Schuster Gallery exhibits local talent

Friday evening was buzzing with art at Gannon University’s new Schuster Gallery.

The opening night of the first juried Northwestern Pennsylvania Artists Association show brought art of a high caliber to Gannon, yet again.

NPAA is the first group to formally showcase its work in the new space.

Many people came to see the art, exchange ideas and be in the company of admirers of the arts.

The gallery and lobby were packed. People were coming and going the entire evening. It was a very successful opening night.

R. David Pratte, who said he was a member of NPAA since 1970, said the gallery is small. “But I like it. The ambience of the space is nice.”

Pratte said he has one piece in the show, “I’m Trying to Fit Into the Crowd,” a colored pencil drawing.

Deborah Sementelli, one of the officers of NPAA, said she also had a submission, “Polishing Memories, Old #2,” a watercolor.

Sementelli mostly works in watercolor, in addition to fiber arts.

She said her favorite subject is life drawing, the human form.

“I like it because it’s challenging,” Sementelli said.

She said that not many artists like juried shows; however, she agreed that this pushed the members to produce some magnificent artwork.

“For a first time in this new space it’s great,” she said. “We appreciate being here on a university level, showcasing artists of different ages, mediums and styles.”

She said the NPAA is a great organization, strong community and the members take care of one another.

Sementelli said she has been a member for over 10 years now, and an officer for at least five.

When it comes to art, Sementelli said she has some advice for student artists.

“There is no wrong way to do it, just do it; put your heart into the process,” Sementelli said. “That’s what it’s about.”

Gannon freshmen Katie Babiarz and Karley Herbergel took time out of their Friday evening to come and see the art.

When asked about the show, Babiarz said, “I like it! Other Gannon students should come check it out. It’s really interesting.”

Herbergel said, “I think it’s cool. Different. A lot of stuffA lot of stuff to look at. Extremely fascinating!”

As to what their favorite entry was, the two friends simultaneously said, as if rehearsed, “How Things Work Out,” by Carol Myers-Griffiths.

David Collins, an Erie community member, was a tenant in the exact space of the Schuster Art Gallery for nine years and the head at the Heritage Trust Company. This was his first time in the newly renovated space.

“I can’t believe I’m in the same space,” he said. “Use of internal and external windows is brilliant. Very different from what it used to be. [The] atmosphere used to be very corporate: really does feel like an art gallery — nice vibe.”

“I am an amateur artist and the work is stunning; a wide variety. My favorite piece is ‘Feeling of a Shared Memory’ by Jan Lutz. Everybody should go out of their way to come and see this. [It’s] wonderful!”



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