Alumnus funds juried student art show

Eleanor Hein, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst Alumni Association has always been a source of pride.
Evidence of past Lakers exists throughout the university: It is heard in the form of bells at athletic events; it is enjoyed in the form of various class gifts on campus; it is practiced through various acts of service across the community.
It is also displayed on the walls of campus buildings.
One, specifically, has a special place on the east wall of President Michael T. Victor’s office.
It is a watercolor of a beach, a quiet landscape composed of carefully orchestrated strokes of a patient brush, the product of Mercyhurst’s own alumnus of ’50, Patricia Sontheimer Yahn.
Aside from having been a student of Mercyhurst University, Yahn has carried the Laker spirit with her for many years.
At a young age, she was told that women did not need a college education.
Undaunted by such a widespread belief of the time, Yahn sought out Mother Borgia Egan as a mentor to earn her degree.
She worked hard in both the Mercyhurst community and the Erie community, using her art skills on window displays, life-size drawings to market merchandise, interior design (in her own business) and creating scenery for the then-Tech High School’s Junior League’s follies.
She has been a longtime member of the Carpe Diem Society (and even served as chairwoman at one point) and has attended shows at the Cummings Art Gallery with her husband, Walter, who passed away last January.
In the spirit of the Mercyhurst alumni, Yahn has provided a gift of endowment to benefit an annual student showcase, thereby encouraging current students to continue to pursue their creative talents.
Thanks to her, 2017 will mark the first annual Juried Art Show in Yahn’s good name.
With Yahn having been a student of the late Sister Angelic Cummings, it is appropriate that the show should be held in Mercyhurst’s own Cummings Art Gallery.
The Patricia S. Yahn ’50 Juried Art Show will feature a variety of artistic media, including drawing, painting, photography, graphic art, 3D art such as sculptures and ceramics and mixed media.
The juror of the show will be Jill Kambs.
Kambs previously worked as the Assistant Curator at the Erie Art Museum.
She is currently part of the art department faculty at Edinboro University.
Kambs has MFA degrees from the University of Iowa in Photography and Book Arts, and she studied art, English and education at Luther College.
Her expertise will guide her in selecting the works to be displayed at the show.
The display will open in the art gallery on Feb. 13, and will remain until March 24.
A reception will be held in the Cummings Art Gallery on Feb. 16, beginning at 4 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m.
The art gallery is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and weekends from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m., but will be closed for break.