Pysanky Egg Workshop at The Erie Art Museum

. March 16, 2010

The Erie Art Museum will host a Pysanky Egg workshop in conjunction with the exhibit Making It Better: Folk Arts in Pennsylvania Today. Pysanky is an ancient method that uses wax to create intricate dye patterns. It has been a tradition in many Eastern European families for generations. Some see the egg as a symbol of spring and new life; others use the egg in observing Easter rituals. In this workshop participants will visit the interactive exhibit Making It Better, learn the meaning of Pysanky symbols, and decorate one’s own egg under the dynamic guidance of Katie White, a Pysanky artist, educator, and scholar. The workshop is on Saturday, March 27 from 1-4 p.m. at the Erie Art Museum Studio Classroom. Registration is $7 for members and $10 for non-members. To register for this event, call 459-5477 or email jude@erieartmuseum.org.

About the Exhibit
“Making It Better” tells the story of 30 artists who work within and for their respective communities. The art, coming from every corner of the state, represents a wide array of traditions such as African dance, stonewall construction, Aztec clay flutes, Pysanky eggs, contemporary blacksmith work, and Vietnamese funerary portraits. Objects, photographs, film, music and interactive stations allow visitors to experience these traditions with all their senses. Dispelling the notions that folk art is “quaint” and “something from the past” this exhibit demonstrates that although most traditional arts are rooted in centuries’ old practices; they are meeting the needs of those living in very modern times.

The exhibit includes two Rushnyky, Ukrainian ritual towels by Vera Nakonechny. Rushnyky are often embroidered with powerful symbols by women in an all-night vigil, to allow them to pray and meditate. The towel would then be used to drape over a sick person or hung on a gate to protect ill livestock.

Wooden figures by David Castano will also be on display. They represent the nine miners trapped in the QueCreek coal mine in Somerset County. He is now often commissioned to create carvings of sons and daughters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The exhibit also features the work of POSE II, a graffiti artist. He sees graffiti as an important expression valve for those who otherwise feel they have no voice. “These artists have got something to say. They are not gonna be repressed…While graffiti has always been viewed as taking away, I, as an artist, am a contributor. I enhance, beautify, and uplift.”

About the Erie Art Museum
The Erie Art Museum anchors downtown Erie’s cultural and economic revitalization, occupying a group of restored mid-19th century commercial buildings, including an outstanding 1839 Greek Revival bank. It maintains an ambitious program of 15 to 18 changing exhibitions annually, embracing a wide range of subjects, both historical and contemporary and including folk art, contemporary craft, multi-disciplinary installations, community-based work, and public art as well as traditional media.

The Erie Art Museum also holds a collection of over 6,000 objects, which includes significant works in American ceramics, Tibetan paintings, Indian bronzes, contemporary baskets, and a variety of other categories.

The Museum offers a wide range of education programs and artists’ services including interdisciplinary and interactive school tours and a wide variety of classes for the community. Performing arts are showcased in the 24-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which presents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz Festival.

For additional information on the Erie Art Museum, visit online at www.erieartmuseum.org or call (814) 459-5477.

Category: Museum News

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