The Westmoreland Museum of American Art Invites the Public to Participate in THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) Art Project

Claire Ertl, Director of Marketing & Public Relations
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Charlene Bidula, Manager of Communications
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DC VegFest SMILE piece by John Schlimm - September 20,   2014 -24 Artist John Schlimm pictured with his participatory The Smile art project in Washington, D.C.

GREENSBURG, PA, Thursday, May 26, 2016 – Artist John Schlimm will bring his participatory art project THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) to The Westmoreland Museum of American Art on Sunday, June 5 from 11 am – 5 pm, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The event will be free and open to the public. For the day, a large canvas will be installed on the North Main Street bridge, which connects downtown Greensburg to the Museum. (Should it rain, the project will move inside to the Museum’s art studio space.) The public is invited to paint their personal smile onto the canvas, and the finished canvas will then be on view from June 7 to July 3 in The Westmoreland’s Robertshaw Gallery as a special exhibition that relates to the Museum’s portrait collection. Additionally, the Colonel Eagelburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band will be performing from 11 am – 3 pm, and the Museum will offer a variety of hands-on art projects for visitors. This date coincides with The Westmoreland’s regular All About You! Free Admission Sundays, which occur on the first Sunday of every month through the generous support of the Jack Buncher Foundation.
On Saturday, June 4 from 1 – 2 pm the Museum presents In Conversation with Author and Artist John Schlimm as part of the Art Beat lecture series. The international award-winning author and artist John Schlimm will discuss his new, bestselling memoir Five Years in Heaven: The Unlikely Friendship That Answered Life’s Greatest Questions during an interactive question and answer session, followed by a book signing. Five Years in Heaven is about John’s life-changing five-year friendship with 87-year-old ceramic artist Sister Augustine, a former nun in Schlimm’s hometown of St. Marys, Pennsylvania. The event will also include a pop-up exhibition of Sister Augustine’s most famous series, her abstract Gussie’s Special bowls with select pieces from John’s personal collection, which has never been publicly seen before.
About John Schlimm
John Schlimm is a Harvard-trained educator, an artist, and an award-winning writer. He has traveled the country speaking about motivational topics, including his “Embrace Compassion, Change the World” keynote address on Capitol Hill. John has appeared on such national media outlets as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live, NPR, Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food, The Splendid Table, QVC, and Fox & Friends, and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is an “Architect of Change” for THE SMILE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (is yours) debuted with installations in Canada and Washington, D.C. before coming to The Westmoreland.
About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, located at 221 N. Main Street in Greensburg, PA, recently completed a transformational renovation and expansion project, hosting a community grand reopening celebration in late October of 2015. A new LEED-certified addition adds over 13,000 square feet to the Museum and features a dynamic cantilevered design along with a stunning view of the City of Greensburg and the Laurel Highlands beyond. The Westmoreland’s permanent collection is comprised of works by major American artists from the 18th century through the present, with a special emphasis on Southwestern Pennsylvania art and artists. The Museum also offers an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions of American art – both nationally-travelling and those organized in house – as well as events and community-oriented educational programming for all ages.
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