Ortlip Gallery

The Ortlip Gallery is an all-purpose exhibition space in the Center for the Arts at Houghton University.

Named for H. Willard and Aimee Ortlip and their family, some of whom were previous art faculty members, the gallery serves current students, faculty and visiting artists.

The exhibit program of the Ortlip Art Gallery presents a diverse range of innovative exhibitions and educational programs offering insights into the work of established and emerging regional, national, and international artists and designers. As a cultural leader, the Ortlip Art Gallery provides a forum for exploring contemporary art and ideas enriching the artistic and intellectual climate of the college, the greater Houghton community, Allegany County, and beyond.

The Ortlip Gallery has a mission of furthering the educational goals of Houghton University, preparing students interested in art studies for future careers by providing a professional gallery and exhibit venue for college work study, stimulating conversation with visual complements to ideas crucial to our lives, and enriching every community member possible in the under-served areas that Houghton comes into contact with. The exhibitions provide opportunities for visual research, objective thinking into areas of culture, philosophy, place, gender, ethnicity and faith.

Coming Soon!

Nick Blosser Exhibit

Opening reception September 2nd from 6-8 p.m.

Gallery talk begins at 7 p.m.

Previous Exhibit

‘Side by Side’ features paintings by Amanda Parry Oglesbee and photographs by Brian Oglesbee. Brian and Amanda met in the early 1970s as students at the Art Institute of Chicago, and have been together ever since.

Amanda has retired as an art teacher at Wellsville Central School. On display are her latest series of large paintings of trees titled ‘Beings.’ From her artist’s statement: “The eleven larger paintings in this show were made recently and are portraits of trees I have found walking or driving that call to me. Primary elements in the paintings are tree trunks, the surrounding atmosphere, and their interior essence. Scars of lost limbs and forms created through decay and adaptation reveal their unique histories made over very long lives.”

Brian has had a long and successful career as a photographer, working internationally while maintaining a studio in Wellsville. In the gallery are samples from several series of work that demonstrate his ability to work within the controlled environment of a studio, as well as being able to shoot spontaneously in outside environments. From his artist’s statement: “My photographs are very ‘straight;’ in other words, the camera simply records what was in front of it. What is seen in the print is what was presented to the camera; (with the exception of one of the ‘Tangles,’ which features stitched exposures, and the early multi-media works) there is no subsequent manipulation of the image after the initial single exposure.”

History of Ortlip Gallery

The Ortlip Gallery is a tribute to the Ortlip family and their contributions to Houghton University.

Aimee E. Ortlip, also a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, was awarded a Cresson scholarship for study in Europe in 1909. While raising their seven children she assisted her husband and built her own reputation as a still-life and landscape painter. Her work has been exhibited in New York City and Philadelphia and is held in private collections throughout the United States.

Their two daughters, Aileen Ortlip Shea and Marjorie Ortlip Stockin, former art faculty members, initiated the Art Department in the 1930s and helped to establish the art major at Houghton University. Aileen, an early winner of a Pulitzer award for art, received commissions to paint portraits and Marjorie, who taught at the college for forty years, painted landscapes and floral still-lifes.

H. Willard Ortlip began art studies in 1902 at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia under the tutelage of William Merritt Chase, Sargeant Kendall, Hugh Breckenridge and Henry McCarter (his uncle). He was awarded two Cresson scholarships which enabled him to study abroad. In 1910, he married art student Aimee Eschner, and together they set up a studio in Philadelphia’s Independence Square. Willard earned a reputation as a society portrait painter. In addition, he painted for Collier’s magazine, The Literary Digest, and The Christian Herald. In his New York City studio, he furthered free-lance work in advertising.

In 1947, in retirement, Willard and Aimee began teaching at Houghton University, contributing to the building of an art department.

Information & Layout


The Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Monday through Saturday.

Gallery Specs

  • 128′ of running wall space
  • Additional 48′ on 4′ x 8′
  • 13′ floor-to-ceiling height
  • 9′ door height
  • 1,440 sq ft of floor space (approximately 41′ x 36′)
  • Direct access loading from the outside
  • 24-hour security cameras
  • Located in the Center for the Arts, first floor
  • Wood floors
  • Movable track lighting
  • Inset baseboard with multiple electrical outlets and four computer jacks
  • A variety of pedestals available


Black and white headshot of Linda Knapp.

Contact Information

Please direct all inquiries to:

Linda Knapp
Ortlip Art Gallery
Houghton University
One Willard Avenue
Houghton, New York 14744