Brandon Hirt


Brandon Hirt

Brandon Hirt

Brandon Hirt is a fine art/portrait photography that currently resides in Ebensburg, Pa after boomeranging back to the area after living the dream in Colorado and Oregon. During my time out west I created my eye or should I say addiction of photography. After taking a few darkroom classes in Black and White Photography the fun really started. I was seeing so many different sites that I wanted to remember forever. I would go to John Fielder’s photography galleries on my lunch breaks and be inspired.

I strive to find a different perspective in my images.My photography sweet tooth is long exposure landscapes. The longer exposures help bring a silent peace to images. I create most of these during the power of moonlight or during daylight with ninja special effects. These shots can last 2 seconds or as long as 2 hours. These long exposures will smooth out crashing waves or have the stars spin around the Northern Star.

Remember variety is the spice of life so I try to engage into different sorts of image creation. I am available to shoot weddings, portraits or any event. Also keep your eyes open for my Farmscape series that will mooove you and environmental portrait work. I am always looking to create images of everyday views from new perspectives. Please allow your eyes to view my images on my website Feel free to contact me or 303-915-9392.

My photography has been published by Winterstick Snowboards, Pennsylvania Magazine, Johnstown Magazine, and Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Video work shown by Fox Sports Net, So Gnar TV, Altitude Sports, Pin Pin Films, Bald E-Gal Productions, The Cru, Misschief Films, and many others.

My fine art photography as been exhibited at Central Pa Arts Festival, 3 Rivers Arts Festival, People’s Choice of PA Art Festival, Ebensburg Potato Fest, Bedford Fall Foliage, Lewisburg Art Festival, and Shadyside Arts Fest.

Holly Lees


Holly0040Holly Lees is thrilled to operate her photography business, “Photography by Holly Lees”, out of the Artworks building. In operation since 2008, the photography business allows Holly to explore and capture many special moments for her clients. She feels blessed that her art allows her to help people celebrate the special and exciting moments of their lives.  Through photography, art celebrates life!
Holly is available to photograph high school seniors, weddings, maternity, newborns, boudoir, families, children and more. She is proud to use her photography skills as a way for women to celebrate their own beauty through boudoir and goddess portraiture as well as Women’s Retreats.

Holly graduated with a Bachelors of the Fine Arts in Photography from Point Park University in partnership with Pittsburgh Film Makers. Much of her work has been featured and displayed in a number of professional art galleries and print publications. Some of her documentary work portrays life in rural Tanzania, the dance and drumming world of Guinea West Africa, the people of a farming region of Jamaica, the beauty of nature, life on an American Indian Reservation and the complications of environmental pollutions and clean up in Pennsylvania.

She loves to help others to become better photographers and explore the world through this creative and insightful medium. She has been teaching photography to both children and adults since 2006 and she is eager to share the art of photography with people everywhere!

“ I am always striving to capture or shall I say borrow one thing, the essence or spirit of my subject matter.”

-Holly Lees

Joanne Mekis

Graphic Designer and Artist

Joanne Mekis is an award winning graphic designer, painter, and art instructor. Graphic design has been her career since college and she continues to love what she does. Joanne’s specialty is branding identity and she has created logos and symbols for a wide variety of clients country-wide. Painting is her first love and this exhibit has pushed Joanne to finish some older pieces and create new ones. Her choice of medium is acrylic paint used in a thick, painterly application. Joanne loves teaching art and art history to children and adults around the world. Her role in this world is to be an encourager and a mentor of hope and dreams realized through art and creative expression. The art of her students has proven to be a conduit of their imaginations.

Contact Joanne at


Artist Statement

Creating art is a multisensory experience. From the smells of a real Crayola crayon, Playdoh and clays, paint and other mediums to the feel of the clay and paint, and seeing what has been placed on the canvas or paper, art is the embodiment of a very personal and holy experience.

I am inspired by teaching people of all ages in schools, camps, church, and on mission trips. My art is not only about me. Seeing a child use a simple crayon for the first time and cry with fear then joy because their paper is covered with colorful squiggles is something beyond words. Hearing teens who are looking forward to careers in the arts because they have found something that they love, is inspiring. Watching a child proudly show her family the art that she created at camp is heartwarming and beautiful. Adults who have bravely tried art again after being told they weren’t good at it as a child, is empowering.  Each student is celebrated for their honest effort.

What kind of difference does art make? It doesn’t save a life. It doesn’t cure a disease. What is does is give a sense of hope and beauty. We all can use hope and beauty can’t we? I have worked with children in Honduras since 2003. It is a very poor and dangerous country. In my Honduran art classes, the children are offered the opportunity to tell their stories through colors and imagery. Children carry their kitchen tables back and forth from home in order to share workspace because there is a lack of desks. Their eyes are bright and hopeful, and their smiles are long lasting.

