I got over to Unsmoke Systems the new art space in Braddock on Saturday. Unsmoke is a raw studio space in an old catholic School and the opening combined an exhibition of art and installations throughout the 3 floor building as well as a number of artist open studios.
A number of artists made great use of the unique history and vibe of the space. My favorite work was a site specific installation by Carly Parrish(It's the first image) in an old classroom cloakroom which involved a large old mirror at the end of the room who's wall's were covered by strange shadow cutouts of children and whirling black paper which implied a strange unknown narrative, at once playful and disturbing. Part of the works power comes from the weird way one views the room by looking down from a window perch above it sort of like a distant memory, you can't fully grasp. Yes, you do think of Kara Walker, but I think it transcends that.
I also liked Ed Parrish's equally strange dark room of mysterious crude designs that often involved materials like tape and debris.
Chris Kardimbikis's studio was another standout, filled with work that combined narrative and abstraction in unified by a great sense of linear beauty.I also liked the paintings of Stephanie Arbruster, but the paintings that most moved me are way too subtle for me to shoot.
There was also a lot of great work by artists, I can't properly identify.Another, not entirely unexpected treat was some nice work by Swoon right by the entrance.