On Friday, Sept. 25, a new art exhibit will be opening at the Erie Art Museum, featuring work by some of Mercyhurst University’s current students.
The exhibit, “Connect: Grassroots Efforts to Reshape Our Community,” uses art as a means of analyzing and examining the health and welfare of the city of Erie “through several visionary projects that seek to diagnose its ailments.”
The artists and contributors of the exhibit are attempting to look at the problems of the city of Erie and maintain the beauty of it while, also proposing a “treatment plan” that takes into account the people who need it most.
“You Are Here, We Are Here,” the portion of the exhibit that was contributed by Mercyhusrt students, is led by two Mercyhurst history professors, Chris Magoc, Ph.D and Ben Scharff, Ph.D.
The project that the History department collaborated with the Sisters of St. Joseph East Side Neighborhood Network, is working to promote a community-wide dialogue by teaching community members about the rich architectural history of the city of Erie.
Graduate student Victoria Kreysar worked on the project last year as part of her senior project.
Victoria said that the project “was originally a walking tour. We were trying to capture Erie’s culture, both current and historical. We did several oral histories with people connected to the neighborhood. Essentially we wanted to make a connection between the cultural past and the cultural present because they’re both different, yet similar.”
Victoria worked with seniors Ian Housner and Taylor Rollins to make this visionary project a reality.
Taylor’s photographs are the main visual focus of “You are there, We are here.”
Her photographs aimed to capture both the urban decay of the city, as well as the hopes the city has for renewal.
Taylor said of her photos, “This photographic documentary was meant to show the East Side through a hopeful lense.”
Other projects that have been proposed as part of the larger “Connect” exhibit were The Steve DeAngelo Arrington Community Center and the East Side Task Force, both of which confront gun violence in the city and revitalizing areas where gun violence has been the most prevalent.
The opening will take place from 7 to 10 p.m., after which the exhibit will run until Jan. 10, 2016.