On State Street, there is a building which can seem nondescript from the outside. Once you step inside, you’ll find that there is much more than you expected.
The Erie Art Museum is one treasure. This center for visual art contains works of artists from Erie and around the world.
There are cycles of exhibits which go through the museum.
Currently, there is an exhibit from Robert Polidori, a photographer whose credentials include working as a staff photographer for the New Yorker for over 10 years, as well as being “internationally recognized as probably the world’s most renowned architecture photographer,” according to Carolyn Eller, the Museum’s director of Marketing and Public Relations.
That exhibit will include work from all over the world, as well as a talk given by Polidori, free to the public. The event is “Photopalooza” and the exhibit will last until late April.
After the Polidori exhibit is removed, the spring art show will go up.
“People from within a 250 mile radius of Erie can pay to submit their work to be judged…and from the 900 or so pieces submitted each year, [the juror] whittles it down to about 75 pieces which make up the show,” Eller said.
Eller boasted the museum hosts one of the few live juried art shows in the country.
“Most museums have an electronic submission process, so the juror looks at slides on a computer screen. And we’re one of the only museums where the pieces are paraded in front of the juror and he says ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Eller said.
The museum currently does not know what will be featured in the show, but Eller is excited to see what will adorn the walls of the main gallery when the show opens April 26.
Aside from the main exhibit and events which fill up the schedule, the museum contains a phenomenal permanent collection in the upper part of the museum.
The walls are covered with art works which come from Erie native, Joseph Plavcan, who Eller claims is “one of the most famous painters to come from Erie.”
His prodigy, Richard Anuszkiewicz, also from Erie, founded the optical art movement in the world.
Those are just two names which have come from Erie.” Eller then stated one of the museum’s goals in the community:
“I think while it’s important that we’re showcasing work from Robert Polidori…we have pieces in our permanent collection from artists all over the world, but also some who have come from Erie. We’re about showcasing quality art in all its forms,” Eller said.
The Erie Art Museum is open on Tuesdays thru Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.