BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Art Museums and galleries are usually located in medium to large-sized towns, but there are some great ones in smaller areas as well.

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA) has been around since 1976 and has been located in downtown Altoona since 1994. It operates the nation’s longest-running museum satellite system with five museum facilities located in Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier and Loretto, according to their website.

“We show work that is more traditional, but we also show work that is a little bit challenging and a little bit different,” SAMA Site Director Hannah Harley said. “We do have an exhibition rotation that is scheduled years in advance as well as a permanent collection within the museum that is 7,500 pieces.”

She said that includes Andy Warhol, other famous artists as well as some “local legends.” Currently at SAMA, two exhibits are going on in three galleries

SAMA provides art education, as well, Harley said. There are workshops at the gallery and in schools, which fuels people’s creativity.

“We’re one of the rural art museums that’s open for free,” she said. “That’s huge for us because it means you don’t have to travel two, or three, or six hours to go see an art museum. “You can go to your backyard and have that experience.”

SAMA is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit the museum’s website.

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