By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
Bottle Works Arts on Third will offer a bus trip April 7 to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, with a stop at The Church Brew Works for dinner.
The Lodestar bus will leave Bottle Works, located along Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood, at 9:30 a.m. The first stop, arriving at approximately 11 a.m., will be Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where participants can spend a few hours enjoying the Spring Flower Show.
This year’s show, titled “Masterpieces in Bloom,” opens to the public March 12.
Designed by Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, the flower show offers viewers an opportunity to celebrate not only spring, but also a variety of influential artists. Botanical renderings of famous paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Edmund Leighton are part of the experience.
Flowers in the show include pink and red snapdragons, white orchids, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, primula, tulips and more. Hundreds of flowers will be on display, and Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo said it is sure to be impressive.
“Phipps is breathtaking any time of year,” Rizzo said. “But, ironically, the spring show is combining the arts and flowers — a very exciting concept that ties into our mission. The exhibit will feature vibrant colors and flowers blooming, which can’t help but get you excited for spring and summer.
“Phipps is breathtaking just seeing the exhibits, but they are a leader in green buildings and sustainability. That is a hot topic right now. Even if you aren’t big into horticulture or plants, it is still an inspiring place.”
At 2 p.m., bus trip participants will travel to the Frick Art and Historical Center, where they can view the center’s current exhibit, “Fast Cars and Femmes Fatales: The Photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue.”
Lartigue, who grew up as part of a wealthy family in France, was born in 1894. He was given a camera at the age of 6 and began to document life in the Belle-Époque, a time period in western Europe characterized by innovations, optimism and prosperity.
Lartigue’s photographs, which are described as eccentric and experimental, document his and his family’s unique adventures from 1907 to 1958.
“He seems like an interesting photographer who really had a lot of fun with his camera,” Rizzo said. “Just reading the description and seeing some images on the website, the show sounds extremely fascinating and entertaining, plus fun, eccentric and playful.”
The bus will depart Frick Art and Historical Center around 4:15 p.m. for its final destination, The Church Brew Works. Much like Johnstown’s own Venue of Merging Arts (VOMA), a church-turned-arts-venue, The Church Brew Works is a church-turned-restaurant located in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.
“Again, it is a unique stop, a place a lot of people always talk about,” Rizzo said. “This is another stop showing the cultural side of Pittsburgh. Church Brew Works shows an out-of-the-box idea of what these wonderful architectural buildings could be if no longer being used for their traditional purpose.”
Previously St. John’s the Baptist Church, The Church Brew Works was renovated into a restaurant that offers a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to entrees featuring chicken, beef and fish. The restaurant highlights and utilizes many of the church’s former fixtures, including pews that serve as seating for diners.
In addition to the stained glass windows, one of the restaurant’s most unique attractions is the large steel and copper tanks full of home-brewed beer that have totally transformed the former altar space.
The bus is scheduled to return to Bottle Works by 8 p.m. that same day. There is a cost to participate, and Bottle Works members receive a discount.
The price for the bus trip includes the transportation fee, admission to all locations, cost of dinner and a tip for the bus driver.
“Get out of the house, experience places you may have never been before, and let us do all the planning and coordinating,” Rizzo said. “It is going to be a very fun day.”
For more information about the bus trip or to reserve a seat, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.