, this exhibition welcomes artists of all ages, abilities, and experiences to share their individual personalities and to connect to other creative souls.  We accepted all media, with the only limitation that every entered piece must go through the mail at the international U.S. postcard rate ($1.20).  This means that each piece must fit within the Postal Service’s guidelines: 3-1/2” minimum and 4-1/4” maximum for height, 5-1/2” minimum and 6” maximum for length, 0.007” minimum and 0.016” maximum for thickness.

The reception will take place on Saturday, the 4th of June, 6-8 p.m., at the same time as Artspace’s reception for their North Mountain Art League show.

At the conclusion of the show, after the reception, we will mail all of the postcards out: Each artist will receive another artist’s work.  By asking for an artist’s ages on the application, we intend to connect artists with other artists within the same approximate age group.

ALSO IN THE GALLERY: Madelin Beattie

With a studio in Williamport’s Pajama Factory, Madelin Beattie describes herself this way: “I am a Printmaker and Sculptor living and working in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  I recently obtained my BFA from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.  I am a lover of coffee, dogs, and a nice pair of slacks.”

Madelin’s one-person show in the back half of the Exchange Gallery will run through the reception simultaneous with the Postcard Show’s, on Saturday the 4th of June, 6-8 p.m.

CALLS FOR ENTRIES: ArtFest vendors

For information about submitting work to the next Gallery show, click here.

This year, Bloomsburg’s annual ArtFest has a new producing organization, the Exchange. Dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, the Exchange (then the Moose Exchange) used to host the wintertime ArtWalk-In; as Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. reorients its priorities around a strategic plan for Main Street, the Exchange has stepped in to make ArtFest an even more successful event.

The ninth annual ArtFest will take place on Saturday, the 6th of August, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in its traditional location on Center Street between Main and Thirds Streets. With good attendance in all prior years, we look forward to a repeat showing this summer.

As always, ArtFest will showcase regional artists’ original work on this one day, accompanied by live music and activities for the whole family. A summertime art party, ArtFest draws families from well beyond Bloomsburg, and both art and food vendors have done well here year after year.

Each artist pays an $80 booth fee for a 10×10 space. (Two artists, each juried in, may share a single booth for $100.) Food vendors pay $100. The fee covers the cost of ads in local and regional print and radio outlets, and the printing of posters and flyers. We also encourage vendors to promote the event themselves, using a postcard mailing and/or social media.

If you would like to show and sell at ArtFest, please download the application and other information here. Then, e-mail 3-5 jpeg images of your work (each no larger than 1 MB at 72 dpi, no larger than 1920 pixels on the longer side, with the artist’s last name as part of each file name; food vendors do not need to provide images but may for our promotional purposes) to and mail a signed copy of the attached application to 24 East Main Street, Bloomsburg PA 17815, no later than Friday, June 3rd, 2016. After receiving an acceptance notification from ArtFest via e-mail or phone (no later than Friday, June 17th, 2016), participating artists MUST submit the booth fee by Friday, July 8, 2016. We will accept no late fees and will reassign any unpaid space(s).

Please get in touch with Oren B. Helbok at or 570-317-2596 if you have any questions about ArtFest.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bloomsburg in August!

Now open: “The Blues Show”

In conjunction with the third annual Destination Blues Music Festival, taking place in Columbia and Montour Counties February 19th-21st, 2016, the Stairwell Gallery hosts “The Blues Show” now through April 1st.

We have hung work in many mediua — 2-D or 3-D — that fits the Blues/blue theme: paintings of Blues musicians performing, photographs in many shades of the color blue, a cigar-box guitar, a handwoven rug, quilts, and more. If it says “Blues” or “blue” to you, it works for us.

The reception took place on Friday, February 19th, 5-9 p.m., during the opening evening of the Festival, as seventeen venues in the two counties hosted Blues musicians and FREE buses transport music lovers among them. Venues with music on Main Street in Bloomsburg included Steph’s Subs, Balzano’s, the Capitol, Rose Marie’s, Fog & Flame, Filet 18, and West End Ale Haus, as well as Nick Rusnock playing here at the Exchange. On Saturday the 20th, we opened from 10 to 3, as musicians perform at Fog & Flame and Balzano’s up Main Street from the Gallery.

