The Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center was a gift to the Wellsboro community, by businessman, artist, and philanthropist, Arthur J. Gmeiner. Born on a farm near Liberty, Pennsylvania, in Tioga County, on April 9, 1884, Arthur Gmeiner was the oldest of four children.
After graduating from Mansfield Normal School (now Mansfield University) with a degree in education, he helped his three younger siblings acquire post secondary education.
In 1919, Arthur moved to Denver, Colorado, and purchased the Parks School of Business. His younger brother, Mathew, became his partner. Together they trained thousands of young people in business professions. In 1947 they sold the school.
Arthur Gmeiner now had time to pursue his interest in art. Prior to retirement, he had very little time to draw and paint. However, in 1907, he completed a large pen and ink rendering of “St. George and the Dragon”, that is on permanent display in the gallery lobby. It is one of his most impressive and detailed works. During his retirement he produced over 300 oil paintings.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Deane, Mr. Gmeiner’s cousins in Wellsboro, helped enormously in making this center a reality. An offer made to the Wellsboro Council, in August 1968, was accepted. Gmeiner would provide funds for construction and provide an endowment fund to maintain the building.
Construction was started in the spring of 1969; and, on October 1, 1969, the building was dedicated. At the dedication, Arthur Gmeiner told the audience, “…I present it to you in sacred memory of my father, mother, a sister, and two brothers, all of them now departed. It is all yours. From here on, the benefits to be derived from it will be in your hands…”
In 1975, a workroom and another storage area were added to the original building. Over the past 41 years, many arts and community organizations have met here to further the arts and to support community projects.
Some information reprinted from the book entitled, “Arthur Gmeiner”, available for a small cost at the Gmeiner.
Every year we host a variety of free, public events:
- Twelve unique exhibits, each with a public opening reception.
- Brown Bag Lunch Series in the Fall and in the Spring.
- Outside concerts.
We also welcome community organizations to meet in our facilities. Here is a current list of groups that meet here:
- The Audubon Society
- The Embroiderer’s Guild of America (Treasured Stitchery Chapter)
- Grand Canyon Photography Club
- Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild
- Pine Creek Decorative Artists
- Wednesday Morning Musicales
- Wellsboro Art Club
- *Artisans of the Wellsboro Art Club
- Wellsboro Friday Club
- Wellsboro Community Concert Board
- Wellsboro Food Pantry Board
For more information concerning these organizations, contact the Director of the Gmeiner at (570) 724-1917.