Eckert Gallery in the Winter Center

Millersville University (MU) showcases various artistic talents ranging from visual art, to vocal and theater art in both the Ware Center in downtown Lancaster and on campus in the Winter Center.  In line with this mission of highlighting creative expression, and creating partnerships with the local community,  MU recently partnered with the Friendship Community Heart Gallery (FCHG) to showcase art created by adults with intellectual disabilities.

Although not the first collaboration the two entities have done together, this year was the first time studio artists and local partner artists from the gallery were featured in a Millersville setting. The opening reception of FCHG’s artwork occurred on Feb. 25, with 16 pieces by females which were then featured during March to honor National Women’s History Month. The MU Art Club also paired with FHGS to create collages highlighting the topic of women and women artists. Artwork was on display in February in Eckert Gallery in the Winter Center and then in March at the Ware Center.

“Art is an essential part of human expression and communication,” said Maria Tomassetti, gallery and studio coordinator. “Art enriches the soul and promotes connection with people.”

FCHG is a juried, fine arts gallery that focuses on themed exhibits from month-to-month. It has been open for over five years and is an extension of the nearly 50 year old Friendship Community, an organization whose mission is to provide valuable experiences to individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. Their monthly theme and artwork is revealed every first Friday of the month and is posted on their website to sell. This promotes not only artistic skills and self-expression from the artists, but also economic independence for these adults.

“The exhibit was very exciting, quite personal and quite powerful.  It’s always an honor and a joy to partner with the Friendship Community Gallery,” said Barry Kornhauser, assistant director of campus and community engagement.

The overall success of FCHG as well as the popularity of the art exhibit at both the Ware Center and Winter Center demonstrates the stellar work produced by adults with disabilities at FCHG. Looking forward, the FCHG will continue to work with MU to create unique learning opportunities for all parties involved.

For more information on the Friendship Community Heart Gallery, please visit:

For information on the Winter or Ware Center, please visit:

Leave a comment