Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CMU Fires Curator of Miller Gallery, Shifts Program: My Mixed Feelings

Parts of Pittsburgh's art scene are buzzing with anger over the seemingly sudden firing of Astria Suparak, known for trendy, hip and often smart exhibits.
First thought is that CMU is just out to cut some costs, and my guess is that's a factor. A larger issue is that the students and faculty who drove dynamic concepts like Future Tenant, The Waffle Shop & Conflict Kitchen needed something beyond another passive college exhibit space. 

"In a prepared statement, College of Fine Arts Dean Dan Martin said the Miller Gallery will transform from a conventional gallery environment to a combined gallery. Plans include using the gallery for teaching and research space, with room for “installations, seminars, hands-on art-creating workshops, artist lectures and applied research in curatorial/exhibition practices.”

Programming, traditionally handled by the curator, will be determined by a faculty leadership committee representing all five CFA schools: art, architecture, design, music and drama. Associate dean for Interdisciplinary Initiatives Franco Sciannameo will chair the committee."
Sad, that Astria couldn't stick around town as a roving curator, putting together occasional shows @ The Warhol, Mattress Factory, The Miller Gallery and other venues. Pittsburgh lacks that kind of cross pollination.

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