Posts Tagged ‘Urban’

Haven?

Posted: April 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Haven?

This is the other piece I got into “Me Myself and I” at Some Things Looming Gallery in Reading. The opening is Saturday April 12, 1-4 PM, at 526 Washington St., Reading, PA 19601. Since the concept of the self portrait was a broad one, I submitted this work. I worked in the steel industry for a number of years, and can identify with the feeling of a house dwarfed by the mill. The city’s downtown as distant as Oz.

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Small Pour

I am trying to make some smaller pieces to get ready for Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh’s premier art fair, on Sept 6, 7, 8. This is a smaller version of hot steel pouring with a background of steel mills (made of found papers) and Pittsburgh’s bridges.

ImageYou never know while logging 10,000 steps a day when you are going to see something truly breathtaking.

This morning as I stepped outside my door for a walk to the grocery store was one of those mornings.

It was 7:22 AM. The very air had taken on an orange-suffused glow.  There were long strips of clouds the length of the sky, like plowed furrows in a field.  Their salmon color was almost incandescent. I walked to the store in a state of wonder; feeling like the air itself had taken on a magical quality.

By the time I arrived, the clouds had shifted to yellow, then yellow-gray.

While walking to work about 15 minutes later, the clouds strips had morphed to a dull light grey that blended in with the sky. The moment was gone forever.

I didn’t try to get a picture of it.  My camera phone would not have been able to capture the magic.

But yesterday, walking home from work, the golden light of the late afternoon sun lit up a row of old factory buildings, which the deep blue sky complemented.  I did get a picture of that. It reminded me of the most basic inspiration for my art: the beauty in our aging cities.

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I had an interesting experience yesterday.  My “main” art organization, Pittsburgh Society of Artists, had a weekend event called ARTday.  The idea was to go back to our “hippie” origins in the the 1960’s and the very first show the organization had. It was in the parking lot of a bank on a Saturday, and everyone brought their art, stayed around all day taking to customers, and they sold it all and went home! Luckily we weren’t in a parking lot Sunday as it poured rain.

We organized a sort of “pop-up” event. People brought two pieces of art on Saturday and hung it themselves. We had an opening that night, with balloons out front. Then Sunday afternoon we returned and had organized art demonstrations. There was an enamel artist, a pencil portraitist, a wheel thrower and a “ink tape and magic” artist. One of our musical members played his guitar and sang, and many brought food to share. We all got to get to know each other much better, and members of the public who dropped in felt part of the event. We ended up selling 3-4 pieces (unfortunately we didn’t sell out!).

I didn’t sell my pieces, but felt gratified and inspired by some of the comments I got. This piece in particular, called Pittsburgh: Go With the Flow, attracted comment. I think I’ll make it again, a little different this time. I want to stay with the same idea: Pittsburgh as layers. Below the ground the iron ore and coal that first spurred industry here, the rivers, the houses on the hillside, the hills themselves, and the sky. I’ll go without the border this time.

 

This is not a new piece, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. The urban, rust-belt theme, found objects, and tons of hand stitching makes it one of my all time favorites. It is still at the shop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. 36″ x 20.” I remember I thought I’d never get finished with all the hand quilting and embroidery. But I think it looks better that way.