Friday, October 3, 2014
Six photographers who’ve spent years documenting Erie’s built landscape will exhibit their works in a new exhibit titled “Architecture of Erie: A Photographic Survey” at the Cummings Gallery at Mercyhurst University. The show will run from Oct. 16 through Nov. 2, with an artists’ reception set for Thursday, Oct. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m.
The photographs record features that might not last much longer, from the McBride Viaduct to historic houses or even whole neighborhoods. Gary Cardot, the Mercyhurst art professor who organized the show, says the show presents a realistic portrayal of an aging Rust Belt city that has not paid enough attention to historic preservation and thus is slowly erasing its history.
Participating photographers, in addition to Cardot, are Lawrence Brown, Michael Bumbera, Jaimee Lindvay, Robert O’Connell and Suzanne Winterberger. This show is the last in a series of three Cummings exhibits featuring their work and is a culmination of the artists’ study of neighborhoods, buildings and street scenes of both the city and towns in Erie County.
In all three shows, the photographers have depicted the area in various stages of growth or decline and revealed problems plaguing a city that has no laws favoring historic preservation and no legal limits to demolition of buildings.
Suzanne Winterberger has photographed many buildings that once were businesses or private homes and have now been repurposed as churches, clubs or any number of different uses.
Robert McConnell’s images of Erie County towns are aerial photographs of the business centers and surrounding areas.
Gary Cardot has been photographing industrial sites in the city and county, while Lawrence Brown photographed one street (Parade Street) and Michael Bumbera shot images of iconic buildings throughout Erie.
Jaimee Lindvay, a resident of Rochester who grew up in Erie, has been taking pictures of neighborhoods in a series that presents the buildings in a formal study of vernacular architecture.
Cummings Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 2 to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed during Mercyhurst’s fall break Oct. 8-12.
IMAGE: “Last Rites, Little Italy, Erie, Pa.” By Suzanne Winterberger