• April 2018
Folk Art in our Community
Storefront Display Honors Recent Immigrants
An empty storefront has been transformed into a cultural commodity. Since January, Meet Erie’s New Americans: A Storefront Exhibition now graces the former American Surplus Store on 416 State Street. The first display features objects from Iraq and Bosnia. Ghadeh Hussein, an Iraqi artist, lent decor, textiles, and housewares. “I am happy to share the beauty of my country,” she declares. Other goods came from the numerous Iraqi-owned markets on Erie’s east side.
Mensura and Nijaz Berberovic lent Bosnian clothing, housewares, and photographs. Mensura states, “I had a dream to share my culture and now it comes true. I came as a refugee but now I am an American citizen. I am proud of both. Each immigrant brings something from their heart, their life, their experience. I hope Erie can recognize that they benefit the community. I hope this exhibit gives people a chance to think about others.” Mensura is also an accomplished singer and has been recognized regionally and nationally for her knowledge of Bosnian ballads. “When I came in November 1995 and I landed in the airport, there was so much snow. I asked, ‘Why God, do I come here?’ But now I know. I work with the Museum since 2003. I became more confident, I find that people care about our culture. This changed my life.” The current display will stay up through mid-April and then will host art, artifacts, and clothing from Erie’s African communities.
PhotoCaption: Mensura Berberovic in front of her Bosnian collection.
For more information about local folk and traditional artists contact Museum Folk Art Director Kelly Armor.
The window project is a partnership between Preservation Erie and the Erie Art Museum and is
funded through a grant from the PA Council on the Arts.