Erie Art Museum Announces Two New Exhibitions

The Erie Art Museum is now home to two new exhibitions, and an Opening Reception will be held for Museum Members and the public Friday, July 22, 7-9 p.m. in the galleries.

SculptureX challenges conventional ideas about three dimensional art and expands our own awareness of the spaces we inhabit. Many of the exhibit’s works are at the intersection of nature and the built environment. By evoking both man-made spaces and the natural world, these artists urge viewers to cultivate a stronger awareness of our environment and our movement through it.

SculptureX is a collaboration between the Erie Art Museum and The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, OH, in partnership with Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and the Cleveland Institute of Art. It started as a project initiated by Edinboro University professor Lisa Austin to connect sculpture faculty at universities in the region. The partners invited faculty from the sculpture departments of all higher education institutions within 250 miles of Cleveland and Erie to participate in a website project: www.sculpturex.org. The resulting website, designed by Edinboro sculptor Dietrich Wegner, features photos of the work of 81 sculptors, providing the pool from which guest juror David Carrier, an art historian at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, selected the six participating artists. In Carrier’s words, the artists employ banal materials to achieve aesthetic results, demonstrating how three-dimensional art can challenge our everyday worldview.

All six featured artists have exhibited extensively in addition to holding academic roles. Daniel Burke (Mercyhurst College, Erie) uses recycled and re-purposed materials to beautify spaces with color, shape and rhythm. Dee Briggs (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh) addresses spatial relationships and human movement within space. Four of the artists alter the mundane nature of everyday objects: Kim Beck (Carnegie Mellon) highlights the commonplace or ubiquitous, such as a stairwell or commercial signage; Sarah Kabot (Cleveland Institute of Art) manipulates liminal and negative spaces; Carmel Buckley (Ohio State University, Columbus) uses everyday objects to stand in for other objects; Charles Tucker (Cleveland Institute of Art) reconfigures our experience of space by manipulating structural elements such as building posts.

SculptureX Will be on view July 9- September 25, 2011. Learn more at www.sculpturex.org.

A collaborative effort among professionals in the science, art, manufacturing, engineering and design (SAM & ED) industries, InnovationErie: Design Competition returns for its third year to the EAM. Each year, the competition seeks unique product design ideas that can be locally manufactured, promoting economic development in the Erie region. The exhibit features the top fifteen semi-finalists who will showcase their ideas and compete for one Grand Prize award totaling more than $17,000 of assistance services and product development resources to take the winning idea to the marketplace. One “Best in Show” award (chosen by public ballots submitted during the duration of the exhibition) and three runners-up prizes will also be awarded to semi-finalist. All submissions promise to bring attention to Erie’s untapped manufacturing possibilities.

InnovationErie will be on view July 22-October 16, 2011.

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 and a modern, “Green,” 10,500 square foot expansion. The newly expanded Museum marks the first LEED-certified building in the region, soon to be complete with a planted rooftop.

The Museum maintains an ambitious program of 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, 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 painting, 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 25-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which represents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz Festival.

The Erie Art Museum, cafe, and gift shop is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. For additional visitor information, visit online at erieartmuseum.org or call 814-459-5477.

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