By SARA BORRO
Often at such an academically focused school like Gannon University, students may get so caught up in studying, exam schedules and day-to-day class work that they forget to pause and appreciate the more creative side of life.
The Schuster Art Gallery, located in the Center for Communication and the Arts at 700 Peach St., is constantly displaying the works of artists from the Gannon and Erie communities.
The current exhibit is titled “Earth – Art Connection” and displays works of art that have been inspired by nature. The artists have observed the nature that is all around us and have used that inspiration to create some impressive and breathtaking works of art.
Artists featured in this exhibit include Barbara Thomas Yerace, Amy Hahn, MC Gensheimer, David Sietzinger, Brian Pardini and Lee Steadman.
The aim of “Earth – Art Connection” is to have individuals observe how the artists have turned their thoughts and specific experiences into a “visual gift” that will inspire observers’ senses.
Pieces include a variety of mediums and subjects including sculptures and paintings, with each artist creating a very cohesive and interesting series of pieces.
Sietzinger created multiple pieces using wire to sculpt different fish. Pardini very creatively utilized driftwood to create sculptures of several animals and figures. Hahn chose to use stained glass as her medium, creating painting-like sculptures, as well as a three-dimensional bust of a zebra.
Gannon’s very own Gensheimer flawlessly restored a 1933 bird house that is now vibrant and full of life, and Steadman painted a beautiful, snowy nighttime scene using watercolor.
Yerace has various glass works she has hand blown on display. She explained that using glass as her medium for her display was important and interesting to her because the technique is so similar to that of the one used 1,000 years ago. She uses the nature and the world around her to inspire new pieces, just like glassworkers did a century ago.
“Glass is a very special medium; the ancients regarded it as magical, almost as precious as gold. Today, it touches every facet of our lives,” Yerace said.
Yerace described her technique, explaining that she starts with hot, clear glass and then adds the color using colored glass rods or powders.
Glass working is so appealing to Yerace because she is able to use the various landscapes and colors in nature to create works that express how the earth can make people feel. She tries to create pieces of emotion that represent how the human spirit is inspired by nature and all the earth has to offer.
The Schuster Art Gallery held a reception night for “Earth – Art Connection” on Friday as part of the Erie Art Museum Gallery Night, but the exhibit will run until March 30.
For those students needing a break from the antiseptic feel of textbooks and classrooms, stop in the Schuster Gallery to be inspired by and reconnected to the gorgeous art and nature that surrounds you.