Local printmaker Roman Glass challenges the status quo by transforming one of our largest galleries into an immersive street environment.
Artist Interview : Roman Glass
Roman Glass is transforming one of the Museum’s largest galleries into an immersive environment replicating the streets of Erie. Over the course of a year, Roman will work on this exhibit – changing the way you think about art making as well as look at the city of Erie.
– How does it feel to have your first solo show at EAM?
“I’m like, ‘why me?’ When we started talking about a show it was in a more traditional sense. As the concept grew, however, that ‘traditional show’ turned into an artist take-over. For me it’s about taking risks. I’m risking tackling a new type of street art in a very public way. How does it feel? Awesome and daunting. Exhilarating and terrifying.”
– What is an artist take-over?
“Basically, the Museum has given me complete control over everything – the space, concept, materials, etc. How awesome is that?!”
– Tell us a little about your process.
“It started with sketches of what I thought the gallery could look like as a city street or alley. Once I got those together I reached out to the city planner and engineer as well as local businesses to see how we could recreate that type of thing in an art museum. Then, I hit the streets. I’m dodging cars while pulling prints. It’s crazy. I find the items I want to use, ink them and print them. It can take a couple of hours to pull a single print. As for where they’ll go in the actual space? I’ll figure that out later. The cool thing about this project is that it’s going to be a work in progress the entire time.”
– What do you want people to take away from your exhibit?
“I want people to think about what it means to be from the same place. About those seemingly mundane things that connect us. I’m working with manhole covers from all over the city of Erie. I can pull the same plate from five different places around the city and they all look the same despite being from the westside or eastside, rich neighborhoods or poor neighborhoods. The covers are all the same. They represent a type of commonality. Most people don’t even notice them, but that’s the idea. What if we spent more time noticing the things that we have in common? I want to start a conversation.”