FAQ – Artists

A: It is extremely rare for an artist to get a museum exhibit before they have a solid track record of exhibiting in smaller venues. Most artists selected for a solo show at the Erie Art Museum already have a long history of gallery shows, have been accepted into a variety of juried shows, and have been active in getting their art in front of the public in lots of different ways.
A: Anyone who takes a Museum studio art class can put one piece in our annual First Class Exhibit in March that showcases the work of Museum students and instructors. Also, anyone in the region can submit work to the Spring Show, the Museum’s annual juried exhibition open to anyone living within 250 miles of Erie. It is quite competitive (usually we get 500+ entries and 90 works are accepted).
A: Be active in your art community! Join a local artists’ organization, volunteer, and/or build good relationships with other artists. Our curator does take note of artists that not only have a strong body of work and have a good resume of showing regionally; she also takes into consideration those artists that are particularly committed to the Erie community.
A: The Erie area has two large artist organizations. Presque Isle Artists Association is open to all—you just need to be interested in meeting and exhibiting with other artists. Northwestern Pennsylvania Artists Association memberships are obtained through a jury process—artists are nominated by current members and voted on by the general membership. There is also Lake Erie Fiber Arts Guild, the Erie ClaySpace Artists Association, various photography clubs and organizations, and other groups focused on particular art media.

A: The Museum typically schedules shows one to three years into the future.
A: If you would like to be considered for an exhibit at the Museum, send a resume by mail or email that includes the following:
• Exhibition history
• Short biography
• Work samples (disc, hard copy, or links to your website)

Mail it to:
Susan Barnett,
Erie Art Museum
411 State Street
Erie, PA 16501

If you want to submit your proposal via email, contact Susan Barnett

On the CALL FOR ENTRIES PAGE Typically the Spring Show prospectus is ready every January, and the Museum accepts submissions for the Spring Show in March, and the exhibit opens in mid-April.

Sign up for our Artist Opportunity email list and every January we’ll send you the Spring Show prospectus and other emails as opportunities arise.

Deciding whether or not to accession a work of art is a consequential decision for the Museum. When we accept an object into our collection we agree to safeguard it in perpetuity: cataloging it, storing it, displaying it, and having it conserved as needed. Therefore we can only accept gifts that fit our collections guidelines, that have clear provenance (ownership record), and that are likely to be displayed in exhibitions.

To have your donation considered for accession, please email Susan Barnett with photographs and descriptions of the object. Please include the name of the artist, the approximate year the work was made, place of origin, and value (if known).

If you would prefer to donate in person, please make an appointment to bring in the objects on Third Thursday.

FAQ – Classes

A: Many of our students are beginners. Some have zero experience. Some did art years ago and want to ease back into it. If you are a beginner, you’ll have lots of support, and plenty of company!
A: Nearly all classes meet in one of two classrooms. Enter the door in the corner of the courtyard on East 5th Street (between State and French). The door is behind GlassGrowers Gallery at 10 East 5th Street. Take the stairs to the 2nd floor and go to your right.
A: If your class meets before 5pm on a weekday, park on the street and feed the meter. (Fifth Street meters allow you up to eight hours.) Erie Insurance has graciously allowed us to park in their lot across from the Museum at 5th and French Street after 5PM and on weekends. There are several metered parking spaces on 5th Street and State Street. Meters are not checked after 5pm (even though the meters say until 6pm).
A: Ceramics classes are held at the ClaySpace Studio located on the 3rd floor of the Artworks building at 1505 State Street. It is just south of Junior’s Last Laugh, on the opposite side of State Street just beyond the overpass. There is metered parking out front and unmetered parking on 16th Street.
A: We cannot cover full tuition but we can sometimes offer partial scholarships. Please complete an application found on our website
A: The adult classes are for students ages 16 and older. If you have a student that is younger passionate about art, and doesn’t mind being with adults, contact us to see if this is right for your child.
A: Sorry, we do not offer prorated classes. You may be able to make up missed classes before or after class, depending on instructor’s availability.

A: We are able to issue a refund as long as you cancel before the 2nd class session. You’ll get a full refund minus a $10 handling charge. No refund will be made if a student cancels after the second class, whether or not the student attended the class. If any class or workshop is cancelled by the Museum due to lack of enrollment or any other reason a full refund will be issued. Please allow 3 weeks for refunds to be processed.
A: Yes! Every year we have an exhibit called First Class. Anyone who has taken a class with us the previous year can put one piece in this show. It usually opens in March and runs for two weeks.

