You often hear us talk about all the Lehigh Valley has to offer in our three cities, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton but we also like to give equal attention to the many small towns and communities in the valley that make our area even more special.

I know Ryan highlighted Bangor Pennsylvania in past blog posts but I recently had the opportunity to visit another Lehigh Valley treasure just outside of that idyllic community.

The drive to the Totts Gap Arts Institute was itself a pleasure. I traveled through small towns that would remind you of Mayberry in the old Andy Griffith show, as well as family farms with their just harvested fields and pastures filled with dairy or Black Angus cattle. Let’s just say getting there was part of the fun.

The building itself has a really interesting past as it housed Dr. Stewart Wolf’s Totts Gap Medical Research Institute back in the 60’s. Walking through the rooms you can easily sense the important medical experimentation that was conducted there. Now that it houses the Arts Institute bearing the same name, that sense of excitement continues in the creativity of the students work.

Although no classes were going on at the time of my visit I did get to explore the various rooms set up for training in all types of fine and performing arts. Young and old alike can hone their skills in metalwork, pottery, watercolor, oil painting, and some mediums I never heard of such as “scagliola”. (That’s really cool…click through to see Google Images of the technique) Other spaces are dedicated to dance, music, theater and photography.

My description and pictures shown don’t even scratch the surface of all the fine work James and Angeline Gloria have done for their arts institute and the entire community. Luckily the Annual Open House is coming up on December 14, 2013 from 1-4 p.m., so you can see for yourself.

Mark your calendars and enjoy an afternoon in the country. With all the hustle and bustle between the holidays, you’ll be glad you did!