The Artists

Edward Grout


Edward Grout is a professional artist for over 42 years and a teaching roster artist with the PCA since 1997. He studied at Parson School of Design, NYC and received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating magna cum laude.

He works in all stages of glass work – including hot glass, fusing, kiln forming and off-hand glass techniques. “I make art as a way in which I may speak aloud to and with others about those things of a spiritual or social nature which move me,” Ed states. Among the ideas that move and inspire him most is the idea of myth — its place in modern society and the human impulse to create it: “Thinkers of many different disciplines have found that myth represents an absolute truth and affords insight into the indescribable realities of the soul.  It is within the domain of art that contemporary mythology will most likely be expressed.” Reflecting this attitude, Ed’s work makes use of archetypal imagery, symbols and elemental concepts.

Ed facilitates many interactive art projects and believes in the power of the creative process as a resource for positive change in communities.

Ed is the Co-Founder of The Looking Glass Art Project.

Thomas Ferraro


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Thomas Ferraro (B.1954, American) makes paintings, sculptures and public art installations at his studio located in Erie, Pennsylvania.  His paintings are characterized by imagery of everyday people, objects and nature in an atmosphere where innocence and identity play an important role. By parodying social issues and certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he makes work that can be seen as portraits of our 21st century society. Sometimes they appear peculiar and quirky, at other times, they seem directly targeted to address the vexing problems of globalization, including inequity, diversity and other critical social issues of our time.

His works demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century and into the early decades of the twenty first century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other.   Influenced by his work as a teaching artist and creator of community driven public art projects, his paintings are often about contact with people, architecture and landscape.  He  examines his subjects in less obvious ways and sometimes leave his narrative open to interpretation.  

Thomas continues to exhibit extensively and has contributed to the growing emergence of community driven public art projects throughout the Northwest Pennsylvania region.  He has served as the lead artist in over thirty mural and sculpture projects since 2010 and has mentored many regional artists on his methodology and artistic practice. 

Steve Mik

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Steve Mik is an Erie Artist who has been painting murals for the last 15 years. He has a passion for working with community and inspiring people through the use of public Art. He believes that public art has the ability to take artwork outside of institutions and galleries and put it directly in-front of the people. It also has the ability to rapidly transform and beautify the landscape of a city as we see with the purposeful placemaking initiative.  Steve believes that public art is an essential part of building stronger communities. From 2009 – 2011 Steve served as a member of Keystone SMILES Americorps where he worked organizing community service projects and working with many underserved populations. Many of the projects he organized were murals and gave him his first taste of engaging his community. This experience taught him that when the community has a hands on experience with the creation of a mural or piece of art it creates a greater sense of pride and ownership. It is this pride that makes people feel connected to the spaces they inhabit, it is this connection that we seek to build with all of the stakeholders we work with. 

After working in the arts for many years on his own and completing over a dozen murals in the City of Erie, in 2019 Steve was invited to join the Looking Glass Art Project. Since then he has worked on a number of different projects from murals to sculptures, and has also been  added to the roster of teaching artists through Erie Arts and Culture. Steve has found that sharing his knowledge and expertise through teaching not only accomplishes his goal of building stronger communities but also fills him with a sense of accomplishment that he finds extremely rewarding.


Cathy Ferraro

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Erie based artist, Cathy Ferraro has been active in the arts for the past forty years.   Early in her career, Cathy was drawn to fashion design and illustration while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  While living in New York City, she also took life drawing classes at the Art Students League of New York and continues to hone her drawing skills in her home studio and Open Figure Drawing sessions working from live models.

Cathy’s evolution into painting began when working on large scale mural projects with the artist team of the Looking Glass Art Project where she has learned various techniques of mural making and working extensively with acrylic pigments.   She continues to paint in acrylic and watercolor mediums and has received dozens of commissions for her dog portraits.  Recently, she was awarded an honorable mention for the second consecutive year for her entries in the annual Jay and Mona Kang juried annual exhibition at the Barber National Institute.

Dean Ferraro


Pittsburgh- based graphic designer and illustrator, Dean Ferraro, has been working with the Looking Glass Art Project since 2012 as their digital consultant. Dean graduated from the Community College of Allegheny County with a degree in graphic communications in 2018. He currently freelances and is employed at Manchester Bidwell Corporation as their communications specialist. You can see his work at