FAQ – Parties for Kids

A: As the party host you will provide any food, utensils, napkins and decorations for the party and clean up of any refreshments.
A: After the guests make their artwork the clay needs to be completely dry to be put into the kiln. It usually take about 3-4 days for the clay to dry, then the instructor will bisque fire your pieces and give you a call when they are ready for pick up (7-10 days from your workshop)!
A: In the 90-minute workshops you and your guests can apply slips and underglazes in certain colors to your clay before it is loaded into the kiln. For an additional fee (of $50) your instructor can apply a clear glaze that makes your art food safe.
A: You can use your passes anytime during Museum Hours. Tuesday-Thursday 11 am – 5 pm, Friday 11 am – 9 pm, Saturday 11 am – 5 pm and Sunday
1 – 5 pm.

FAQ – Facility Rentals

A: The Special Events Room includes the Leslie Lobby, the Frenzel and Little Things Galleries, coatroom, restrooms and the catering kitchen.
A: Yes, the Old Customs House can be rented and includes an entrance on 411 state Street, it’s own galleries and restroom facility.
A: The Inner Courtyard can only be rented as a supplement to the rental of the Old Customs House or the Special Events Room. It cannot be rented independently.
A: The 5th Street Courtyard can only be rented as a supplement to the rental of the Old Customs House or the Special Events Room. It cannot be rented independently.
A: Yes, all guests to the Museum are free to use the 5th Street Courtyard during your rental event. We only require a fee if you are utilizing it as part of the programming of your event, like adding seating, a bar or other activity. Simply standing or walking within the Courtyard is complimentary.
A: You have until noon on the day of the event to make the decision to go ahead with the rental or to cancel. We will not charge you as long as we have not set up tables, chairs or bar.
A: The Special Events Room and the Old Customs House includes their own galleries and provides a great viewing experience with access to many works from the Museum’s Collection. The remainder of the Museum’s galleries will be closed during a rental unless you wish to rent a gallery as a supplement to your Special Events Room rental.
A: Yes, as a supplement to the Special Events Room, or the Old Customs House for an additional fee.
The Museum has an exclusive contract with Make It Fabulous Catering who will provide you with the highest quality experience for your catered event. Contact Make it Fabulous for more information.

FAQ – Tours

A: Call the Museum at 814-459-5477 and ask for Kelly Armor or Ally Thomas. You can also email ally.
A: The Museum creates a special activities based on your interests and/or curriculum! Every tour is interactive and helps visitors explore the exhibits with a Museum educator. We know how to keep kids busy and engaged! Although visitors can’t touch the art on the walls, tours provide plenty of things to touch, make, and do.
A: The cost is $10 per participant you reserve for. If you book a tour for 30 students and only come with 15, we’ll still expect a payment of $300, because we’ve arranged for staff and supplies for 30. You can pay in advance or the day of the tour with cash, credit card, or check.
A: We can work with an estimated attendance, but it is helpful to know the number of visitors at least two days before the tour.
A: Yes, we can easily give tours before the Museum open to the public (on Mondays and before 11am on weekdays). We can also give tours on evenings and weekends but scheduling is a little trickier.
A: Chaperones with student groups can attend at no cost.
A: Absolutely! The Museum can provide space in cafe or our Special Events Room (depending on group size) for lunch. If you are interested in purchasing a box lunch from the Wave Cafe click here.
A: Yes, we do not want cost to prohibit visitors from touring the Museum. There is a financial aid form on our website. Please complete this application at least two weeks before you’d like to come. The more flexible your schedule, the easier it is to accommodate you.
A: Tours can be as few as 10 people or as large as 160 people.
A: Yes! Our facility is completely accessible. Groups we have worked with in the past have included individuals with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, dementia, hearing impairments and visitors on the Autism spectrum.
A: Typically tours last 60-120 minutes and allow us to visit 3-4 different exhibits. However we can work within your time frame!
A: Yes, we allow photography in the Museum as long as the flash is turned off. If there are certain exhibits that prohibit photography, we will inform the group.
A: Your tour will begin at the front desk of the Erie Art Museum. Enter the building on East 5th Street between State and French Street.
A: Unfortunately parking is limited. We have space for one bus in our loading zone on 5th street. There is plenty of metered parking on 5th street, State Street and French Street. We encourage buses to park at Blasco Library.
A: Unfortunately we cannot offer tour discounts for r our members, but we do offer special member events and discounts at the Frame Shop, Gift Shop and for classes.
A: Yes! We are developing tours that pair beer or chocolate to works of art. Participants can taste several kinds of micro-brews or varieties of chocolate and each one is matched to a particular painting or sculpture. It is a way to cultivate your palate, get a fresh perspective on all kinds of art, and be entertained all at once. Contact us for more details.