ExZOOberant Paint Party supports Erie Zoo


Nadine Fox, Staff writer

On Friday, Feb. 3, members of the Mercyhurst community were encouraged to help paint 85 posts to help complete the Erie Zoo’s new Crayon Jungle Fence. The ExZOOberant Paint Party was hosted by the university’s Department of Art in partnership with the Erie Zoo, which took place in the Zurn 121 studio from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Faculty, staff, students and alumni were all encouraged to stop by, pick a color and paint a crayon. The Chair of the Art Department, Jodi Staniunas Hopper, says of this repair, “We saw a need in the community that corresponded with the gifts of the art department and pursued a connection with the Erie Zoo to make this repair happen.” Staniunas Hop-per saw this opportunity to model with students how their needs to be change in their community using the talents that they are given. Staniunas Hopper said, “The last time the fence had been updated was 12 years ago. The zoo is providing all new pickets, while Mercyhurst is offering the labor.” She encouraged community painters to dress appropriately and some aprons were provided. “Mercyhurst Green” will be at one end of the fence and “Mercyhurst Lakers Blue” at the other. The remaining 83 crayons were a wide variety of colors created by the Art department Work Studies, Evelyn Swanson and Cassandra Reese. The students that paint the crayon get to help in naming the colors, such as “Cactus Green” or “Red Panda Rust,” which will be stenciled onto the posts. All the names must relate to nature in some sense. Senior Art Therapist major Mackenzie Pestotnik attended the event and said, “This was a fun opportunity to create something that really makes a difference, something that can put a smile on someone’s face while doing something positive for a local business here in Erie.”This experience provided a creative escape for students who are already starting to feel the pressure of the semster. Students enjoyed giving back to the community and had a fun time while painting