Four-Story Mural Depicting a Narrative History of Erie, PA Now on Display at the Erie Art Museum

Erie, PA, October 07, 2012 --( Artist Todd Scalise recently completed a four-story mural project entitled "HIGHERGLYPHICS" for the Erie Art Museum. Created over the past 18-months, this large-scale project is now permanently installed in the museum’s annex stairwell. The mural opened to the public in late September to coincide with this year’s Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts hosted in Erie.

HIGHERGLYPHICS is a significant contribution to the Erie Art Museum by complementing its $11M expansion and renovation project that was completed in October 2010. With a unified design spanning over 1,200 square feet and four stories high, the postmodern-styled mural employs contemporary printing techniques and complies with the LEED status of the building with its application of environmentally friendly materials.

The annex stairwell is a main artery in the Museum negotiated daily by hundreds of visitors, including students taking studio art courses and yoga classes. Scalise designed the project with the high amount traffic in mind, and he created the project to incorporate an art form that appeals to a broad range of people and encourages the next generation of museum patrons. Scalise states, “A work of art in this location offers an element of the unexpected and enhances the museum with added fascination.”

The mural design follows a regional narrative extending from prehistory to the present containing many historical references from the Erie region. Several important Erie-area artists, including this year’s Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts winners, are memorialized in portrait form as a lasting reminder of their role in helping to create regional popular culture. Embedded with hundreds of QR codes that identify corporate sponsors that supported the project and information about the region, visitors are encouraged to interact with the artwork using their mobile devices linking to information on the internet about Erie’s culture and history. The incorporation of new technology offers supplemental information to the viewer in an otherwise static art form.

In addition to the artwork itself, Todd Scalise and the Erie Art Museum are producing a variety of related merchandise that will both market the project and produce revenue for the museum. Merchandise created from this artwork will help extend the awareness of the Museum as well as the legacy of this region. Scalise plans to officially launch his merchandise line in conjunction with the holiday edition of Gallery Night, December 7, 2012.

About the Project Sponsors
HIGHERGLYPHICS is sponsored by The Erie Community Foundation, Eriez, The Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts, Highmark, The Perry 200 Commemoration, Prints & More by Holly, McBrier Events, Abigail and Lauder Greenway, Northwest Savings Bank, The Douglass/Bennett Advised Fund, Pennsylvania Partners for the Arts/Arts Erie, Scalise Financial Advisors, Inc., Erie Insurance, The Kanzius Foundation, Lord Corporation, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Lechner & Benson, Scott Enterprises, and Panache.

About the Artist
An Erie native, Todd Scalise is currently a member of the stARTup Incubator in Edinboro, PA. He has created eye-catching brands for regional projects such as the Perry 200 Commemoration and Let’s Move Outside. In 2010, Todd traveled and worked in Europe where he exhibited textiles in Paris, licensed his helmet designs in Amsterdam, and painted a 50-foot mural for one of the inauguration parties for the new Pompidou Center in Metz. Previously, he served in higher education for institutions in Pennsylvania and New Mexico and further distinguished himself by receiving two Heinz Endowments and three artist residencies. In 2009, Todd appeared on a TV mini-series to discuss his unique approach to making and marketing his art. Later that year, Todd designed The Dennis Hopper Lifetime Achievement Award in Independent Film, which was included in Mr. Hopper’s permanent art collection. Since studying painting in Rome during the early nineties, Todd constructed and exhibited an elaborate body of artwork – his art has been displayed in The Andy Warhol Museum and The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts as well as galleries in New York City and Santa Fe. Todd’s art also appeared in several national magazines such as The Progressive for Howard Zinn, Juxtapoz, and Parade.

If you would like a private tour of HIGHERGLYPHICS, please contact Todd Scalise at 814.403.7016 or Visit or visit HIGHERGLYPHICS on Facebook for more information.

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Erie Art Museum
Carolyn Eller