Grammy Nominee at Destination Blues

On February 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2016, Columbia & Montour Counties in Central Pennsylvania heated up with the third annual Destination Blues music festival. Organized by the Moose Exchange, in partnership with the Briggs Farm Blues Festival and the Billtown Blues Association, Destination Blues featured international, national, and regional blues performers at multiple venues, as well as bus transportation among the venues and participating hotels.

Friday, music at more than a dozen venues with bus transportation among all of them AND participating hotels
Saturday, breakfast, lunch and evening blues, with the main event at Bloomsburg’s Caldwell Consistory: eight bands on two stages

And Gospel Blues on Sunday: ALEXIS P. SUTER AND THE MINISTERS OF SOUND in the sanctuary of Wesley United Methodist Church in Downtown Bloomsburg, backed by a LARGE choir of local singers.

Produced by Richard Briggs of the Briggs Farm Blues Festival, Destination Blues receives significant support from Montour and Columbia Counties’ Tourism Funds as administered by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau. The Exchange and DBI thank Montour Commissioners Trevor Finn, Jack Gerst, and Jerry Ward and Columbia Commissioners David Kovach, Rich Ridgway, and Chris Young for their vision and enthusiasm.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Holiday Fundraiser show


The time has come for CASH & CARRY, everyone! We’ve got the panels, about 6″ x 8″; come in to the Antler and pick up up to three, make your art on them, and bring them back; we’ll put every single one of them on display, for sale: Artists last year included Bloomsburg University art professors, grade-school kids, and everyone in between — 300+ pieces by 100+ artists!

We’ll install the work starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the 21st of November; work that comes in later will go up as other work sells.

Our Fundraiser Holiday Show runs November 21 – December 24, with a Silent Auction Reception on Saturday, November 21, 6-7 p.m. (one hour event); minimum bid $30. At 7 p.m., every piece costs $25, cash & carry! The artist receives 80%, the Gallery 20% of the sale price.

We’ll have our Cash & Carry Reception on Saturday, November 28, 6-8 p.m. (at the same time as the Artspace holiday show reception). EVERY PIECE $25. The artist receives $20, the Gallery $5.

Looking forward to seeing YOUR art!

“Stairwell Gallery Crew Collects” show now open

Now through the 25th of September, visit the Stairwell Gallery’s latest show — artwork from the personal collections of the Gallery committee members, Chad Andrews, Brock Dent, Jason Godeke, Oren Helbok, Dave Kube, Ron Lambert, Jef McGreevy, and Nick Rusnock.  Work runs the gamut of styles and media 2-D and 3-D, by artists near and far.  For Gallery hours, click here.

Last week for High School Scholarship Exhibition

The High School Scholarship Awards show is the best of a juried submission process, featuring students from schools from the local area.  The Bloomsburg University Department of Art & Art History presented three scholarships to students judged worthy of the awards.  The presentations took at the reception for the show at the Haas Gallery of Art on the B.U. campus in May, and this photo shows the winners; from left to right: Rachel Snyder, Honorable Mention, Danville High School; Olivia Greene, Honorable Mention, Southern Columbia; Ahlena Davies, Honorable Mention, Danville; Linda Yang, Second Prize ($1,000 tuition scholarship), Danville; Hadley Wiktor, First Prize ($1,500 tuition scholarship), Danville; Vincent Kuhar, Third Prize ($500 tuition scholarship), Bloomsburg; and Evie Allport, Honorable Mention, Bloomsburg.  Other students with work in the show include Lexus Mordan, Millville; Savannah Scherer, Southern Columbia; Kayley Dillon, Bloomsburg; Julia Shipe, Danville; Breanna Fowler, Bloomsburg; and Briana Wakefield, Millville.
The show runs at the Antler through this Friday, the 28th of August; we’ll have the Antler open 10-6 each day this week.
The next show, “The Stairwell Gallery Crew Collects”,  opens this Saturday, the 29th, 6-8 p.m. (at the same time as the reception for Artspace’s “Bazaar” show) and runs through the 25th of September.

