Schuster Gallery features ‘A Homecoming’

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By OLIVIA BURGER
a&l editor

For Marie Spaeder Haas, her works on paper titled “A Homecoming” was far more than a name for a collection of artwork.
Her work that is currently on display at Gannon University’s Schuster Gallery signifies a true homecoming for her as she is an Erie native.
Haas spent her early childhood in Erie and was inspired by her family and teachers to pursue her artistic ability. She received her first set of watercolors when she was a pre-teen.
In 1973, Hass graduated from Villa Maria College and went on to teach high school biology at St. Francis High School in Clearfield, Pa., and Villa Maria Academy.
Throughout these years Haas’ artistic projects continued in the background, and in 1984 she decided to leave the classroom behind for a three-month art trip to Europe.
This time abroad solidified Haas’s desire to pursue a career as an artist with her talents in coloring and water coloring.
Haas continued to teach in Erie with watercolor and drawing classes at Villa Maria College and Gannon University, where she also managed the Sycamore Gallery. This was a gallery that displayed art form local artists as well as some of her own pieces.
The Schuster Gallery is especially dear to Haas as one of her first solo exhibits was on display there in 1981, which makes this return for “A Homecoming” much more special.
In 1984, Haas began to turn to serious studio work instead of doing her art on the side.
Haas first departed from Erie in 1996 for the southern Appalachian Mountains. She and her husband still reside there through the summer and spring and head to Bradenton, Fla., for the winters. She currently works at her studios located in Bradenton, and Ocoee, Tenn.
Although Haas’ first love and specialty is watercolor, she has expanded to other artistic mediums such as acrylics in tactile art and silk dyes.
Haas is a member of many art societies and clubs. She has a signature membership in the Tennessee Watercolor Society and the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society as well as the Southern Appalachian Artists Guild.
Haas is an international artist as her work can be found in private and corporate collections in the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.
Her work is available for purchase at at The Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland, Tenn.; the Tellico Art Center in Tellico Plains, Tenn.; the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Center in Blue Ridge, Ga.; and the Polk County News in Benton, Tenn.
Her work is also available on her website, www.SpaederHaasGallery.com.
The work that is on display at the Schuster Gallery is a mix of some of Haas’ body of work, and she said that at first glimpse it looks as if a group of artists may have created the pieces due to their diversity.
“It seemed that I couldn’t choose one theme to adequately share what artistic ventures I have been on since I last showed in Erie 20 years ago,” Haas said in her personal statement.
Pieces on display include a mix of watercolor portraits, black and while sketched drawings and mixed-media quilted pieces Haas refers to as “quilterly” watercolors.
“For me, doing my art is about enjoying my passion,” Haas said.
“I am not doing it to make a living nor to prove a point. I love doing it and I love sharing it with others.
“In fact, I have long been of the belief that art is not complete unless it has been shared with at least one other person.”
Haas was able to share her art with certainly more than one person on Friday evening as dozens of students and community members celebrated Haas’ opening reception for “A Homecoming.”
“A Homecoming” will be on display at the Schuster Gallery until Nov. 3.
The Schuster Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and additional hours can be made by appointment.

OLIVIA BURGER
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