Mercyhurst community invited to ExZOOberant Paint Party

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

casandra reeseFrom the lovable llama to the playful penguin inhabiting the children’s area at the Erie Zoo, the environment catches the childlike imagination in all of us. On Friday, Feb. 3, members of the Mercyhurst community are encouraged to share in the allure by helping to paint 85 posts that will complete the Erie Zoo’s new Crayon Jungle Fence.

The daylong ExZOOberant Paint Party, hosted by the university’s Department of Art in partnership with the Erie Zoo, takes place in the Zurn 121 studio from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are encouraged to stop by, pick a color, and paint a crayon.

“Mercyhurst Green” will be at one end of the fence and “Mercyhurst Lakers Blue” at the other. In between will be an assortment of colors created by department work studies Evelyn Swanson and Casandra Reese. Those who help paint the crayons will get to participate in naming the colors, such as “Cactus Green” or “Red Panda Rust,” which will be stenciled onto the posts.

Art Department Chair Jodi Staniunas Hopper said the last time the fence had been updated was 12 years ago. The zoo is providing the new pickets, while Mercyhurst is offering the labor. She encouraged painters to dress appropriately; some aprons will be available. 

“We saw a need in the community that corresponded with the gifts of the art department and pursued a connection with the Erie Zoo to make this repair happen,” Staniunas Hopper explained. “This then becomes a way of modeling with students, showing them how they need to be the change in their communities using the talents that they are given.”

PHOTO: Junior Casandra Reese helps prep pickets for ExZOOberant Paint Party.