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First Friday’s Featured Artist for October

Our featured artist for October’s First Friday in Downtown Lancaster is Melissa Hess, a professional portrait and documentary photographer who has been based in Lancaster, PA since 2005.


Melissa spent four years working as staff photographer for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a nonprofit organization that works in national and international relief, peace and development. During those 4 years she traveled to 26 countries around the world photographing the work of MCC.

From 2009-2010 she volunteered in Nicaragua at a non-profit cultural center where she taught photography workshops and managed a scholarship program. She currently works part-time as staff photographer at Franklin & Marshall College and also manages her own photography business, Melissa Engle Photography. 

This weekend is also Fall ArtWalk, a bi-annual event that puts Lancaster City’ artistic community on center stage with fine art galleries, edgy and indie boutiques, craft stores, art demonstrations, art centers and museums.

A new addition to this years ArtWalk is the City Park Bus Tour, a chance to experience the aesthetic and environmental upgrades in City parks and public spaces on our convenient bus tours!  The free bus tour will take ArtWalkers to a number of stops including St. Anne Peace Park, Crystal Park, the new outdoor green space at Lancaster Brewing Company, and the Buchanan Dog Park, which recently underwent a $500,000 makeover courtesy of a Beneful Dog Food contest.

Melissa Hess’ photography will be on display throughout the weekend, and the Friendship Heart Gallery will also be open for ArtWalk.  The gallery which is located on the first floor of our building is part of the Friendship Community, and features an array of artwork and crafts created by artists with developmental disabilities.

A few other highlights of this year’s Fall ArtWalk:

Fall ArtBike – Borrow a special Modern Art bike from It’s Modern Art, grab an ArtWalk map & tour our favorite city.

Lancaster Photo Walk – Snap a phone pic, tweet with the hashtag #lancphotowalk for a chance to be included in a virtual exhibit.

Make Your Mark Mural – Leave your mark at ArtWalk! Lancaster Creative Factory will provide ArtWalk visitors with a free opportunity for spontaneous creativity at the Prince Street Garage, where they will be able to leave their mark on this collaborative community creation.

This is just a small taste of what’s in store this weekend for Lancaster City’s Fall ArtWalk.  For more details, a virtual map, and a full list of special events visit

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