The Susquehanna Art Museum, or SAM, in Harrisburg started in 1989 as just a dream of a group of art educators in central Pennsylvania. These educators strongly believed that an art museum was needed in the capital city. Fueled by a desire to offer a forum that would be engaging, relevant, and innovative, they worked with businessmen and women, dedicated volunteers, and community leaders to turn their dream into a reality. Just a little over two decades later, SAM became the only dedicated art museum in central Pennsylvania, displaying exhibits that are reflective of the community's diverse cultural heritage along with a broad variety of aesthetic interests.
The galleries at SAM showcase artwork by local, regional, national, and international artists. The museum also provides an innovative outreach program called VanGo! Museum on Wheels. This mobile program brings original artwork to thousands of students every year who would otherwise not have an opportunity to see such works of art. VanGo! teaches kids that creativity exists within everyone and offers a forum for the further development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The Susquehanna Art Museum is dedicated to inspiring and encouraging visitors to become more knowledgeable of, more familiar with, and more appreciative of the culture and art surrounding them. Educational programs at SAM are designed to enrich and enhance the experience for visitors, offering an array of workshops, classes, critiques, discussions, lectures, and more for adults. The youth art programs at the museum feature painting, drawing, sculpture, art appreciation, and art history, providing them with unique opportunities to learn from original artwork in a museum setting. The museum that began over two decades ago is now a permanent facility in Midtown Harrisburg as well as an organization dedicated to both art and its community.
There is no art experience that can compare with viewing original works of art, and materials and textures come to life when students see the artwork firsthand. Here, visitors and students are connected to the cultural and historical context in which the original works were made. The works of art also offer a forum to better understand art as a means of communication and reflecting important ideas, as well as serve as inspiration for self-reflection. School visits feature a museum tour and focus on at least one of the current exhibits on display. These guided tours typically are about 45 to 60 minutes in duration, depending on the development, age, or number of the visiting students. The length of the visit can also be adapted to accommodate the schedule of the school.
Along with the guided tour, schools visiting the Susquehanna Art Museum can request an educational activity for their visit in the education center. These activities reflect a concept, style, or technique that is represented in the exhibits that the students have visited, and are designed with the specific needs of the visiting students in mind. School visits that include both the guided tour and an education activity generally last between 80 and 120 minutes.
1401 North 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102, website, Phone: 717-233-8668