The contagious love of people and community is amazing to witness and is life changing. The arts teach us that there is more than one answer and there are many ways to see and interpret the world. The arts help us communicate our feelings in limitless ways and require the ability to surrender to the creation as it unfolds.

I love art, but I am also in love with art and its power and capacity. It must be sown, cultivated, and shared with everyone, as art is everything that is done with love. As an artist and teacher, I strive to be a mentor of hopes and dreams, and we dreamers must bond together to grow those hopes and dreams. Appreciation for the arts is what sets us apart as human beings.

Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  I am happy and proud to say that I haven’t grow up yet and remain an artist at heart with the hopefulness of a child. I want to leave you with this: Once an artist, always an artist. You can start at any time, any age.


Jo Novelli-Blasko

Jo Novelli-Blasko is an artist and writer living in Johnstown Pennsylvania. Her practice combines watercolor, research, writing and performance. She is currently writing “Red Flags” a collection of ficto-criticsm about living as an ABD*. Jo is the founder of The Habitorium, a vehicle for her painting and research about habits. She offers ‘Write from Life’ workshops, watercolor technique and cursive writing. Her studio is for making and learning.

A native of Johnstown, Jo returned in 2018 after decades away. She was busy. She’s stood on a fault line during an earthquake, got married twice in one day, and died on the operating table. She’s been held at gunpoint by Mexican Federales in Baja Norte, an Italian junkie in Phoenix Arizona, and a liquor store owner in Oakland California. Jo believes everyone’s lives can be told in triplets.

Jo studied Art History at Arizona State University and Performance Studies at New York University. She has taught about performance, art history, writing and the interdisciplinary humanities.

She’s mentored and tutored students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, the Herberger Institute of Arts and Career Services program at ASU. Her scholarly work has been presented internationally in a diverse range of situations.

Jo’s creative works have been shown in rogue contexts across the United States with more formal stagings to include venues like The Space (Long Island City), the Ice House, Grant Street Studios, and Trunk Space in (Phoenix AZ), and a gig in Austin Texas.

*ABD stands for All But Dissertation. It means to have completed the academic requirements for a PhD except the dissertation.

Laura Williamson

Pianist and Teacher

Laura Williamson_Piano for Pleasure

Laura Williamson

Laura Williamson, DMA, NCTM, is an active pianist and teacher who enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities. She has held faculty positions at colleges and universities in South Carolina, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania. A specialist in piano teacher training and mentoring, while she was Director of Keyboard Pedagogy at Capital University  she founded Beginning Piano for Children in Capital’s Community Music School. This program  offered group and private lessons to neighborhood children while providing supervised student teaching experiences for undergraduate piano majors.

Nationally recognized as a progressive piano educator, Laura is in frequent demand as a consultant, adjudicator, guest speaker, and mentor. She has given presentations at national conferences throughout the United States, including the MTNA National Conference, World Piano Pedagogy Conference,  the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy,  GP3 the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, as well as numerous state and local events. Laura’s research and performing interests are diverse, ranging from the role of the Internet in piano instruction, to the teaching of technique and sight-reading, to the piano music of J.S. Bach and Johannes Brahms.

As a pedagogical author and editor, Laura has had articles and reviews published in Piano and Keyboard,Keyboard Companion, American Music Teacher, and the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum. She is a consulting editor for The Frederick Harris Music Company, and in that capacity has been involved in major publications such as The Celebration Series, Four Star Sight ReadingExploring Music History, and Sound Advice Theory and Ear Training.

A nationally certified member of Music Teachers National Association, Laura holds degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Western Ontario, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Oklahoma. Her former teachers include the internationally respected pedagogical authors and editors E.L. Lancaster and Jane Magrath, and Dr. Peter Simon, currently President of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Since relocating to Pennsylvania in 2010 Laura has become a visible member of her musical community. In Johnstown she sings with the Johnstown Symphony Chorus, and  has performed several times on the First Lutheran “Music at Noon” series as a solo and collaborative pianist. She has judged the Pennsylvania State MTNA Piano Competitions, and  has been engaged as a clinician for several member affiliates of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. Laura is currently a part-time member of the music faculty at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, where she teaches music history. She  maintains a professional teaching studio at  her home in Johnstown, where she lives with her husband David and daughters Rebecca and Jessica, and she teaches recreational classes for adults at  Piano For Pleasure, her second location inside the Art Works building of Bottleworks Ethnic Arts Center in Cambria City.

To learn more about Laura visit,

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