April 2017



As spring blooms along the US Route 6 Corridor in Pennsylvania, it is time to celebrate the artisan and artisan groups that make the northern tier of Pennsylvania a beautiful place to live.

The PA Route 6 Alliance has declared April as Artisan Month along the 427-mile long Heritage Corridor and honors those creative geniuses that spark something in each of us and inspire us to new heights.

To highlight the diversity of art and culture along PA Route 6, the following is a list of six long-time members of the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail and true supporters of the arts:

1.) Wendy Neckers/Painted Finch Gallery, Corry, PA

Honored as the 2016 PA Route 6 Artisan of the Year, Corry-based artist Wendy Neckers has created the collectible poster for this year’s Artisan Month. Since opening her gallery in June 2012, Neckers has steadily grown her presence in the Corry area.  The Painted Finch Gallery includes works by Neckers as well as other artisans with pieces in oil, acrylic, and watercolor to hand carved sculptures and handcrafted jewelry.   Beginning in a small space along Rt 6, Neckers moved to a larger space in the middle of Corry a few years ago and this year has expanded again to the storefront next door.  The new space houses more fine art and gift products and a huge selection of craft sodas.  Neckers has a background in set design which has been skillfully put to use in the lovely space and displays including paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, woodcarving, and jewelry in a well-ordered setting. 

2.) Dan & Jan Niebauer/Ralph Miller Jewelers & Gallery, Erie, PA

Their slogan, “Where Erie Gets Engaged - Since 1898”, testifies to just a small portion of their artistic talent as jewelry makers. Ralph Miller Jewelers is “Erie's oldest, largest and only nationally awarded manufacturing jeweler.”  The store owners and artists, Dan and Jan Niebauer, have created a wonderful setting that features original fine gold, platinum, and silver "Jewelry Art," by five master goldsmiths. Located in downtown Erie the shop is a fascinating place to spend some time viewing the eclectic mix of custom work, estate jewelry, sculptures, rare gems and fossils, and artwork by other artists.  The Niebauers are both master jewelers who not only produce their own designs, they also teach and mentor others who are well on their way to becoming masters.

3.) Art in the Wilds, Kane, PA

One of the premier art events along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, The Art in the Wilds Outdoor fine arts show happens annually on the fourth weekend in June.   Organized and managed by a dedicated group of art lovers, artists, and patrons, the show has been lauded as one of the best in the region.  The site for this juried event is under the shade of magnificent old trees in Evergreen Park, in the middle of the town of Kane, PA and the event features 35-40 artists and artisans, student art exhibit, music, demonstrations and food vendors.

4.) Curt Weinhold, Coudersport, PA

A photograph can stir emotions and no one does it better than Coudersport’s Curt Weinhold with his images of nature at its glory. Weinhold is a well-known photographer in the PA Wilds region with a portfolio that focuses on the beauty of both the man-made and natural worlds. Weinhold displays scenic views of the PA Grand Canyon, Austin Dam, local communities, wildlife and stunning nightscapes of the Dark Skies. 

5.) Connie Sickler/Settlement House, Sylvania, PA

The Settlement House Gallery appears to be set in an old house built along the highway but actually, it is a relatively new structure, (2001) so carefully crafted that it has the feel of an old, well-loved farmhouse.   Inside, the gallery is filled with vibrant colors and textures curated by the owner and artist Connie Sickler, who has skillfully combined the work of potters, painters, glass and fabric artists, into a charming collection of artwork.  You will see a careful attention to details, a little bit of humor, and a touch of whimsy.

Sickler is a painter, designer, and illustrator and her own work is well represented in the gallery.  A recent watercolor “The Tree of Hope” is available as a print in several sizes

6.) Dietrich Theater/Wyoming Cultural Center, Tunkhannock, PA

Originally built in 1936 by George Dietrich, the theater has operated for almost 50 years.  The building includes four movie theaters showing blockbuster, foreign, independent, and classic films.  It is also the staging ground for a wide range of cultural activities including film festivals, live theater, concerts, workshops, and classes.  Local artwork is exhibited in the William Norris Earnshaw and the Doris W. & Walter A. Sherwood Galleries and classes are taught in the Dorothy G. Sheldon Art Studio and the Peg Fassett Performance Studio.

The theater is a strong presence in downtown Tunkhannock. Last year, it was host for the self-guided walking tours of the historic town.

This is just a sample of the great artisans, organizations, galleries and retail shops along the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail. For a complete list, see the website at www.paroute6.com/artisan

The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail was started in 2005 as a year-long trail, designed to establish Route 6 as a driving destination for exploring the heritage and folk- life of northern Pennsylvania through products produced in that area, specifically the arts and crafts.  The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail covers the 427 miles from the New York border to the Ohio border.

The trail also serves as a network for artisans to share ideas and experiences. It is managed by the PA Route 6 Alliance and funded through the Heritage Area Program of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural resource.                            

Read Past Monthly Features:

March 2017 - Maple Month

January 2017 - Six New Attractions on PA Route 6 in 2017

Nov/Dec 2016 - Immigrant's Influence on Route 6

September 2016 - Motorcycle Your Way Across 6

August 2016 - National Park Service Turns 100

June 2016 - 2 Wheelin' Across 6

May 2016 - Veteran's Memorials

April 2016 - Artisan Trail Month on PA Route 6

February 2016-Historic Inns and Hotels on Route 6

January 2016-6 Ways to Hibernate this Winter

November 2015-Ways to Relax and Restore Along Route 6

October 2015 - Sense Spectacular

September 2015 - Scenic Overlooks and Viaducts

August 2015 - Celebrating the Birth of Gifford Pinchot Across Route 6

June 2015 - Route 6 as a Transportation Corridor

May 2015 - PA Route 6 as a National Recreational Trail

April 2015 - The Real Artisans of PA Route 6

March 2015 - Maple Month

February 2015 - Washington and Lincoln Connections