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VPA student work featured in Erie Canal Museum exhibition

February 16, 2009

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

Art and design students in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) have collaborated with the Erie Canal Museum on its latest exhibition, "Observations East and West: Artists' Views of the Historic Erie Canal." The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, is on view through Friday, April 3, at the museum, located at 318 Erie Boulevard East. A reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 19, from 5-6:30 p.m.

"Observations East and West" features student work from the fall 2008 landscape painting class taught by Sarah McCoubrey, associate professor of painting in VPA's School of Art and Design. The exhibition was framed, matted and installed by students in the school's graduate program in museum studies.

The subject of the works is an exploration of the changing environment as impacted by the Erie Canal. To accomplish this, the class met weekly at a variety of locations along the Erie Canal, including the more rural areas, the suburbs and the city, as well as at the Erie Canal Museum. The choice of these sites represents more than 200 years of transition in the surrounding Syracuse community and illustrates the change in the living environment as the community evolved from a casual-based transportation center into a major, modern metropolitan city.

The Erie Canal Museum is the nation's premier maritime museum specializing in Erie Canal history. The museum is housed in the National Register 1850 Weighlock Building, where canal boats were weighed to assess a toll on their cargo. It is the only remaining structure of its kind in America.

The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Group tours are by appointment. For more information, call (315) 471-0593 or visit

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