New Mercyhurst photography exhibit casts spotlight on Erie architecture

MU Photography Exhibit Erie Architecture
From the elegant Watson-Curtze Mansion to the crumbling remnants of Erie’s industrial past, the newest exhibit at Mercyhurst University’s Cummings Gallery aims to showcase the city’s beauty and examine points of its deterioration.

The exhibit, titled “A Second Look – Architecture of Erie,” opens Monday, Dec. 10 and will run through Jan. 20. An opening reception will be held Thursday, Dec. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Gary Cardot, an assistant professor of photography at Mercyhurst and former director of the Cummings Gallery, generated the concept for last year’s exhibit titled “Architecture of Erie – Photographs of a City in Transition.” He curated this year’s exhibit, a diverse collection of digital, film, color and black and white photographs.

The show features seven photographers’ visions of iconic Erie landmarks at their best as well as glimpses into the pain and decay of inner-city life. Cardot said he intentionally sought out a diverse range of photos for the show.

“Some of the works showcase the city’s beauty, while others are quite raw,” Cardot said. “Even if the subject matter is not beautiful, the photos themselves are very strong. We are not exhibiting a whitewashed version of Erie.”

Larry Brown’s photos of buildings on Parade Street, Denise Keim’s inner-city shots and Tom Eells’ studies of industrial buildings in decay are among those that reveal Erie’s struggles.

The show also celebrates Erie’s beauty and storied architectural history. Jaimee Lindvay explores the colors, shapes and formality of historic houses on West 19th Street, and Cardot will exhibit vintage Erie postcards from the early 1900s that he modernized and retouched.

Cummings Gallery is located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. The show will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 2 to 5 p.m. Gallery hours are by appointment from Dec. 21 through Jan. 6 during the university’s Christmas break. For an appointment, please call 824-2092.
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