Department of Art
James Parlin is a professor of Sculpture and Three-Dimensional Design, and currently serves as Chairperson of the Art Department. His undergraduate degree is in religious thought from the University of Pennsylvania, and his graduate degree is in Sculpture, also from Penn. He is an active artist and shows his work regularly in a variety of national and regional venues. He is represented by the Schmidt Dean Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Parlin has a long record of service with APSCUF, the professors’ union, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA.
Professor Sue Amendolara was born in Youngstown, Ohio. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1988 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1985. She has been teaching Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing at Edinboro University since 1991 and served as president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths from 2011-2014.
Her metalwork has been exhibited regionally and nationally in galleries and museums including the American Craft Museum, New York, NY, The National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. Her work has been included in international exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland and Japan. Publications of her work include American Craft, Metalsmith, Ornament and Lapidary Journal. She has been the recipient of three Individual Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (1994, 1999, and 2003) and a Mid-Atlantic/NEA Regional Fellowship (1995). Her work is part of the permanent collections at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, the Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, Ohio, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. and the White House Collection of American Crafts, Washington D.C.
Professor Lisa Austin arrived at EU in 1996 and established a student-networking event (ALOHA) and a Visiting Artist Program. She has advised several organizations including Student Art League and Sculpture, Fiber and Extended Media. Professor Austin organized more than 100 EU events including visiting artists and critics, workshops, screenings and field trips. In 2010, she initiated SculptureX, a networking group and annual symposia with the Erie Art Museum, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Cleveland’s The Sculpture Center. In response to announced demolition plans for the historic campus Boiler House, Professor Austin organized and funded an architectural reuse plan.
After exhibiting installations in NYC, Washington DC, Baltimore, Richmond and Pittsburgh, she began collaborating with architects on public art proposals in 2003. The following year, Austin co-founded the CIVITAS social-sculpture collaborative which has established community groups including Preservation Erie (2007), Innovation Erie (2008), and All Aboard Erie (2009). PE is a 501.c3 educating the public about the need for protective legislation for historic structures that encourages viable reuse options. IE is an economic development group that hosts an annual product design competition at the Erie Art Museum. AAE is a 501.c3 that works to improve bus and rail options in Erie County.
Due to her visibility as an advocate for urban design, Austin was appointed to Erie’s Zoning Hearing Board (2007-2014). Austin maintains a weekly office hour in Erie’s Masonic Temple Building where she meets with community leaders and drafts Considering the City, a monthly column for the Erie Reader.
Professor Shelle Barron brings an extensive professional background to her teaching practice of over 20 years. As the first art director of Public Broadcasting of Northwest Pennsylvania, she was involved in a number of national projects for PBS including “Free to Choose and Life on Earth.” Her editorial work won honors from the National Broadcast Designers Association and PBS.
Professor Barron completed advanced studies in typology through the Visual Studies Workshop (SUNY). She maintains a design practice specializing in books, monographs and catalogues for clients including the Chicago Historical Society, the University of Pittsburgh Press and the Erie Art Museum. Her recent work has appeared in journals including “Print and Designer,” and has won gold awards in competitions sponsored by the University and College Designers Association and the American Advertising Federation.
A self-defined hybrid, Professor Barron also creates large-scale mixed media digital collage. She has won more than 20 regional and national awards for this work as well as grants from the “National Endowment for the Arts” (Mid-Atlantic) and the “Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.” She has completed residencies at Brandywine Printmaking Workshop in Philadelphia and Artists Image Resource in Pittsburgh. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections. A member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, her work was selected for a juror’s cash award at the 100th annual exhibition at the Carnegie Museum.
Professor Diane Crandall earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Graphics from Edinboro University in 1981 where she received the Communications Graphics outstanding student award. She also studied Graphic Design at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1985. She was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Kent State University in 1993.
Her work is published in the book “A Century of Innovative Book Design: Influences of Art, Design, Theory and Technology on Book Design for Mass Market.” She has also had her works published in Print Magazine, Web Designer, and HOW Magazine. Her work has been exhibited at the headquarters of the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) in New York City and included in the Collection of Artists Books at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
During her career, Professor Crandall worked for a series of firms based in Erie beginning as a graphics designer for Silk Screen Unlimited, followed by assistant art director at Gwynn Advertising, graphic designer at GraphicWorks, and art director at Jack O’Brien Advertising. In 1986 she joined Edinboro University as a temporary instructor, and became a full-time member of the faculty in 1989 where she teaches today in the field of Graphic & Interactive Design at the rank of full professor.