Plein Air event on October 3rd

On Saturday, the 3rd of October, the Exchange will host a plein air art event at the Montour Preserve surrounding Lake Chillisquaque north of Danville: a day to embrace nature and record its magnificence. Bring your art supplies — paints, camera, sketchpad, colored pencils, watercolors, etc., plus bug spray/sun block, lunch and some snacks, a blanket or a chair, and of course plenty of water. We’ll have artists on hand to offer suggestions and answer questions; we encourage artists of all ages and abilities to come out and make art in the great outdoors; no charge, but a $5 suggested donation to the Exchange will help us to put on events like this in the future.

You’ll find us at the Goose Cove picnic area, up the hill from the visitors center on Preserve Road; click here for a map of the Preserve and here for a Google Map of the area.

In January and February, the Stairwell Gallery will host an exhibit celebrating plein air artwork, “Nature Calls”, with all work created in the open air eligible, whether or not made on the 3rd of October –

ArtFest and Miss Melanie on the first of August


ArtFest is a free annual outdoor arts festival sponsored by Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., that showcases exceptional area artists exhibiting on Center Street between Main and Third Streets.  On August 1st, hundreds came celebrate the dog days of summer — on a gorgeous day! –with live music, food from local restaurants, creative activities for kids and adults, and fantastic art, all in an intimate outdoor setting at the center of Bloomsburg!

The Exchange’s Art Cart came out as well, and kids enjoyed making their own Minions!   Attendees enjoyed food by S.A.C Lunches, Bakers Guild Cafe, Nannycakes, and Granny’s Caramel Corn, and music by the Bloomsburg Early Music Ensemble, Ray Haden, Steve Gilliland, Totem Pole, John Sweeney and friends, and Darling Run

A good crowd came over to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to hear Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats play two sets in the sanctuary, starting at 7 p.m.  This Blues group, based in State College, played at Destination Blues this year, performing at Balzano’s on Friday night and the Caldwell Consistory on Saturday, and they sounded GREAT in church!  For more information about the show’s sponsor, the Destination Blues Music Festival, please click here.

Destination Blues rocked the region and expands to August

BIG NEWS FROM DESTINATION BLUES! Regional favorite Miss Melanie & The Valley Rats will perform in Bloomsburg on Saturday, the 1st of August, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, corner of Main and Iron Streets. (You saw them at this year’s Destination Blues Festival, at Balzano’s on Friday night and at The Caldwell Consistory on Saturday; their version of “Amazing Grace” brought tears to many an eye!)

This August 1st, come to ArtFest on Center Street (which has plenty of music as well), sponsored by Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., have some supper downtown, and stick around for some great blues in the gorgeous sanctuary of one of our landmark churches.

More information will appear here and at as the date approaches — but mark your calendars now!

Our gratitude goes out to the Montour and Columbia County Commissioners, all six of them, who once again will sponsor Destination Blues in 2016. We couldn’t do it (yet) without you, gentlemen! In Columbia County, David Kovach, Chris Young, and Rich Ridgway; in Montour County, Trevor Finn, Jerry Ward, and Jack Gerst.

(We have always had other sponsors for the Festival, and over time we will increase those sponsors — in number and in the amount of their support — while decreasing the amount the Festival receives from the counties’ tourism funds. The Festival will stand on its own two feet — but it learned to crawl and walk with the Commissioners’ helping hands!)


Thanks to the hundreds of attendees, the work of dozens of volunteers, and the support of many local businesses and the Commissioners of Columbia and Montour Counties, the second annual Destination Blues Music Festival helped chase away the winter blues on February 6th through 8th, in Berwick, Bloomsburg, Danville, and places in between.

