Cambria County Community Arts Center opens the Mr. Josephine Paul Family Museum | Local News

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — With the cutting of a ribbon, the area welcomed its brand new art installation.

On Thursday, officials from the Cambria County Community Arts Center officially opened the Mr. Josephine Paul Family Museum at the Westmont facility.

“We very much look forward to having this addition to our arts center and enriching our community for many years to come,” said J. Ross Stewart, chairman of the arts center board.

“On this day, we remember the remarkable, late Josephine Paul and her tremendous legacy that made this addition possible.”

Paul, a Johnstown native and art educator in the Greater Johnstown School District for 20 years, has seen her work exhibited in hundreds of national, international, juried and invitational exhibitions.

“The M. Joséphine Paul family museum project actually started about 20 years ago when we received an endowment from the Joséphine Paul estate including all of her works of art, a number of pieces of furniture, as well as a substantial amount of money,” said John Boderocco, vice president of finance for the arts center board. “We took those funds and invested them knowing that one day we would be able to build a facility where they could be displayed and that we could use the facility for other purposes for the community.”

The $2.8 million, 5,549 square foot, two-story museum is connected to the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center building.

The first floor features Paul’s collection and personal effects, and includes a theatrical performance space.

The space also allows for museum visits, rotating school art exhibits, room rental and use, lectures, music events and music productions, and the Log Art Theater.

The second floor provides additional space for classes, workshops, summer art camps, weddings, receptions and other rental uses.

In front of the museum is a 2,371 square foot amphitheater that can be used for musical and theatrical productions, weddings, receptions, rentals, conferences, fundraisers, events and summer camps.

“This is a great addition for the entire West Hills community, and we really needed an additional facility where we could have larger gatherings,” Boderocco said. “It also brings in a new theatrical feel that we really haven’t had in the West Hills in a long time, and we hope it will continue to draw more people to the facility.”

He said the goal was to expand the museum’s offerings.

“We think there are many opportunities for additional pieces that we plan to have, and also to bring in additional exhibits from further afield,” Boderocco said.

“It will give us a chance to bring in more people, not only from our local community, but also from outside the region.”

Angela R. Godin, executive director of the arts center, said seeing the M. Josephine Paul Family Museum come to fruition is a long time coming.

“I hope people can experience the fullness of her art and be able to cherish what this community meant to her,” Godin said. “His legacy will live forever in this space.”

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at 814-532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

William E. Bennett