Mercyhurst faculty featured in NPAA Biennial Juried Arts

Emma Coppolo, A&E Editor

The Northwestern Pennsylvania Art Association’s (NPAA) Seventh Biennial juried art show is now open and available for viewing at the Erie Art Museum. This is the second time the prestigious display has been stationed at this particular location.

The show, open Oct. 1- Dec. 22, features 40 different artists and 53 works total. Mercyhurst faculty represents the university well with incredible displays featured in the show.

Of the six “Juror’s Awards,” four were earned by Mercyhurst professors and adjuncts.

Deborah Sementelli-Hoenes, an adjunct instructor in Art, was awarded Best in Show for “Gesture in Thread” and Best in Mixed Media for the same piece. “I was shocked to receive the Mixed Media award and Best in Show,” said Sementelli-Hoenes. “The piece ‘Gesture in Thread’ combines my love of fiber and drawing the figure. It was an experiment and something I will continue to explore.”

Gary Cardot, assistant professor of Photography, won Best in Photo for “Lower Parade Street;” Bryan Toy, adjunct professor, was an honorable mention for “Make Peace.”

Also included was Jodi Staniunas-Hopper, professor and chair of Mercyhurst’s Art Department. “Art is one of the great joys in life. To be in the throes of creativity is a rare opportunity. To view the results of any creatives’ work can be truly impressive,” said Staniunas-Hopper, “this show features the wide variety of skilled Artists Erie has to offer illustrating how blessed we are with artistic talent in this region.”

Retired professor of Fine Arts, Daniel Burke was able to make the school proud even though he no longer teaches. “I retired from teaching art at Mercyhurst after 51 years (in 2020). Retirement doesn’t change a lifetime of practicing and exhibiting studio art,” said Burke. Even though art is no longer Burke’s profession, it is still his passion. This is clear in his piece featured in the show.

After the opportunities for viewing art in person have diminished in the past year and a half, the NPAA show has been a breath of fresh air.

Artists appreciating and sup-porting artists is always amazing to see, and the fact that so many Mercyhurst professors could share this experience is truly special.

The NPAA exhibit is still on display at the Erie Art Museum. Be sure to stop by and take a look at the amazing pieces that the Mercyhurst faculty have created.

The Erie Art Museum is located in downtown Erie on E. 5th Street. Admission for adults is $10, senior citizens and student tickets are $8, and those who are 16 years and under are free. For a sneak peek of the show, visit the Northwestern Pennsylvania Art Association’s website at