The Bower Center for the Arts, located just on the outskirts of Bedford, is a veritable cornucopia of creative offerings for the community.
Focusing primarily on the visual and performing arts, the Center is home to ten local artists whom you will often find working away in their studios during your visits. Admission is free for the entire family and you can explore two separate spaces that host national multi-dimensional, and themed exhibits encompassing such genres as "Hip to be Square", "Orange", "Paper", and coming next year: "The Art of Motion". In addition to these nationally touring shows, there is plenty of work by talented local artisans to be had.
They really strive to keep things fresh and exciting for visitors, according to Susan Martin, Executive Director. Every six weeks or so they present guests with an entirely different experience thanks to the ongoing rotation schedule. I also learned that all of the Bedford County Public Schools host their annual art shows at the Center. What a wonderfully affirming experience for budding artists to have their work on display at a public gallery!
Besides the visual arts, you'll find a series of exciting performing arts events on the Bower calendar each year. Ranging from musical acts, to theatre groups, to dance productions, they are staged within one of the exhibition halls, adding a unique vibe to each show.
For those of you who are creatives yourselves and love to dabble in new mediums, instruction is offered in six-week segments (sessions are divided by age) and cover nearly every field of art you can think of! Interested in something not on the list? Susan says they are always open to finding new instructors to bring in per community request!
If weekly classes aren't your thing, there are also a number of 1-2 day workshops that are scheduled throughout the year. These are perfect for those who want a quick immersion into a particular discipline. "Open Studio Hours" are also something available to more experienced potters and mosaic artists. You pay for the hours of use and have access to all of the Center's equipment and materials as you work on a new masterpiece.
Signing up for an art class would be the perfect antidote to the winter doldrums. You might even make some new friends while you're at it! Know someone who might enjoy getting to experience more creativity in the new year? Well then, a Bower Center for the Arts Gift Card might just be the Christmas gift you're looking for. It can be used toward class instruction OR any of their performances!
I could go on and on about all that Susan and her team have scheduled for the coming months (like a one-man Dicken's show on December 9th featuring John Hardy, a Murder Mystery Fundraiser on February 17, 2024, the summer art camp schedule, the annual Art of Pairings event, and so much more!). Suffice it to say, if you are a patron of the arts, you should sign up for their newsletter without delay to keep abreast of all their latest offerings.