Skip to Content

Drool Over This Art Gallery’s Creative Crafts in PA!

Tour the Main Exhibit gallery!

Wait until you see this gallery…

Main Exhibit in Ligonier, Pennsylvania = WOW.

Whether you’re seeking unique gift ideas, beautiful items for your own home — or you just want to be inspired by some of the most skilled craftspeople in America, this article will be worth your gaze.

Metal butterfly chair!

Metal butterfly chair!

Small Town, but Big, Famous Art

Walk with me now through the most remarkable store I’ve seen in years: Main Exhibit Gallery & Art Center, nestled in the small town of Ligonier, Pennyslvania, one hour southeast of Pittsburgh. The collection of art here is world-class, evidenced by the fact that Main Exhibit ships their pieces to buyers around the world!

Glass ornaments by the window.

Glass ornaments by the window.

Over 25 Years in Business for a Reason

Main Exhibit was started in 1994 by Mandy and Paul Sirofchuck: an artistic power couple specializing in stained glass and woodwork, respectively. Fans order Paul’s wooden furniture and decorations because of the brilliant way in which he merges a trunk’s natural curves with the function of the piece. Ogle the clock he created, below.

A clock by Paul Sirofchuck using the natural shape of the wood.

A clock by Paul Sirofchuck using the natural shape of the wood.

A Stained Glass Expert and a Leader

I was lucky enough to meet Mandy Sirofchuck during the hours I spent snapping these photos in her gallery, and was deeply impressed by the power and range of her skills: both as a stained glass artist and a businesswoman. Here’s a picture I took of her on a purple metal butterfly bench!

Mandy Sirofchuck, co-owner of Main Exhibit Gallery.

Mandy Sirofchuck, co-owner of Main Exhibit Gallery.

Gallery Decoration by Master Artists

The way Main Exhibit Gallery is organized is akin art in itself. Examine the photo below to see what I mean. Who but an artist could have so expertly paired the azure wall paint with the purple display, with the rainbow pottery pieces?!

So many gifts and crafts to choose from.

So many gifts and crafts to choose from.

American Artists and Craftspeople: Especially Local

All the craftspeople featured in Main Exhibit are American, with a passionate focus on local Pennsylvania and Laurel Highlands artists. Within this focus, however, the creativity of each individual work of art at Main Exhibit stunned me. A standout was this rack of metal “vine” utensils. I’ve never seen steel twisted in such a plant-like way! It turns out the same artist created the metal gate at the Ligonier hotel where we stayed. (Love ironwork? Check out the blacksmithing classes in nearby Farmington, PA!)

These hand-forged steel utensils are AWESOME.

These hand-forged steel utensils are AWESOME.

Glass Art in Panes and Ornaments

Let’s turn to the glass art at Main Exhibit. As you may have assessed from my extensive oeuvre on the topic (Seattle’s Chihuly Exhibit, the Corning Museum, etc.), Me + Glass Art = Happiness. At Main Exhibit, Mandy’s stained glass doors — one of which is pictured below — and glass ornament orbs from other American artists make the gallery glow with luminescent color.

Mandy's stained glass and Ligonier Diamond wood.

Mandy’s stained glass and Ligonier Diamond wood.

American Furniture by an Artisan of Wood

Let’s turn now to the meticulously crafted furniture that Paul Sirofchuck is famous for. Notice how each of the different natural shades of wood are pieced together in creative, triangles rectangles, and curves. These seats are for kings and queens.

Perfect, hand-crafted wooden furniture.

Perfect, hand-crafted wooden furniture.

Functional Yet Beautiful Household Items

In addition to furniture, paintings, and wall decorations, Main Exhibit has all sorts of functional kitchen tools which also happen to be works of art. Look at the azure glass plate, below: perfect for a silky pat of butter to pass to your awed guests.

The curves of this butter knife are delightful.

The curves of this butter knife are delightful.

Learn Art in the Laurel Highlands of PA

Main Exhibit is not just a gallery. It also hosts frequent art classes and workshops, helping to spread artistic knowledge and joy to the local Laurel Highlands community. I had the pleasure of meeting Alexis Dillon who sometimes teaches pottery in the lower level studio of the gallery. Look at that twinkle in her eyes!

Alexis offers pottery classes in the lower floor.

Main Exhibit offers pottery classes in the lower floor.

Why This Article Exists:

How did I come to take hundreds of photos in this Ligonier art gallery? Was I paid or coaxed by Main Exhibit? On the contrary! After spending 5 minutes wandering the store during a random stroll by, I BEGGED Mandy to let me come back and take pictures for a subsequent afternoon. All I wanted to do was to stick the nose of my camera into all that COLOR!

A spiky, neon set of little drawers.

A spiky, neon set of little drawers.

My Favorite Article Subject

Mandy kindly agreed to let me photograph the gallery, and I was thrilled! This is the kind of feature I live for: a colorful celebration of a small business whose owners work hard to keep creative crafts alive and thriving. When I create articles like this, I hope to bring new eyes to this phenomenal art.

The first room in Main Exhibit Gallery.

The first room in Main Exhibit Gallery.

Other Art Attractions Near Ligonier

Intrigued by this gallery, and looking for more art inspiration in this region of Pennsylvania? Allow me to pair more luscious photos of the creative pieces at Main Exhibit with descriptions of other artistic attractions available just a short drive from Ligonier…

A hand-sewn quilt.

A hand-sewn quilt.

