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Gannon electrical engineer to judge

Behrend art show


Clare Weisenfluh, Staff Writer

An Erie native who followed an unusual road to establish himself as an artist will soon be helping Behrend students on their own path.

Greg Zbach, a photographer known for utilizing his background in engineering throughout his creative process, has been selected to be the juror for Behrend’s Patricia S. Yahn Juried Student Art Show. In addition, his own photo exhibition, titled “Beyond Boundaries,” is now on display in the Lilley Library Gallery.

Zbach graduated from Gannon University with a degree in electrical engineering. While engaged in that work, he also spent time composing music and honing his photography skills.

Zbach’s latest exhibition features works both abstract and nature-oriented, often heavily manipulated by computer software that allows the artist to discover new, unearthly dimensions with each photograph. Zbach credits his history as an engineer with giving him a more analytical perspective on his artwork and exposing him to different technologies with which to edit his photographs.

“As an engineer, I am not afraid to experiment,” Zbach said in a September 2018 interview with the Erie Times-News. “I’ve been able to research and invest and learn a lot of new techniques.”

Heather Cole, an assistant teaching professor of digital arts at Behrend and head of juror selection for this year’s student art show, met Zbach two years ago and thought he would be an excellent choice for the role of juror.

“I enjoy the character of his work a lot,” said Cole. “I found out about his history with engineering and the impact it has on his work. I thought that it might interest a wider audience at Behrend than what may be considered a ‘normal’ artist's path.”

Cole stresses the importance of both supporting local artists and exposing Behrend students to their work as a source of encouragement and inspiration.

“It enriches [the students’] time here at Behrend and gives them a deeper understanding of the culture of the area,” Cole said. “The best way to do that is to see what they have to offer and interact with local artists.”

She encourages students to enjoy exhibitions both on campus and off, such as the Erie Art Museum’s Gallery Nights; a list of events that students can attend will soon be available in the library.

“Beyond Boundaries” will remain on display in the Lilley Library Gallery until March 1. Those interested in submitting work to the Patricia S. Yahn Student Art Show should visit sites.psu.edu/behrendarts for more information.