“Miner Blues” opened the Festival at the Turkey Hill Brewing Company on Friday afternoon; fifteen more bands played that evening at eleven other venues. John Sweeney and Tom and Jina Rosencrans played an acoustic set at Fog & Flame in Bloomsburg on Saturday morning, and Swampcandy played at the Capitol Restaurant across the street that afternoon.

First Columbia Bank Young Artist Jesse Loewy led things off on Saturday evening at the Consistory, and later that evening he had a 100% spontaneous opportunity to play with Slam Allen — THE magic moment of the night! Eight bands played on the Consistory’s two stages, finishing up with Teeny Tucker in the Auditorium.

On Sunday afternoon, Alexis P. Suter and the Ministers of Sound performed a Gospel Blues set at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bloomsburg, backed by a local choir. The audience came prepared to be moved, and they were!

For complete coverage of the Festival, visit and Facebook. We have already started thinking about next year’s Festival: We’ll do it again, and then some, on February 19th through 21st, 2016.

Save the dates!

Stairwell Gallery now showing “Photography”, “Watching” next


The Stairwell Gallery called all artists to enter original works of art for an exhibition that revolves loosely around the photographic process. All photography including traditional and alternative darkroom processes, digital and digitally altered photographs, photo silkscreen and paintings derived from photographs, and even installation proposals considered. This exhibition is open to all artists regardless of levels of experience and abilities — more than three dozen have participated, from the “usual suspects” to first-time exhibitors.

Monday, February 17, show opened

Saturday, February 28, 6-8 p.m., reception, simultaneous with the reception at Artspace Gallery, 221 Center Street for “Vista Gradients”

Friday, April 3, show ends.

Saturday, April 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., pick-up of work.

All artists are expected to pick up their work in a timely manner. No work will leave the exhibition until the end of the exhibition at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3rd, 2015. A gallery representative will be available to assist artwork pickup on Saturday, April 4th, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. If you are unable to collect your work by that time, please call Brock Dent at 570-854-6219 to make alternate arrangements. We will hold the work for up to one month from the end of the exhibition. After that month we will consider the work abandoned.

And then, “What Are You Watching?”

What are YOU watching? Turn it into art! The next open-call show here at the Antler, “What Are You Watching?”, invites artists of all ages and skill levels to bring in work inspired by film, video, TV, YouTube, etc., etc.: We are looking for original works of art based on your favorite films, television shows, commercials, or music videos.

We are also looking of experimental video works to be projected from 11 a.m. -11 p.m. on April 11, with a special screening at 6 p.m. on April 11. Videos should be under five minutes as QuickTime or Mpeg 4, sent as a link via DropBox, YouTube, or Vimeo to

Dates and times of importance:
Artwork received by Saturday, April 4, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Installation: Saturday, April 4, 1 p.m.
Show Opens: Monday, April 6

Saturday, April 11, 6 – 8 p.m.

Show ends: Friday, May 15
Pick-up: Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Please be sure to have your work in the gallery by 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. You may drop the work off earlier in the week by contacting Oren Helbok at 570-394-6805 to make arrangements. All work must be ready to hang and in the case of an installation, the artist must be available to install Saturday, Saturday April 4 beginning at 1 p.m., or have made other arrangements with the hanging crew.

ArtWalk-In on Wednesday the 11th

Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc. and the Exchange will host its 6th annual Art Walk-in this Wednesday at the Caldwell Consistory, 4-8 p.m. This event is FREE to the public and will feature the work of 25 local artists!

Live music will be provided by Lorraine & Joe Feola, The Bloomsburg Early Music Ensemble, Paul Loomis & Friends, and Negodniki.

Spaghetti Dinner ($6 adults, $4 kids) benefits Michele Kessler, long-time BTE supporter and now cancer fighter.

We’ll have computers set up so you can make your on-line donation through “Raise the Region” to any of the 259 area non-profits taking part in this year’s event!

The ArtWalk-In comes to you through the work and support of these sponsors:

The Exchange
The Children’s Museum
Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc.
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble
Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau
Susquehanna River River Arts