Glass Paperweights and Gardens at SAMA

If you enjoy glass art and gardens as I do, a jiffy quick drive from Main Exhibit brings you to the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art‘s Ligonier branch. This small building houses one of the most extensive and intriguing collections of glass paperweights in the country. It’s also known for its gardens: a riot of flowers, sculptures, winding paths, and butterflies.

Notice how the baskets are mirrored by the table they're on.

Notice how the baskets are mirrored by the table they’re on.

Linn Run State Park and Forbes State Forest

Though nature is not technically art — it actually is, and I’d be remiss not to mention the fabulous hiking trails and views right near SAMA in Ligonier. Many of the art pieces at Main Exhibit use natural landscapes and motifs, and since the gallery’s focus is local, Pennsylvania’s flora and fauna are sometimes featured.

These bright socks are a Main Exhibit best-seller.

These bright socks are a Main Exhibit best-seller.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater!

45 minutes from Ligonier is never too far to drive to see one of the most famous pieces of architecture in America: the Fallingwater house! Our visit and tour to Wright’s masterpiece far exceeded my expectations — though there was “falling water” pouring from the sky when we were there — and I can affirm that this house lives up to all the hype. See it!

I love the teal and purple glaze inside this pottery.

I love the teal and purple glaze inside this pottery.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA

If Main Exhibit got you jazzed up for more creativity by U.S. artists, a welcoming and wonderful museum called WMAA awaits you less than 30 minutes away in the delightful town of Greensburg. The Westmoreland Museum has a particularly good children’s wing with hands-on crafts and tasks for all ages.

Tempted to sit down in this perfect recliner?

Tempted to sit down in this perfect wooden recliner?

A Reconstructed 18th Century Village in Donegal, PA

File this under another unexpected type of art, but do you have a secret hankering to tour a hand-rebuilt set of buildings from 300 years ago? 15 minutes from Main Exhibit sits Jimberg Village: part of Oak Lodge, the romantic luxury cabins in which we had the pleasure of staying for a few nights, and highly recommend.

A jolly hand-painted side table.

A jolly hand-painted side table.

Mister Rogers History in Latrobe, PA

If educational puppets, the Land of Make-Believe, and cardigan sweaters are more your speed for art, take the 15 minute drive from Ligonier to Latrobe, Pennsylvania to follow the Fred Rogers Trail from his birthplace! I was floored by his museum, especially seeing the real Daniel Tiger puppet and Trolley!

A tiny chandelier from folded rainbow glass.

A tiny chandelier from folded rainbow glass.

The Laurel Highlands is a Hidden Gem

Just as Main Exhibit Gallery has more world-class art than one might expect for a small town, the region of southwestern Pennsylvania known as the Laurel Highlands has far more attractions and fun than a Boston gal like me ever guessed.

That metal butterfly bench is the best.

That metal butterfly bench is the best.

Tips for Visiting Main Exhibit Gallery With Kids

As with any fine gallery full of precious art, use care when visiting Main Exhibit with children. Mandy kindly lets children sit on the beautiful purple butterfly bench pictured above because it is durable, but kids shouldn’t be climbing on or grabbing any other pieces of art without permission… and certainly not these knives!

Take a closer look at that metal-work on these knives.

Take a closer look at that metal-work on these knives.

Even the Doors and Windows are Decorative Art

Pay special attention to every detail of Main Exhibit if you’re lucky enough to visit. Just look at the stunning color and pattern of Mandy’s window, below. She paints and kiln-fires the glass assembling it using copper foil and lead techniques. WOW.

Mandy's stained glass windows are stunning.

Mandy’s stained glass windows are stunning.

How Do Art Galleries Stay in Business?

Main Exhibit just celebrated its quarter-century anniversary, and it has lasted this long — in a difficult field — thanks to the undeniable quality and uniqueness of the art the store offers, paired with its community engagement through classes and events.

Main Exhibit has been open since 1994.

Main Exhibit has been open since 1994.

A Destination for Fine Woodworking and American Furniture

As we draw this article to a close and zoom out to look at the biggest room in the gallery, below, I’d like to emphasize again why Paul Sirofchuck’s artistry with wood is known and sought-out far and wide: Just look at the beauty of that furniture!

What an awesome art gallery.

What an awesome art gallery.

Seeking Gifts for Others, or Yourself?

Now I’m not a gift-giving person, myself, but I’m aware that many people are — especially, ahem, at this time of year — and perhaps some of the items in these photos catch your eye! If so, give Mandy a call or send her an email via the contact information at the very bottom of the Main Exhibit website.

The ceiling decorations are paired gorgeously with the wall color.

The ceiling decorations are paired gorgeously with the wall color.

Or Maybe You Just Want to Be Inspired by Art?

Whether or not you plan on purchasing any art after reading this, let us acknowledge the great gift that Mandy and Paul — and all gallery owners — give us. By displaying their gorgeous crafts (arranged alluringly), they help us think through what we find beautiful in the world. The colors and curves bring us happiness, and boost our inspiration for art we may want to create someday, ourselves.

A metal peacock bench beckons you from outside the store.

A metal peacock bench beckons you from outside the store.

Thank You, Main Exhibit Gallery and Art Center!

I hope you enjoyed these photos and descriptions as much as I loved creating them, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking Mandy for her hospitality in letting me browse and share her gallery. So, what about YOU? Which pieces here do you most love, and why? Do share!

Delicious BBQ and sides!
Dinosaur BBQ: THE Place to Eat in Upstate NY by I90!
← Read Last Post
My favorite tree in Boston gets bright red in autumn.
Daily Inspiration Which Actually Helps: a Reflective Journal in 11 Ideas
Read Next Post →

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.