Patricia Yahn Retrospective Opens Feb. 15 at Behrend

Penn State Behrend will recognize the art of Erie resident Patricia S. Yahn with a retrospective in the Lilley Library that opens this week.

Beginning with an opening reception on Wednesday, Feb., 15, the Patricia S. Yahn Retrospective will run through Erie’s Gallery Night on Friday, March 10. The retrospective recognizes the evolution of Yahn’s art and honors a gift that was given by Yahn and her son, Greg Yahn, in the fall to expand Penn State Behrend’s annual student art show.

“We’ve selected more than 20 pieces, from hundreds, that give the Erie community a glimpse into the development of Mrs. Yahn’s vast body of artwork over the decades,” said Heather Cole, a lecturer in digital arts who coordinates the student art show. “This retrospective provides us with a deeper appreciation of her life in art.”

Yahn was a watercolorist who began her art career at the Trask department store in downtown Erie. Her life-sized drawings of models wearing the store’s clothes were displayed in the store’s windows in the years before mannequins were commonplace. She also created the store’s signs and window dressings.

In later years, Yahn, now 88, focused on interior design, opening a business called Interiors of Erie in 1982. The business provided materials and consultation for residential and commercial properties and projects.

The retrospective’s opening reception begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Reed Union Building lot or any visitor parking lots, and visitor parking permits can be obtained from the Police Services office in Erie Hall.

Guests are also welcome to visit the retrospective anytime between its opening and Erie’s Gallery Night.

For more information, contact Cole at or 814-898-6420.

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