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Women walking past a wall displaying various artistic projects

In the 1940s, former Bucks County Superintendent Charles Boehm, assisted and supported by world famous local artist Walter Emerson Baum, began collecting local artwork with the mission of supporting our region's artisans and to promote art and art education to the students of Bucks County. In 1949, they facilitated the donation of 70 pieces from local artists and established the “Traveling Art Gallery,” allowing original pieces of art to be loaned to schools for the benefit of their students. The collection now stands at over 350 pieces, is owned by the Bucks IU, and is overseen by the Arts Education Trust Board under the auspices of the Bucks IU Board of Directors. In honor of the founding members of the “Traveling Art Gallery,” we strive to keep with the original mission, and from that we have created programs to engage, share, and educate.

Art on the Move

The Art on the Move collaborative project between the Bucks IU, the Bucks County schools, and the James A. Michener Art Museum help participating schools integrate art as the source from which a variety of interdisciplinary curricula are implemented. A group of master paintings, including works of the Pennsylvania Impressionists from the Bucks IU’s Art Collection, is shared with interested schools for a designated period of time. Curricula by subject matter (math, science, literature, etc.) and grade level, directly related to the artwork collection they receive, are provided for the school’s educators to utilize. Having the original master works of art in our schools directly touches the intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic aspects of the lives of our students, staff, and community. Find out more about this program.

These two images show the awards and a student receiving one for their exhibition in the Student Art Gallery

The Student Art Gallery

The Student Art Gallery is designed to highlight the creativity and talent of our county students. Each Bucks County school district, as well as several nonpublic schools, may select one piece of student artwork to be hung in the gallery at the Bucks IU in Doylestown for one year – right alongside world famous pieces from the Bucks IU’s own collection.  

The Bucks IU Visual Arts Advisory Council oversees the selection process and also provides the finishing touches to make the artwork ready for display in the gallery. At the end of the year, a dinner reception for the student artists and their families is held, and each artist receives a certificate and photo of their piece.

A portrait bust of William Shakespeare.

Bucks County Student Shakespeare Festival 

Held in the late spring, this outstanding festival is done with the support of the Teaching Artists of the Arden Theatre Company of Philadelphia and is open to high school theatre companies.  This county-wide event gives students the opportunity to interpret, memorize, design, create, and perform Shakespeare's original text.  Students participate in an authentic, real-world theatre experience where they can immerse themselves in creative expression. 

COlored blocks with icons of various art forms above a banner showing the name of the Bucks County Student Arts Expo.

Bucks County Student Arts Expo

In November of 2018, the first county-wide celebration of student arts was held.  Along with all 13 school districts in the county, we helped to facilitate and participate in this amazing event.  Featured was a gallery of fine arts including works from sculptures and mosaics to drawings and paintings.  Multi-media productions were being played on monitors while in the auditorium, over an hour of live performances were taking place which included dance teams, choirs and orchestras, bands, and theatre productions.  An amazing array of talent assembled to enjoy, encourage, support, and promote arts education in Bucks County.

The Rotating Art Gallery

The mission of the Bucks IU art collection’s founding fathers to collect and exhibit Bucks County art for our county’s children lives on through The Rotating Art Gallery. Contemporary Bucks County artists may exhibit their work at the Gallery, located in the Bucks IU in Doylestown PA, for four-month periods. These works hang side-by-side with world famous pieces from the Bucks IU’s own collection.  

The pieces in the Rotating Gallery are available for purchase. The artist and the Arts Education Trust Board will share the proceeds. The Arts Education Trust’s portion is dedicated to the conservation and expansion of the Bucks IU art collection and related educational programs.  

The Arts

Student's Featured Exhibit

In the lobby of the Bucks IU, there is a feature area where artwork from our own special education classes is exhibited. From elementary to our transition program classes for students up to age 21, we receive an amazing selection of creative and innovative pieces to admire and share. We are truly honored to work with so many awesome students whose efforts and spirits inspire us daily.