About the artist:
Francis T. Schanz is one of the most important artists in Erie (Pennsylvania). He has been in more juried shows than just about anyone, and in awards he has is second only to Dan Burke. However his influence runs far beyond his own art. The Schanz Gallery, founded in 1986, was one of the premiere places to show locally, when it was an open venue to guest artists and the one place that you could see fresh up-and-coming experimental work without the establishment worrying about salability. He also is an accomplished art teacher, having taught at the Martin Luther King Culture House and having served as children's art instructor at the Erie Historical Museum in the mid to late '70s. In 1977 Fran taught a painting class at the Erie Art Museum as a personal favor to John Vanco and then continued on for 34 years. Frankly, letting him go from his teaching position was arguably the single biggest blunder that the Erie Art Museum has ever made. I know several people who maintain that they have learned more about art from listening to Fran ramble than by any other means. Knowing that his avant-garde work would be a stumbling block to beginning students, he taught the fundamentals of art with an enthusiasm that is well-remembered by his former students, showing his own work to them only at the end of term illustrating that an artist can go in any direction once the basics of good composition are known and understood. And go in other directions he does, from more classically recognizable drawing, to non-objective (works which have no reference to the real optical world) painting, to found objects even seeing the artistic potential in dryer lint. There is seemingly nothing in which his unbridled imagination will not find artistic potential. "Something as simple as red rust or a dark shadow may hold your interest," he observes.
Francis T. Schanz is one of the most important artists in Erie (Pennsylvania). He has been in more juried shows than just about anyone, and in awards he has is second only to Dan Burke. However his influence runs far beyond his own art. The Schanz