Sunday, January 10, 2010

Downtown Pittsburgh in January

The last Gallery Crawl of 2009 was on New Year's Eve. I did go downtown, very briefly, for the crawl. I wanted to head out of town before the "festivities" started. I did get into several venues, thinking that I would return the following Wednesday with camera in hand to take a real good look at the work.

Only a handful of galleries were open, however. Future Tenant, 707 and 709 Penn Avenue galleries were closed for installation. Some, unfortunately, were only open for the crawl. My first stop was the Stories exhibit, at 925 Penn Ave.

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Stories is a first-time exhibit of Emphasis Interiors. The concept for the company is to incorporate art into the interior design process. Christine Dregalla plans to produce more of these exhibits in different locations throughout the city. From the show statement --
Stories is an exhibit of art-filled interiors inspired by the narratives of our lives and the meaning we assign to the places we call home. Whether one is a thrilling mystery, an epic saga or an esoteric poem, a customized home reflects the lives unfolding there.

As you can see from the above image, Ms. Dregalla has admirably combined art as well as fine crafts into an interior presentation. Stories is available for viewing Wednesday - Fridays, through the end of January. There is a closing reception planned for February 1 as well as other events and artists talks throughout the month of January. Check here for details and contact information.

One of the venues that I visited on New Year's Eve was 937 Liberty Ave. The third floor was open, with an interesting mix; there was a gospel band, tables of books and a collection of Teenie Harris' photographs. I have seen some of Teenie Harris' burlesque and cabaret photographs before, but never such an extensive collection of them in one place. These were particularly wonderful images,mostly take at the Little Paris Club in the Hill District. I checked the online database for some of the images from this exhibit, but only found the tamer ones. I don't have any images to show you, but the venue is open every Friday for Reverand Deryck Tines' Lunchtime Gospel at 12:15. If you are downtown, try to swing by. It was an amazing collection of drag portraits.

My last stop for the day was SPACE gallery for the Behind Our Scenes exhibit. From the show statement --
Our goal for Behind Our Scenes was twofold. We wanted to both give the artists working 'backstage' in Pittsburgh's art scene their own chance in the spotlight as well as provide an opportunity to celebrate and further unite this community of artists.

I know a lot of artists in the Pittsburgh area. For the life of me, I can't think of a single soul that is supporting themselves solely on their pursuit of the creation of art. All of them are engaged in activities, including teaching, sales, construction or working in a non-profit, in order to pay their bills.

Artists don't create in a vacuum; their art is influenced strongly by their experiences. In some ways, it is more difficult to express your own aesthetics and themes when your day is spent surrounded by the works generated by other artists. In some ways, working for a non-profit arts provider and still creating your own work is one of the most difficult things that you can do as an artist. Many of the artists in this exhibit are surrounded by strong work by masters for a majority of their time.

Another general note about the exhibit: There were a few works that incorporated audio, all of which were playing at the same time. It was a little distracting and difficult to isolate those works so that you could appreciate them on their own merits.

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The above work, Nathan Hall's Stalactite, is beautiful. It is this softly glimmering work, with a subtle sound component. I won't try to project a philosophical interpretation on this. For me, it was purely an aesthetic enjoyment of a beautiful object.

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Nicole Rosato displayed a series of portraits, If you were a place you'd be..., for this exhibit. There were twelve of these little gems. They are lovely.

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This was a very energetic work by Jim Dugas.

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Curt Riegelnegg Housing Plans for the New Fiscal Year, Page 1

Mr. Riegelnegg had three works in this series. There was something very appealing about them.

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Loved this Exquisite Corpse. It was created by Katherine Young, Jocelyn Horner and Molly Weaver, all of whom work at the Mattress Factory.

Space
Behind Our Scenes
December 11 - February 13, 2010

*Behind Our Scenes artists represent the following Pittsburgh art museums and galleries:The Carnegie Museum of Art, Oakland
The Mattress Factory, North Side
The Andy Warhol Museum, North Side
Fe Gallery, Lawrenceville
Future Tenant, Downtown
Wood Street Galleries, Downtown

2 comments:

Jessica Fenlon said...

That exquisite corpse is striking, Susan. Thanks for posting!

jacob said...

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Claudia

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