Wayne School’s Shapes and Stories of the City is a study of East Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods that explores the importance of place. The study, which was led by local artist Tom Ferraro and is in partnership with Preservation Erie and language artist Lora Zill, culminates in a student exhibition during National Historic Preservation Month. As part of Gallery Night on Friday, May 31 from 7 pm to 10 pm the public is welcome to visit LifeWorks Erie (406 Peach Street) for a one-night showing of Shapes and Stories of the City.
The built environment in which Wayne students live and play contains all the elements of design – line, color, light, shapes, space, movement, texture, harmony, rhythm, balance and form. Under the guidance of Mr. Ferraro, students focused on shapes of the city and developed a basic understanding of the essential elements of architectural and urban design and then apply that appreciation and knowledge to identify and visually illustrate the innumerable shapes that permeate their neighborhoods.
Students also explored stories of the city. Neighborhoods and buildings have personalities, characters, and a physical appearance, just like people. They all interconnect. Students intuitively understand the structure and function of story, and they became the explorers, tellers, interpreters, visualizers, describers, of the stories of their neighborhoods as told through architecture, buildings and landmarks.
Twenty to twenty-five students spanning grades 5-8 at Wayne School participated in the Shapes and Stories of the City project, which was funded by a grant through The Partnership for Erie’s Public Schools. The Partnership for Erie’s Public Schools is a newly formed local education foundation supporting Erie’s public schools.
Shapes and Stories of the City is in partnership with Preservation Erie (PE, formerly the Erie Center for Design and Preservation). PE promotes the value of historic preservation and good urban design as key elements of a vision of sustainable development that can improve the quality of life in the region.