Professional art juror judges works

Eleanor Hein, Staff writer

This month marks the return of the annual Patricia S. Yahn Juried Art Show, which is certain to be spectacular beyond a reasonable doubt.
Patricia Yahn is an alumna from Mercyhurst University who studied watercolors with none other than Sister Angelica Cummings, whose name you may recognize from the university’s gallery.
Yahn began her career in art when she made life-sized drawings of models showcasing clothes for the Trask department store in downtown Erie — this was before mannequins were the go-to window décor.
In her later years, she worked as an interior designer and opened her own business, called Interiors of Erie.
In the true spirit of both passion and giving, Yahn provided a generous gift to Mercyhurst University to establish the annual juried art show.
For those like me who may have thought of Matlock upon reading “juried,” Cummings Art Gallery Director Jessica Stadtmueller gave me the run-down on what makes a juried art show.
A juried art exhibit is the exact opposite of a curated exhibit, Stadtmueller explains.
“We fill the gallery with more work than we can hang, and subtract to create a show.”
Who chooses what is subtracted? A juror.
Usually the appointed juror is someone who will be unbiased and who has a reputation and résumé fitting the part.
This means, according to Stadtmueller, that “being accepted into a juried show is proof that your work was selected by someone of merit from a large volume of entries.”
This year’s juror is Alexa Potter, who has experience working as a historian and curator in the Library of Congress, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Flight 93 National Memorial.
She has brought her rich experience to the Erie community, where she has volunteered at the Erie Art Museum curating and co-curating several exhibitions.
All of the art in the show has been made by current Mercyhurst art students.
A wide variety of art will be represented, including drawing, painting, mixed media, graphic design, photography, ceramics, sculpture, 3-D printed works and computer-generated works.
Potter will determine the awards from the submissions, and a first, second and third place will be determined, as well as honorable mentions, with cash prizes.
The jury is in — the Patricia S. Yahn Juried Art Show is a must-go event.
The show will begin Feb. 19 and will last until March 16 in the Cummings Art Gallery.
There will also be a reception celebrating the show Feb. 22 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.