Brigette Davitt is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Edinboro University. She has also taught the Graphic Design Summer Art Workshop at Temple University Japan (Tokyo) and as an Adjunct Professor at Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia) and Point Park University (Pittsburgh). She received her MFA in Graphic and Interactive Design from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and her BFA in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University.
Brigette serves as the Education Director of AIGA Pittsburgh and is a member of the AFNWPA (Advertising Federation of Northwest Pennsylvania). Her professional practice includes research, contract design and consultations for various clients as well as service donations to numerous non profit organizations. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been published in HOW, Creative Quarterly, and CMYK.
Francis Demaske is an associate professor of Art (Graphic Design + Illustration) who has been teaching at Edinboro University since 1991. He received his MFA in Graphic Design + Illustration from Kent State University in 1992, and his BFA in Graphic Design + Illustration from Kent State University in 1989. Prior to his appointment at Edinboro University, Professor Demaske taught at Kent State University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant from 1989 to 1991. In addition, Professor Demaske received AAA and AAB from Lakeland Community College in 1984 and 1985 respectively.
Professor Demaske has been involved in the visual communication field since 1983. He was employed by the City of Euclid from 1983 to 1986 as a Designer and Illustrator. From 1986 until 1996, he was a partner in Demaske & DeWine Design, Inc., a design firm that specialized in commercial redevelopment projects and environmental graphics. He continues to contract design and illustration projects. His client list includes: Cleveland State University, Levin College of Urban Affairs; MightyMusicLive.com, Inc.; CT Consultants, Inc.; S & S technologies, L.L.C.; MacArthur Investments, L.L.C.; Steidel and Sons, Inc.; Ursuline College/Wasmer Art Gallery; Drawbridge Restaurant; RollerDrome, Inc.; Geist Company, Inc.; Edinboro University Press; Ver Lit Press, Berlin; Edinboro Animation Department; Edinboro Art Department; Edinboro Bruce Gallery; Edinboro Alumni Office; Seme & Sons Automotive; Kampe & Smeltars, Architects; AccuPraise, Inc.; Briardale Golf Course; Richard Beck, Architects; Moriah Publishing; Amsdel Corporation; Ostendorf-Morris; Penton Publishing; Applebrook Design; City of Euclid; City of Willoughby Hills and many others.
Originally from East Aurora, NY, Professor Karen Ernst is an associate professor in the Art Department, teaching Woodworking/Furniture Design. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo and a Master of Fine Arts in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and has almost twenty years of woodworking and design experience. During and after her academic studies, she was employed by Spykman Design in Keene, NH, makers of custom cabinetry and fine furniture. In 2003-04 she was an artist-in-residence and summer workshop assistant at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO.
She joined the Edinboro faculty in 2004 and helped to found the Wood Furniture Club, to which she is the faculty advisor. In 2013, she received a grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to replace and upgrade much of the equipment in the wood studio, as well as provide scholarships to students in the Wood, Metals, and Ceramics Programs at Edinboro.
She is an active member of The Furniture Society and has served as a juror for the Innovation Erie product design competition for the last six years.
The furniture and sculptural objects she designs and builds have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries across the US and are included in many private collections. Her work is featured in the Lark Books publications “500 Chairs”, “500 Tables,” and “500 Cabinets,” as well as Schiffer Publishing’s “The Maker’s Hand: Contemporary Studio Furniture.”
Dr. Hanes joined Edinboro University in 2005 after nearly 10 years in Art Education programs at state universities in Kentucky and Maine. Since arriving at EU, he has secured grants for continued study of the+ Japanese tea ceremony, collaborated in curriculum development for the program, and participated in local community arts organizations. He currently teaches in both graduate and undergraduate Art Education programs.
His doctoral degree studies at The Ohio State University included ethnographic research of dissident group art. His master’s thesis from Florida State University focused on multicultural programming in an art classroom. His professional service includes serving as a reviewer for academic journals in his field and participating as a director of a non-profit educational organization.
His research and creative interests include integrative arts and aesthetic behaviors embedded in transformative ritual practice and performance. He practices chanoyu, produces raku tea bowls, performs butoh dance, as well as plays jazz and classical trumpet. As a creative act of resistance he cultivates an organic garden. Each of these creative practices becomes a physical embodiment of a cyclical yet unpredictable process, an extension of human experience. For Dr. Hanes, the creative process of making/destroying/performing is larger than the expressive object. The aesthetic process reveals unique perspectives on life while assembling a sense of history within the ongoing-ness of human dilemma found in current issues such as corporate greed, global warming and senseless wars.
