Students in Gannon University’s Event Planning class have been working tirelessly to bring a new exhibit to the Schuster Art Gallery.
The exhibit, titled “ExpErience the Best of Erie’s Past Ads,” will be a three-month-long show featuring historic promotional pieces from radio, television and print sources.
Koehler Beer, Erie Insurance, Hallman Chevrolet, Erie Playhouse, Mazza Wineries, Marine Bank, Waldameer, Eriez Magnetics and Hammermill are just a handful of the organizations that will be represented.
Under the guidance of Anne O’Neill, an instructor in the School of Communication and the Arts and program director for advertising communication and public relations, the 10 students in COMM 327 are planning and implementing nearly every aspect of the exhibit.
“This course provides our students the opportunity to learn the theory behind the very detail-oriented event planning industry, while also getting the hands-on experience of actually producing an event,” O’Neill said.
“Our students get to do what they are learning in the classroom so that they have the knowledge and experience needed once they graduate.”
COMM 327 is structured to allow students to truly take the reins and develop their professional skill sets.
To that end, a student-run event planning agency named Every Last Detail has emerged from the class.
Agency members have been tasked with brainstorming ideas, reaching out to local businesses and nonprofits to secure old advertisements, developing marketing strategies and physically setting up the exhibit.
On Monday night, students were busy organizing the space, constructing displays and arranging the advertisements.
Christina Skelly and Marissa Whiting, both advertising and public relations majors, were working to put the finishing touches on a display at the entrance of the gallery.
They reported enjoying the hands-on nature of the class, as well as field trips to places such as the Convention Center.
As for the most challenging part of the course, the pair laughed and shared a knowing look.
“I think the hardest part is yet to come,” Skelly explained.
“Gallery Night in December will be the true test of our event planning skills,” Whiting added.
Gallery Night will be held from 7-10 p.m. on Dec. 7.
COMM 327 students invite the Gannon family, as well as the greater Erie community, to enjoy the antique advertisements in a warm, friendly environment on this evening.
Refreshments from signature Erie establishments will also be provided.
While Gallery Night promises to be amazing event, students will have plenty of other opportunities to visit the exhibit.
The exhibit will open Saturday and run Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. until the end of January.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to walk by and experience a walk down memory lane.
Schuster Gallery is located on the first floor of the Center for Communication and the Arts.