Private Project

Twentysix Wawa Stores

Twentysix Wawa Stores examines the Pennsylvania-based convenience store and gas purveyor Wawa. Wawa means wild goose in the indigenous American language of the Ojibwe. The Wawa business started in 1902 as a dairy farm located in Wawa, Pennsylvania, an area first named as such by land owner Edward Worth. The film follows the Lincoln Highway, starting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and culminating at the farthest north Wawa store in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The Lincoln Highway was established in 1913 as the automobile became the dominant means of transportation. It is one of the first transcontinental highways that stretched across the United States. Much like Edward Rucha’s quietly contemplative Twentysix Gasoline Stations , published in 1962, Eric Weeks’ Twentysix Wawa Stores unobtrusively observes the phenomenon of automobile culture in America in the 2020’s. We are now at a crossroad, as General Motors recently announced a new policy to sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The use of internal combustion engines in transportation vehicles is ending, and convenience stores based on fossil fuel sales will need to adapt.

The film points to Rucha’s Twentysix Gasoline Stations by referencing the same design as his book, as well as the subject of gasoline stations. A companion book to the film Twentysix Wawa Stores is a facsimile of Rucha’s, which furthers the dialogue between his seminal work and Weeks’. The film was shot during the Covid-19 pandemic, and documents a particular time in the history of the United States, when masks were necessary to enter stores, and oftentimes two trips were required to retrieve the forgotten mask left in the car.

All of Eric Weeks’ films document and contemplate the profound technological and cultural changes currently experienced in the Northeast of the United States. The short film Twentysix Wawa Stores will be exhibited at Street Road Artists in 2022 and the book, published under the Street Road Press imprint, will be released concurrently, marking the 60th anniversary of the first edition of Edward Ruscha’s book.

  • Eric Weeks
  • Eric Weeks
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Super 16
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Eric Weeks

Eric Weeks is an artist using photography and video, a curator, and Chair of the Photography & Video Department at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. His short films and photographs contemplate our shared human condition. He has exhibited his photographs and short films nationally and internationally, including in Australia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and the United States. His work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Maison Européene de la Photographie, Bibliothèque Nationale, Yale University Art Gallery and the Sir Elton John Collection, among others. He is the author of three monographs: World Was in the Face of the Beloved, A Rose By Any Other Name and Twentysix Wawa Stores. Portfolios have appeared in FotoNostrum, Dodho, Zoom, Photo +, Fahrenheit and Dear Dave. Awards include a City Corps Artist Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts; an Individual Creative Artist Fellowship Grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; Open Call Winner, Art Speaks Out, ikonoTV, Berlin; Finalist, Black Maria Film Festival, Jersey City; and Semi-Finalist, G2 Green Earth Film Festival, Los Angeles. Weeks received a MFA from Yale University, and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. His work is represented by Galerie Catherine & André Hug in Paris.

Add Director Biography