Art exhibit shows off artwork of students and teachers alike

Tyler Stauffer photoTyler Stauffer photoOn Thursday, April 15th, the Cummings Art Gallery opened its doors to the Annual Student Teacher Art Exhibition.

The exhibition, which consisted of 14 high schools from the Erie and Pittsburgh areas, along with 13 Mercyhurst art students, showed a wide variety of media such as painting, sculpture and graphite renderings.

“It’s nice to see a variety of ceramic artists and various 3D work,” Jodi Staniunas-Hopper, professor of graphic design, said.

One piece, “Death of K’Awil,” was a stoneware paperclay sculpture mixed with Portland cement and was created by North East High School art teacher Eric Schwartz. It was the eye-catcher of the show, as many commented on it.

“I like the various media; there’s a bit of everything,” senior Diana Bockhahn said, “but (‘Death of K’Awil’) looks like it took so much time, all the detail….It looks like a very well thought-out piece.”

Schwartz explained the piece “is one of a series of 12 that explores the clashing of religion and culture between the indigenous people of the Mayan civilization and the Spanish.”

The sculpture explores the religious views of the Mayan gods and the trinity through various symbols and cultural identities. Such symbols include those of the figures’ colors, a snake representing K’Awil, various sets of arms to depict the man, woman and child, as well as a multitude of gold coins designed to replicate coins of the time.

To explore more of the work, the show will be on display until May 2. The gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, call (814) 824-2092.