Current Exhibits

The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center is excited to present a celebration of African American heritage and culture with the return of the hat ladies to the Bottle Works! An exhibit featuring 40 hats owned and worn by local African American women, along with their history, will be on display from June 6 – July 21, 2024, in our Main Exhibit Space. Join us for the opening reception on June 8, 2024, from 4-8 PM for heavy hors d’oeuvres by Luxury Events & Catering, live music, and a runway-style hat show!

Along with the exhibit, we will be featuring an Open-Mic Poetry Works night on Jackie’s Garden Works Green Roof on July 13, featuring local poets and DJ Zay Brick! Luxury Events & Catering will be providing appetizers. The event is co-sponsored by Johnstown Women of Influence (JWOI) and will be open to the public, but space is limited. Pre-registration will be required. The Bottle Works will also be announcing a Crown Works still life painting workshop where participants will get to paint the hats from the exhibit with some of the finished pieces being auctioned off at the 3rd Avenue Folk & Arts Fest on July 20 & 21, 2024!

About the Exhibit:

Hats and hat shows have always had cultural significance in the Black community. Black women have been wearing hats for centuries. Hats, especially those worn on Sunday morning, became a signature expression of a resilient past that did not always value Black women and their beauty. Hats became an important way to exhibit confidence and beauty and remind the wearers to carry themselves like queens. Their hats are often referred to as “crowns”.

Eventually, Black communities began to showcase the beauty and creativity of hats and those who wore them at hat shows—cultural events where Black women exhibit their elaborate and stylish hats. These events hold deep significance within the Black community, serving as a celebration of heritage, spirituality, and personal expression. The hats themselves often symbolize various aspects of identity, history, and faith, reflecting the wearer’s personality and cultural background. Additionally, hat shows provide a space for community bonding and storytelling, allowing participants to share their experiences and traditions while celebrating their unique sense of style. Overall, these shows highlight the importance of cultural pride and the power of fashion as a form of self-expression and connection within the African American community.

Over 15 years ago, Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center recognized the significance and artistic expression of hats when it sponsored the first hat show in Johnstown, PA. Working closely with Black community leaders known for their fashion sense and understanding of the history of hats, they presented a yearly hat show during Black History Month. The spectacular hats modeled at the shows were selected from over 500 hats in the collection of local Black women and the history behind the hats was told as models paraded among spectators. The show became a highlight of Black History Month.

Fluid Works Exhibit

May 30 – July 21, 2024

The Bottle Works is excited to present an exhibit featuring acrylic pour painting from four local artists! The Fluid Works group exhibit will be on display in the AmeriServ Activities Center from May 30 – July 21, 2024! Join us for the reception during our 3rd Thursday on 3rd Avenue Gallery Night on June 20th from 6-8 PM.

Acrylic pour painting has become an increasingly popular art form and we have many talented artists in our region perfecting their craft.

This exhibit will feature the work of:

Exhibit Curator – Sandy Vigna

Though I’ve been painting since the age of 12, it wasn’t until my children were born that I switched from oils to acrylics.  

A few years ago I saw fluid acrylic painting on Pinterest and thought it was intriguing so I watched a few YouTube videos and tried it myself.  It’s very satisfying as you really don’t need any kind of background in art and can produce a stunning piece.  I’ve taught classes in fluid acrylics at the Bottle Works and all my students have been pleased with their work.

Cheryl Hill

When fluid acrylic painting first became popular several years ago, it was simply known as “paint pouring.” The first time I was introduced to this medium, I was hooked. As fluid acrylic art evolved, it has become much more than just pouring some paint onto a canvas. Since that first introduction, I have studied the work of many innovative artists, hungry for each new technique that was introduced. This art form, part art and part science, involves combining acrylic paints with various mediums so that they flow smoothly. Paint is poured or dripped onto a surface without using brushes. Techniques to achieve the final piece vary, and each work is marvelously unique.

My art is sometimes inspired by nature: plants, flowers and cosmic themes. Other times, I simply allow colors to speak to me and guide the palette for a given work. The fluid acrylic style of painting forces me to let go of rigidity and logic, and to allow creativity to triumph; oftentimes with vibrant and unique color combinations. My hope is that the convergence of your imagination and mine takes you on a gratifying journey of emotion as you contemplate these pieces.

