Shoe art urges involvement

Sami Rapp photo: The Sole of Solidarity encourges the Mercyhurst community to donate shoes.Sami Rapp photo: The Sole of Solidarity encourges the Mercyhurst community to donate shoes.

Many students may have noticed a new, unique statue set up in Zurn Hall made of used footwear.

The installment is a promotional advertisement for the Erie City Mission shoe drive being held on campus in support of Mercy Month.

Mercy Month is an opportunity to shine a light on our Catholic and Mercy heritage through a variety of programs and visions that the Sisters of Mercy have set in place to nourish our future.

The sculpture located in the lobby area of Zurn Hall is a collaboration created by junior Jennifer Detchon and sophomore Amy Bishop, along with the Mercy Month committee, campus ministry and ResLife offices.

After the Mercy Month committee decided on this year’s theme of the core value “Intellectually Creative,” it was decided that they would search for a way to engage the campus community.

Jenelle Patton, who works as the outreach coordinator for the campus ministry office approached Detchon and Bishop to create a piece of artwork to be a call to action to get students involved in the purpose of our mercy heritage.

“The statue stands as a reminder that we all have something to offer to others and we all can learn to receive from those around us if we take one step in the journey of embracing those who differ from ourselves,” Patton said.

One may think that tying shoes together would be a simple task, but Detchon and Bishop worked together for nearly 40 hours to complete the hand made piece of art.

The sculpture took planning as well as re-planning to figure out the best way to create the sculpture, and it is made up of more than just shoes.

The skeleton is made of PVC piping and formed with chicken wire and wrapped in panty hose.

The open hands on the sculpture challenge viewers to think critically about how they can give back to the community, and the wide variety of shoes connected by zip-ties are representative of the diversity of the different journeys of those around you.

“I feel blessed to have worked on this piece together with Amy,” said Detchon. “It is amazing to see how two creative minds can work together to shape an artwork into something unique and meaningful.”

Not only is there a shoe drive, but the TOMS club is trying get involved in the month of giving back.

TOMS President Adrianne LaGruth is trying to receive a matching grant through Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) to partner with TOMS shoe company to buy and send shoes that are made with stronger materials to our a community in Guyana that Mercyhurst is partnered with.

Mercy Month lasts through the end of March, but the shoe drive is extended until the first week of April.The bins for the shoe drive are located in all freshmen residence halls, Mercyhurst Athletic Center (MAC) and next to the statue in Zurn Hall.

Any questions can be answered by contacting Campus Ministry or the Campus Involvement Center, both located in the student union.