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    Discover the World of Art at The Phillips Museum

    Update: Due to heightened safety precautions, the Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom exhibit will be closed March 14 – April 6.


    When you choose to support the local art scene, you choose to support creative freedom and growth. Communities unite over shared passions and enthusiasm, which are often depicted in creative forms. Whether it’s a painting on a living room wall, a piano in the street, or a concert in a hall, Lancaster City’s art scene is a core part of our identity and we’re proud of it!


    The Phillips Museum of Art is one of the many upstanding Lancaster organizations that actively promote art appreciation and education in our City. Located on Franklin & Marshall College campus, the museum was opened in 2000 thanks to the generous gift of Thomas G. Phillips III, F&M Class of ’54 and his wife, Virginia. The museum’s mission is to, “foster an understanding and appreciation of the arts, which include contemporary, historical, and multicultural materials.” Not only is the museum advancing educational opportunities for F&M students, but they’re also heavily contributing to the art culture here in Lancaster. From an 18-year-old college freshman to an 80-year-old lifelong Lancaster City resident, all are welcome to explore The Phillips Museum of Art. 


    This year, the museum is celebrating 20 years of involvement in the community! They offer 40+ programs a year, including collaborations, paint nights, and workshops. Most of the programs are free, aside from small material fees for the workshops. Their goal is to create a welcoming space for all visitors. 

    From left: Amy Moorefield, the museum director and the Spring 2020 Exhibits.

    We had the opportunity to chat with Amy Moorefield, the museum director. Amy Moorefield, the museum director, was drawn to Lancaster because of the beautiful, diverse art community and moved here about two years ago. “The Phillips Museum of Art and F&M are very forward-thinking and innovative, which gives me the creative freedom to find art exhibits that reflect what’s happening around the world.” Amy brings a fresh perspective which can be seen in the museum’s many diverse events and exhibits throughout the year. She is also adamant about consulting other experts within the industry so the exhibits reflect not only current worldwide trends but also what would be relevant to the Lancaster community. 


    For example, the upcoming exhibit, Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom, was inspired by Lancaster’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. The installation, created out of fabric and seeds, represents the night sky, specifically, the Big Dipper, which individuals during the Civil War Period who were seeking freedom would have used as their guide during their travels north (this exhibit will run until April 30). In all their exhibits, the museum seeks to unite artists and experiences from many cultures to the community right here in Lancaster. 

    Sonya Clark, "Finding Freedom" 

    The museum has many other unique exhibits to look forward to this season. Until March 29th, visitors can enjoy Containing The Muse: Artists’ Book as Expression & Form. This display features 15 works from the F&M College Library, Archives, and Special Collections. 

    From left: CUBA, “Slaughter of the Trees,” 2012, Acrylic paint markers, binder’s board, and binder’s cloth, Special Collections Rare Materials and Ronald King, “Turn Over Darling,” 1990, Khadi pure rag paper, Special Collections Rare Materials.

    Another highly recommended exhibit this spring is What a Wonderful World, which will run until March 29th. In this display, four artists address environmental concerns using unique art forms. One artist, Rina Detri, created a “Red Dirt Rug” out of the Oklahoma iron-enriched clay soil. Another artist, Marian Wilson, photographed and drew moss from various perspectives. 

    Rena Detrixhe, "Red Dirt Rug," 2017, [detail], 25' x 40', Installed at Western Michigan University, Grand Rapids, MI, Oklahoma soil, impressed with shoe sole patterns, Photo by Mark Andrus, Courtesy of the artist

    The best part? Admission to all exhibits is free! Amy shared, “This was really important to me. Having no admission fee allows greater access to the community and gives them more awareness. It allows them to really embed themselves into the community. [It] increases visual literacy in terms of fine arts, performative arts, theatre, really makes us more human.


    Here at Fig, we love nothing more than supporting the local art scene. We’d love for you to join us in this mission by visiting The Phillips Museum of Art! Become a part of the art movement happening right here in Lancaster and help to drive the growth and momentum. To see more details about the exhibits and where they’re located, visit