Erie Art Museum Celebrates Erie Painter Joseph Plavcan

Erie, PA, June 19, 2008 --( The Erie Art Museum celebrates renowned Erie painter Joseph Plavcan’s centennial with a survey exhibition featuring a variety of his works in the Erie Art Museum’s Main Gallery at 411 State Street beginning Saturday, June 28, 2008 until September 14, 2008. A public opening reception will be held Sunday June 29, 2008 from 2 until 4 p.m. at the Erie Art Museum’s Main Gallery.

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Joseph Plavcan (1908-1981), one of Erie’s most significant painters. Born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, Plavcan moved to Erie while he was a small child and later attended Academy High School. During his high school career he became encouraged to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and become a professional artist, which later led him to study abroad in Europe, where he was influenced by the experiments in color that artists were making at the time. This experience drew him back to Erie where he taught students at Erie Technical High School from 1932 until 1970 how to see and use colors in art.

Known primarily for creating dozens of portraits as well as landscapes and urban views, Plavcan was a prolific artist that was literally painting constantly. As a young artist, Plavcan actively pursued new exhibitions and participated in numerous nationwide competitive exhibitions. As his career and personal life became busier he focused his spare time on creating works rather than showing works.

During the years after his retirement, Plavcan exhibited new work both locally and around the country, however many of his most significant creations have yet to be seen by the public. In celebration of Joe’s 100th birthday, the Erie Art Museum will be displaying some of his most famous works as well as those that have not yet been seen by the public.

About the Erie Art Museum
The Erie Art Museum anchors downtown Erie’s cultural and economic revitalization, occupying a group of restored mid-19th century commercial buildings, including an outstanding 1839 Greek Revival Bank. It maintains an ambitious program of 15 to 18 changing exhibitions annually, embracing a wide range of subjects, both historical and contemporary and including folk art, contemporary craft, multi-disciplinary installations, community-based work, as well at traditional media.

The Erie Art Museum also holds a collection of over 6,000 objects, which includes significant works in American ceramics, Tibetan painting, Indian bronzes, contemporary baskets, and a variety of other categories.

The Museum offers a wide range of education programs and artists’ services including interdisciplinary and interactive school tours and a wide variety of classes for the community. Performing arts are showcased in the 24-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which represents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz festival.

The Erie Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free for members, free on Wednesdays, $4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students and $2 for children under 12.

For additional information on the Erie Art Museum, visit online at or call (814) 459-5477.

Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche