For 77 years, the Allied Artists of Johnstown (AAJ) have been bringing to the community the opportunity to enjoy the visual arts in exhibitions and appreciate high calibre regional painters, sculptors, printmakers, photographers, and craftspersons.
The first exhibition of AAJ was held in 1932, when Margery Coleman Harris, a music teacher at Johnstown College, and several friends organized and formed a group with much the same purpose as exists today. Ms. Harris, as President from 1932 to 1948 was to remain the driving force in the development and growth of the organization.
Without an adequate area in which to hold exhibits, members were willing to scrub, polish, and even paint empty store rooms and vacant store fronts where the public might view their work in true gallery style. Exhibits were also held at the Masonic Temple, the Flood Museum, the G.A.R. Hall on Locust Street and Park Place, the Green Room at the Fort Stanwix Hotel, the VFW Home and the Art Institute on Franklin and Somerset Streets where art lessons were also given. Following the opening of exhibits, jury dinners were held and members flocked to hear comments by the judges.
True to the style of the time, engraved invitations for sketch parties were sent to AAJ members — these became an important part of the agenda as newspapers detailed the event, listing host and hostesses and the prizes that were awarded. Early events not only allowed members the opportunity to create and critique together but they also provided a social atmosphere in which to share ideas and goals.
In addition to Margery Coleman Harris other prominent names included Orval Kipp, Art Department chair at the Indiana State Teachers College (known today as Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Helen F. Price, Betty Jane Orms, Eawrence Whitaker, Katherine Heinz Smith, Martha Cowles Davis, Josephine Shafer, Bertha Stammler Townsend, Ada Wertz Hager, and Catherine Shearer. The list continues with Robert Cronauer, Van Clemenson, Mary Burkhart, Joanne Lovette, Ida Bradley, Ralph Reynolds, George Mengelson, Josephine Paul, Jean and Robert Slenker and Harriet Goff.
AAJ has always represented some of the finest artists in the Allegheny Region and continues to provide a well-run organization for artists who produce at every level.
- The Allied Artists Of Johnstown Executive Board and Committees 2015 -
President: Kathleen Kase Burk
Vice President: Maxine Cullen
Treasurer/website: Duane Webb
Secretary: Katie Respet
Membership: Judith Lansberry
Patron Drive: Maxine Cullen/Marianne Krizner
Scholarship Chair: Annette Ballow
Winter Show: Ann Dougherty
Spring Show: Diane Safko / Ben Policicchio
Summer Show: Diane Safko/ Carolyn Vaughn
Annual (Fall) Show: Kathleen Kase Burk
Facebook Manager: Lora Marsh
Corresponding Secretary/Newsletter - Diane Safko
Arts Coalition Liason - Diane Safko
Allied Artists of Johnstown is grateful to the many individuals and cooperating organizations that have sponsored and contributed to exhibitions, awards, and scholarships. Professional jurors are invited to judge each show. Without the support of the community, the Allied Artists could not maintain the high level of quality of which we are proud.
Allied Artists of Johnstown also recognizes the commitment of the volunteers who serve the organization in providing a service to the community in the form of scheduled exhibitions and scholarships.
You can be a part of this active organization, either as a member or a contributor. We welcome your interest and financial support. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
AAJ Past Presidents
1932-1948 Margie Coleman Harris
1949-1953 Catherine Shearer
1954-1955 Lawrence Whitaker
1955-1956 George Mengelson
1957-1958 Joseph Love
1958-1959 Van Clememson
1960-1961 Thomas S. Hammer
1961-1962 Charles Widdersheim
1962-1963 Glenn Brougher
1963-1964 Van Clemenson
1964-1965 William A. Poppe
1965-1966 George Mengelson
1967-1968 Van Clememson
1968-1969 Leo Karcher
1969-1970 Barbara Cisek
1971-1972 Lillian Sheehe
1973-1974 Frank Trebel
1975-1976 Margaret Haines
1977-1978 Mary Burkhart
1979-1980 Doris W Wilson
1981-1982 Paul Whinnie
1982-1983 Mary Burkhart
1983-1984 Luci Pribish
1985-1988 Kathleen Burk
1989-1990 Ed Burda
1990-1991 Kathleen Burk
1991-1993 Rosmary Norton
1994-1995 Ray Shrift
1995-1996 Norman Ed
1996-1998 Linda Sally
1999-2001 Robin Green
2002-2005 Marianne Krizner
2005-2007 George Turner
2007- 2010 Janie Leck-Grela
2010- 2013 Diane Safko
2014- Kathleen Kase Burk
Historical Background of the Allied Artists of Johnstown
Bill Debowski receiving an award for his entry in the Annual 2007 show at UPJ's Pasquerila Center
A watercolor landscape by Ida Bradley from our Retrospective exhibit in 2007
Oil landscape by Van Clemenson
Mixed Media by Robert Slenker
George Turner (right) explains his conceptual display to visitors at a large format show in 2007.
Oil portrait by Harriet Goff
Our sincere thanks to all of our AAJ contributors
Thank you to our supporters.
The Allied Artists of Johnstown will encourage and support art in all of its branches; to provide exhibitions of original works of visual art; to foster a true appreciation of art; to further social activity and goodwill among it's members; and to receive bequests and bestow honors.
TO BECOME A MEMBER
The Allied Artists of Johnstown encourage any amateur, semi-professional, or pro-fessional artist 18 years and older to join us. Simply submit two or more works during any of our three juried shows. If the work is accepted by the juror for inclusion in the show, the artist automatically becomes a member of AAJ. An additional $25 is paid along with the show entry fee to cover membership fee for the current year. If the artist is not accepted into the show, the $25 will be refunded.