Featured Premier Artist: Gerri McCritty
Gerri McCritty is an immigrant from Liberia, West Africa. Gerri came to the USA on the Student Exchange program during high school. Her plan was to complete her high school and college education and return to Liberia. She started college, but had to drop out because a civil war erupted in Liberia and her parents could no longer support her. She spent years in survival mode working odd jobs, and living in fear under an expired Student Visa until she finally obtained her US citizenship. Eventually, Gerri gathered up the courage, and mentally prepared herself to go back to college as a non-traditional student. As of today, Gerri has accomplished her dreams by obtaining her BA degree in Art from Millersville University, opening her own gallery, PAVAA Gallery in downtown Lancaster, and becoming known as a multi-disciplinary visual and performing artist. Gerri says, “Presently, I am proud to say that I am living proof that it’s never too late to learn. One can learn until the day they die. Never give up on your dreams, they can come true. But! You have to be willing to do the work.” Gerri has exhibited and performed in venues locally, regionally, and internationally, and her art can be found and purchased on PAVAA Gallery’s website and social media.
GERRI’S ARTIST STATEMENT
My objective has always been to share my passion for art and music to educate, provide a form of therapy, to provide entertainment, and help people bring out their creativity and originality.
Most of the art in PAVAA is based on a symbolic reflection of my African and African American roots. I choose to express my creations by using organic materials of everyday life, and found objects. I am inspired by my West African culture and philosophy of carrying burdens, which I refer to as loads of life, centering the spirit, respecting mother earth, the universe, and showing love of the human race.
It is important to me that my creations reveal the INDIGENOUS, the customs and characteristics of a culture, and honor the traditions of our ancestors. The art in PAVAA is dedicated to all NATIVE OR INDIGENOUS customs whether African, Asian, American, or European. Gerri’s motto is: Art + Music = Love