Local glass art mosaic artist offers workshop

Gannon University offers a wide variety of courses in many subject areas except for one: art.

“The sad part is that Gannon hasn’t figured out that they need art here as a class,” said Edward Grout, local glass art mosaic artist.

Since the early 2000s, Grout has been teaching a glass art mosaic workshop off and on at Gannon.

“I taught it for three to four years and then the program kind of shut down or went some other direction,” he said.

“But when Lori Steadman came in and reinvigorated the program, she asked me to come back and teach the classes.”

Grout has been creating glass art mosaics for 35 years and has many commissions throughout the city of Erie in public buildings such as Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, East High School and Hamot Medical Center.

He received his master’s degree in fine arts at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1996.

Grout is back teaching a basic mosaic class for students to get the feel for the piece of art and hopefully to advance to something more challenging in the future.

“More people are starting to realize that art is an important part of your life,” he said.

“Creativity is for problem–solving  and also a good vehicle to learn other things.”

Tricia Laird, a senior physician assistant major, said she really likes art, but opportunities are slim to enjoy it. “Gannon doesn’t have a lot of art classes,” she said. “I think other art students who enjoy art would like this if they don’t know already about it. Also, we have a great teacher.”

Grout would like to impress  one thing upon Gannon University. “They really do need an art department here,” he said. “I think there is a need and an absolute desire because the workshop that I am doing now is small compared to what I’ve done in the past. So I know the student population would like something like this to happen.”

Emily Bartkowski, a junior occupational therapy major, said she agrees that not many people know about mosaic because of the lack of opportunities on campus. “There’s not a lot of art here at Gannon,” she said. “I think offering more art workshops can broaden someone’s horizon.” Bartkowski is currently working on a Sweden Doll Horse mosaic to give to her mother.

As future workshops are planned to come, Grout hopes more people will get involved to have fun and learn a few basics in order to move on to challenging projects. Also, readers can check out Grout’s work at www.edwardgrout.com.

COURTNEY HERZING

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