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JOHNSTOWN — The first Creator Square ‘Creative Master’ has been selected for residency at Bottleworks Art Center.

Metalsmith and jeweler Alyssa Feather was chosen as the first artisan for an innovative new artist community program in Johnstown. Her residency, initiated and hosted by Bottleworks Art Center, begins this month and runs through November, 2015.

“We seem to have created a lot of community interest already. It has been fun to meet everyone in the community. The collaboration with the local businesses has been positive. They have been very supportive,” said Feather.

This initiative is supported in part by a grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

“We are strong supporters of both Creator Square and BOTTLEWORKS Arts Center. Of added interest to us is the collaborative nature of this initial residency and the positive impact we think it can have not only on these organizations but as a catalyst for additional community development,” said Mike Kane, Foundation president.

“This residency is a great opportunity for two of Johnstown’s major arts organizations, BOTTLEWORKS and Creator Square, to collaborate,” said Angela Rizzo, BOTTLEWORKS Executive Director. “The more creative energy we both can attract to Johnstown the better. In Alyssa’s short time setting up the shop and creating work at BOTTLEWORKS we have already attracted a lot of interest.”

“Since returning to Johnstown, my impression of the creative arts community that is developing is refreshing and inspiring,” said Feather.

Feather’s work has been exhibited extensively including an international exhibition in the Czech Republic, and juried internal exhibition at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her teaching has been recognized with a CELT Grant by the Center for Learning and Teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. Alyssa’s husband, Nathan Poglein, is also a metalsmith and jeweler.

Feather is a master metal smith and jewelry designer who received her Bachelor of Science in Art Education (BSAE) degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Miami University of Ohio. She is an Adjunct Professor of Art at Harrisburg Area Community College and served as the shop technician in the metals studio at Miami University of Ohio.

Creator Square Johnstown was founded in 2014, Creator Square’s mission is to inspire, nurture, support, connect and exhibit the business and creative development of artisans while stimulating urban revitalization, economic development, and job skills transfer in downtown Johnstown. How can an artisan residency stimulate the local economic and urban revitalization of an older industrial downtown? Creator Square is importing skilled, mid-career makers to a live/work studio building located on a park at the city’s epicenter, mixing them with local makers for an extended period of time, and connecting Johnstown’s creative community, industrial and defense infrastructure, and entrepreneurial activity back into the national network of makers. These artisans are a vital community catalyst, centrally located in the heart of the city, helping to revitalize downtown while stimulating commercial and residential development. Creator Square is a program of the Johnstown Business District Development Corporation (JBDDC), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 2010.

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