Carol Rhodes

I was born and raised in Johnstown and graduated from JHS in 1960.  In 1990 I relocated to Washington, D.C. where I lived for 30+ years with my husband, Wayne. Family brought us back to Davidsville, where we are enjoying time spent with our family of four sons, a daughter, 12 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. We only regret not doing it sooner.

> Life during the Covid Pandemic introduced me to “Fluid Art”. Basically homebound, I picked up my brushes and paint to amuse myself.  One day I saw a tutorial on Fluid Art and said “Why Not?” I put down my brushes and started pouring and pouring and pouring!

Caitlin Vinner

What started as a creative outlet during a time the world stood still, has turned into a passion that brings me such happiness and delight. I was browsing YouTube when I came across a video on “pour paint.” I thought, how interesting is this technique. It was something I had never seen or heard of before. The artist was mixing acrylic paints with a medium and pouring the paint directly onto the canvas creating such incredible pieces. This didn’t seem hard; I thought if she could do it, so could I. To watch her make these beautiful, vibrant designs so effortlessly, I was hooked. Immediately, I raced to my closest arts and crafts store and well, like they say, the rest is history.

Over the last four years, I have been working on my technique and making artwork of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I even put my work out there in the public spotlight: selling pieces to family, friends, online customers, and right here at Bottle Works. What I love most about this style of painting, is that there is no right or wrong. Anyone can do it. All you need is a canvas, acrylic paints, a medium of your choosing and you, too, can be an artist. Like Elizabeth Gilbert said, “a creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life… and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”


August 1 – September 7

Opening Reception 3rd Thursday on 3rd Avenue August 15 from 6-8 PM

The Bottle Works Studio Works Exhibit is back for 2024!

Our annual Studio Works Exhibit highlights the incredible works of our studio artists, staff, and Club Works artists. Our Main Gallery Space will be filled with art from various mediums including acrylic paintings, paper mâché sculptures, oil paintings, fiber arts, illustration, and more!

Participating artists include Joanne Mekis, Colleen Albright, Carol Churchey, Glenn Klimeck, Rayna Noel, Kyle Reidmiller, Garrett Lakits, and more…

This is the Bottle Works opportunity to give back to all the amazing artists who make our organization great while introducing them to the community through their art forms. Visit the exhibit, make a purchase, and show your support for all of our talented artists!

Studio Works opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 15 from 6-8 PM as a part of our 3rd Thursday on 3rd Avenue Gallery Night! Light refreshments will be served. The FNB Pop Plaza will also be the space for our Steve Ditko Family Fun Night from 6-8:30 PM and then we celebrate Mr. Ditko’s induction into the Disney Hall of Fame by showing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on the Pop Plaza festival lawn.

August 1 – September 7

We are celebrating our amazing students from our Arts Academy Summer Camps with an exhibit of the work they produced during camps!

Arts Academy is a high-level art intensive program that is preparing young students for professions as artists while teaching basics like technique, color theory, and presentation! Students work with professional artists through a five-day camp from 9 – 3 each day.

Arts Academy Camps and exhibit sponsored in part by Somerset Trust Bank.

Come out and support these young artists as they put their efforts on display for the community to enjoy!

August 1 – November 2

The Doctor is in!

Comic Works: A Strange Exhibit

August 1 – November 2, 2024

There is something “strange” coming to the Bottle Works Steve Ditko Innovators Studio this summer!

The home of Ditko’s legendary ink pens will become a little more mystical when 31 issues of Marvel Comics – Strange Tales featuring Doctor Strange arrive on display from Ditko Ink!

These books aren’t just incredible pieces of comic history featuring the origins of Steve Ditko’s most magical of creations, they are the books from his personal collection!!! They will be joined by what is believed to be the first-ever sketch of Doctor Strange by Mr. Ditko. A piece he drew on an envelope that accompanied a letter to his younger brother Patrick way back in 1946!

You aren’t going to see these anywhere else but in Steve’s hometown of Johnstown, PA!

Visit the Steve Ditko Innovators Studio and see the most exclusive collection of Steve Ditko memorabilia and books anywhere! Then join us on Saturday, November 2nd, as we celebrate with a closing reception on Steve Ditko’s birthday!

Bottle Works will provide light refreshments and a birthday cake for Mr. Ditko in honor of what would have been his 97th birthday!

Please note that the Bottle Works engages in photography and recording of programs and events for its own print and online publication/promotional purposes. Staff and volunteers will make every effort to notify members of the public when filming and/or photography is taking place. Please notify a staff member/volunteer if you do not want to be photographed or filmed.