Professor Rexrode earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and served as the Head of the Ceramics Department at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts throughout the 1980s. He has been a Professor of Ceramics at Edinboro University since 1990.
Professor Rexrode taught workshops throughout the country at locations such as the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Baltimore Clayworks, El Camino College in Los Angeles, and at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee. During the spring of 2001, he toured China, researching contemporary and historical ceramics, and lecturing at the Yixing International Symposium, Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Shanghai. The research and experiences in China continue to influence his work.
Professor Rexrode, whose expertise is wheel-thrown pottery, has published images of his work and written articles for Ceramics Monthly since 1989. In 2009, he served as Co-Juror for the 88th Annual Toledo Federation of Art Societies, Toledo (Ohio) Art Museum, and curated American Ceramics entries for the International Onggi Competition in Ulsan, Korea. He exhibited and won awards for his work in the International Onggi Competition in both 2009 and 2010.
Professor Fred Scruton came to Edinboro in 2003 after working for 20 years in New York City as a professional freelance photographer of artwork and architecture. He earned his Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1982, and his professional work has been reproduced on the cover of several art periodicals including Flash Art, and Art in America, as well as in numerous books, catalogues, magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times. Professor Scruton’s fine art photography has been exhibited widely throughout the country, and in four one-person exhibitions at OK Harris Gallery in New York City. He travels extensively to document ‘outsider’ artists and the art environments they create, and he has published two articles with photographs, including one cover, for Raw Vision magazine, the primary international publication on non-mainstream artists. Several more articles for Raw Vision will be published in up-coming issues, and his website has been designated a research source by the American Library Association. He has lectured about this work at INTUIT (The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art) in Chicago, and has contributed substantially to the SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments) archive in Aptos, Calif. Professor Scruton teaches in the art department’s photography program at EU specializing in art historical context, artificial lighting, digital, and documentary techniques.
Professor Michelle Vitali arrived at Edinboro University in 1999 after teaching at Pratt Institute, Parson's School of Design and the New York Academy of Art. She is originally from Philadelphia, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts before moving to New York for her Master of Fine Arts from the New York Academy's Graduate School of Figurative Art. She also studied abroad at Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy.
While her degrees are in painting, Professor Vitali has done extensive work in drawing and sculpture. Her work also spans some of the sciences. She is a medical/scientific illustrator and a forensic artist. As a painter and illustrator, she has exhibited her work extensively, both nationally and internationally. Her illustrations have appeared in many publications and several books. As a forensic artist, Professor Vitali has worked on high-profile criminal cases in the United States, and performed facial reconstructions on historical cases in the U.S. and in Spain.
Professor Vitali's research areas include improving the efficacy of 2D and 3D reconstruction, researching best practices for all forensic arts, and experimenting in materials and processes in the arts. Her work has been recognized by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and numerous law enforcement agencies.
At Edinboro University, Professor Vitali has initiated several new courses and two programs: an illustration concentration within the art department, and the Institute of Forensic Sciences for which she currently serves as a Fellow.
Dr. Thomas Weber is a documentary filmmaker and part-time instructor in Art History/Media Studies at Edinboro University. His work includes the feature-length documentary “Troubadour Blues” (2011), about the lives of traveling folk musicians that features Peter Case, Chris Smither, Mary Gauthier, Dave Alvin and others. It contains 40 original songs performed live by the artists who wrote them. A second full-length music documentary, “Don't Give Up Your Day Job,” is now in production with an anticipated 2016 release.
Dr. Weber also independently produces hour-long documentaries on performing arts for public broadcasting, working with Erie's WQLN TV-54. These include “Mark Dignam: The Treelady Sessions,” a concert video with an Irish singer-songwriter who lives in Western Pennsylvania, and “The Trouble With Poets,” an intimate look at Erie's burgeoning poetry scene. A program on visual artists in the Erie area is scheduled for fall. He also produces shorter, client-based videos.
Dr. Weber has a Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies from Bowling Green State University and degrees from Indiana University, Bloomington, and Harvard University. He is co-author of “Reggae Island,” a photo-documentary book about Jamaican music in the 1980s and 1990s. He is also active as a musician and record producer.
Dr. Charlotte Wellman earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Brown University and her Masters of Arts and Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University. She has published several catalog essays on contemporary artists. Trained as an Americanist, Dr. Wellman teaches courses in nineteenth century, twentieth century and contemporary art, American art, gender, and theory. Her research focuses on gender, aging, and contemporary visual culture.