The Erie Art Museum has been at 411 State St. since 1980, and following recent expansion, is set to continue as one of the main downtown cultural attractions.
Plans to expand the museum have been in the works since 1992, with ground being broken last May on the $11 million project. What came out of this project were three times the exhibit space (enough for 12 galleries), a new performance area and a café.
“I believe that the renovations to the Erie Art Museum are extremely beneficial to the upcoming generations,” said Mercyhurst freshman Jordan Stevenson.
Along with the new expansion comes the distinction of being the first building in the region to become LEED certified.
One of the biggest benefits to come out of the recent expansion is a brand new performance space—the backbone of the new Open Stage Nights, the first of which will take place Feb. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.
“They’re open to any artist. Visual artists can have their work projected. Musicians are welcome, dancers, anything artistic,” said Art Museum Director of Marketing and Development Carolyn Eller.
Unlike traditional open mic nights, Open Stage Nights are open to all kinds of performers. They are free to both attendees and performers.
In addition to Open Stage Nights, the Erie Art Museum continues to host art classes open to the public. Classes are held for many media, including photography, painting, dance and clay.
Freshman Rodolfo Claros thinks the classes the museum offers are a value to young artists.
“Art takes practice, and I believe these classes will help amateurs become better artists,” Claros said.
Classes have already started for the winter quarter, but there is still time to register for the spring quarter starting on March 28. Classes are open to the public.
For more information on classes or Open Stage Nights visit the Erie Art Museum website at erieartmuseum.org or call 459-5477.