A bronze sculpture by Brian Pardini, now resides in the Museum inner courtyard, between the Bacon Gallery, the Cashier’s House, and the ground floor of the Custom House. Pardini creates sculptures from found objects he discovers in nature, especially the driftwood he collects along the shores of Lake Erie, combining and subtly altering them into lively figurative works. This bronze sculpture is a cast of a wooden original, and has been gifted by the artist to the Museum’s permanent collection.
HIGHERGLYPHICS, the work of artist Todd Scalise (b. 1972), is a permanent, four-story mural that presents a regional timeline extending from prehistory to the present, with historical references from the Erie region. The bold, stylized, unified design flows from the basement to the third floor.
Since 1984, visitors to the Erie Art Museum have been delighted to discover Lisa Lichtenfels' The Avalon Restaurant. The installation depicts a moment from the life of the Avalon, a now-defunct downtown diner. The Avalon contains 21 soft sculpture figures, scaled to 1/3 life-sized, each remarkably lifelike and painstakingly detailed.
John Silk Deckard
Eternal Vigilance is the title of the bronze sculpture that huddles at the foot of the Erie Art Museum’s marble steps. The work of local artist John Silk Deckard, the sculpture has some history as an Erie landmark. It was first commissioned and installed in front of the Erie Art Center on West Sixth Street in 1978. When the Art Center moved to State Street and became the Erie Art Museum in 1983, the sculpture was installed in front of the Art Museum, where it remains today.
David Seitzinger (b. 1941) and John Vahanian (b. 1941) have long collaborated on their kinetic flying sculptures since the 1970s. Nimbus was originally built for a lobby of a business in downtown Erie. The space dictated the size and construction of the piece, as it does for all their pieces. Nimbus was the first of their creations to use colored glass, something they experimented with for the mother-of-pearl effect the glass creates when lit from inside. The artists collaborate on all their pieces, with David often taking the lead for the mechanics. The artists acknowledge that Nimbus was somewhat easier to create than many previous works, where the small size often hindered their ability to create more imaginative kinetics.
Louis Dartanion Alexatos
Unlike the famous arcade carousels that were crafted by highly trained artisans, the remarkable folk art carousel in the Frenzel Gallery was created by Louis Dartanion Alexatos, a self-taught artist. Alexatos (1921-2006) spent time as a cowboy, a transient carnival worker, a charter boat captain, and a professional fencing instructor, before returning to his native Pennsylvania to set up shop in Pleasantville, near Titusville. His shop on State Street doubled as an antique store and the Alexatos studio, where he produced his folk art carvings.