Seeing an idea take shape!

Jul 10, 2015

As a business owner, I learn of many opportunities to serve on not-for-profit boards in Central PA. As a person that gives 100% to the things I become involved in supporting with both time and money, I realized that the mission of any organization on which I would serve must connect with my experience.

2014 Studio Critique

Mount Gretna School of Art Studio Critique

In the late summer of 2012 I was introduced to Jay Noble, and his vision of a landscape painting program where students could immerse themselves in the environment and focus on painting for a 6 week period to further develop their skills in respect to their passion.  

This was the birth of The Mount Gretna School of Art (MGSoA). 

I was to attend the inaugural meeting in the fall of 2012 in Mount Gretna along with 9 other folks seeking to make Jay’s vision a reality. Jumping in with both feet, I left that meeting as the Board President & Treasurer. As one who enjoys being involved from the conception of ideas and taking them to the next step, this was clearly the right fit for me. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mount Gretna, it’s a small community nestled in the woods just east of Hershey Pennsylvania. To learn more about Mount Gretna visit

2015 studioThe MGSoA Arts program is now in full swing under the direction of our founding director Jay Noble. Twenty students from across the country are attending our third annual summer session. Last week I was honored to receive feedback from two of the instructors involved in the first half of this years program, both of which expressed how impressed they were with the student’s motivation level and willingness to learn. Brian Rego, professor at Benedict College, University of South Carolina, and creator of Perceptual Painters, was thrilled with the intensity of the program and how much improvement he witnessed with the students in just a short 3 week period.  Catherine Drabkin, founding faculty of the Delaware College of Art & Design, commented that she has not been this excited about the caliber of students since being at Dartmouth earlier in her career.

Featuring student work at the 2015 Plein Air Festival in Camp Hill

Featuring student work at the 2015 Plein Air Festival in Camp Hill

There are a variety of public events which you can find by visiting Every Wednesday through late July, we offer lectures at the Hall of Philosophy (next to the Jigger Shop), all of which are open to the public. Our featured summer event titled ‘Edible Landscape‘. This is a Farm-to-Table event on the grand historic porch of Elizabeth Hummer and Bill Gifford at 14 Muhlenberg Ave. in Gretna. Tickets can be purchased online for this Farm-to-Table event on August 2nd. Please join us to learn more about the future direction of our organization, including a campaign to purchase an artist cottage to provide stability of our program for years to come. Currently, we rent all facilities needed to run our program including the Height’s Community Center for our studio, and with 4 other cottages to house students & faculty.