Shippensburg Arts Programming and Education (SHAPE) held a reception to open its exhibit on Friday, Sept. 6., celebrating its 20th year of bringing the arts to the Shippensburg community.
SHAPE is a volunteer organization that was founded in 1999, and since has provided a home to promote the arts in Shippensburg.
One of SHAPE’s founding members and the current gallery director, Kurt Smith, thought of SHAPE in the fall of 1999 and collaborated with Mary-Margaret Laviska after she told him of how she wanted to gather a group of artists, art lovers and local business owners to support the arts.
Since its creation, SHAPE has hosted almost 100 gallery exhibits, held hundreds of art classes, and organized a multitude of events including house tours, arts events, and even created the annual Solstice Arts Festival.
In 2004, SHAPE also began its annual Shippensburg high school student art exhibit. SHAPE continues to grow and evolve year after year as the town of Shippensburg expands.
The opening reception of its 20th anniversary exhibit had live music, various guest speakers and food. The exhibit showcases work from artists who have been a part of exhibits in the past along with SHAPE memorabilia.
This allows guests to see where SHAPE has been, where it is now, and where it is headed in the future. Many of the works on display included original posters from SHAPE’s arts festivals, a painting of the gallery’s previous location, the original SHAPE logo, and a multitude of paintings, photographs and other works of art.
One of the artists, Mona Papoutsis, who has been a member for about two years, uses oil paintings to display scenic art.
Mark Wojciechowski, who has been a member for more than 10 years showed off his digital photography and found object art.
Overall, the SHAPE 20th Anniversary provided an opportunity for the people of the Shippensburg community to dig deeper and understand a part of the town’s history.
Many members see SHAPE as an amazing way to showcase their art and be a part of a community that welcomes and encourages them to put out their best work and to have fun.
The gallery hours are listed at www.shapearts.org/exhibits.