Archive for the ‘art’ Category

My Solo In Chelsea

My primary residence these days is in Pittsburgh but I am having a small solo show of my paintings in Chelsea right now. These works were done in 2002 and 2003 when I subletting a studio in Williamsburg. I will be in next week to see it if I can.

One Warm Hand, Too

The Internet has no lack of cuteness, art or Pittsburghiness, but any combination of those three things will immediately get my attention. Jennifer Gooch’s website, One Cold Hand certainly qualifies – it’s a database of single gloves. It’s sort of a mashup of Found and Goodwill, framed in a gentle, observational art project.

But it’s not all about the art – also allows the loser to locate the lost (by dropping the site an email), and for users to submit the gloves that they find in their sloshy, soggy Pittsburgh winter travels – just drop the glove in a handy-dandy drop-box at many neighborhood coffee shops (see the site for a list).

Flow Fest


Even in the rain, the Flow Fest on Washington’s Landing today was a delight. Sponsored by PA CleanWays of Allegheny County, it’s a free art/music/eco festival celebrating Pittsburgh’s Rivers and it’s going on until 5:00 today. Great music, people to talk to, and hands-on art-making for all ages.


Thinking about Isolation

This is sort of a cut and paste job referring to two old posts I did on cultural isolation of Pittsburgh’s visual arts world. I wrote the post so I think it’s ok to just paste in here.

Since I have been here, I have been trying to explain the level of cultural isolation and the circular dead end nature of most art careers here. What happens in Pittsburgh stays in Pittsburgh. First, I want to acknowledge that the only other place I know well, first hand is NY and that is a tough comparison. But, from what I can see, when compared to most mid sized cities, and certainly to cities with as many major cultural and educational institutions- the level of isolation disturbing. I don’t think that this is something that can be explained by lack of exhibition spaces or lack of funding because, for a city of it’s size, there is a lot of money spent. I also don’t think that a general lack of nice exhibition spaces is a major factor. In fact on a relative basis, getting into some type of show here is much easier than in most places for local artists.

The spread out and inconvenient nature of things explains a lot, as does the basic lack of marketing to people out of town ( look at how few institutions list themselves in the Mid Atlantic Gallery guide and how few images and info is on most cultural websites and the lack of web links or any kind of city wide guide. ) But, I think the “separate but equal” situation in which there are relatively few spaces that regularly mix, Pittsburgh and non Pittsburgh artists is one of the biggest factors. When, you look at exhibition spaces in most cities ( and I have looked at a lot online as well visited some ) what you see is a lot of shows – some of which are touring- that mix local and non local artists. This creates links with other cities – artist’s come to see and install their shows, and critics, writers, collectors and other artists who follow those artists pay attention to what’s going on. This interaction often leads to press attention and the chance that local artists will be invited into shows in other cities and all kinds of “buzz”. If I ask people in the art world in other cities, which places they have heard of here- they almost always know the ones that regularly show out of town artists. Quite a few NY dealers seem to know Wood Street Gallery, but few know about Space or the Center For the Arts ( though they are kind of better exhibitions spaces and bigger )

Artist’s here have to question whether this “separate but equal” system is really in their interest and what it’s full effects are. There is no doubt that on some level it may mean more exhibition space available to local artists than there might be otherwise. But, it also undermines the whole purpose of showing ones work and having it taken seriously on more than a local level.

Blogs At Work

Looking at some of the recent posts by artists in “The Blogger Show” shows the role they can play in building awareness and connections between artists across the country.

Sharon Butler, an artist, professor and recently active blogger from Connecticut has posts about the world of art.

One post is about an upcomming show of in Bushwick, Brooklyn of work curated from the legendary Pierogi Flat Files. A show in a place not likely to get a lot of traditional media coverage.

Then she does a post making us aware of a group of shows in the Baltimore and DC area that relate to obsessive and handmade work.
There are also three recent posts that relate to shows in the Pittsburgh area, that she likely never got to see in person, Snowblind @ Space Gallery, Plein-Air Painters @ Watercolors Gallery and William Bouguereau @ The Frick.

Martin Bromirsky posts about a bunch of reviews in The New York Times and Art In America.

Bill Gusky, also of Connecticut talks about the work of a little known Chicago artist and blogger.

Eva Lake is likely to rub in the fact that she is going to Venice.

Blogger Show Update

We are still working out the details on our “Blogger Show”. Here aere some of the details as of now. We have alo set up a blog with RSS feeds from the blogs of most of the artists in the show. Boxheart Gallery will also be showing the work of art blogger, Tracy Helgeson in November.

Pittsburgh… In November, Digging Pitt Pittsburgh PA) will begin a joint effort with Agni Gallery (New York, NY) and Panza Gallery (Millvale, PA) to present The Blogger Show. The exhibits showcase the work of thirty artists whose common interest is in clarifying artistic discourse through their blogs. All of the exhibits will take place between November 10, 2007 and January 12, 2008. Free and open to the public.

Stay current on artists and details on The Blogger Show Blog

The Blogger Show Blog is —

A place to get acquainted with the artists and their blogs

A forum for discussion

A central clearinghouse for details and updates about the exhibits and other projects from art bloggers.

The Blogger Show

Digging Pitt Gallery began Digging Pittsburgh Arts in June 2006. The experience has been enriching for the gallery. Through active participation in the blogging community, Digging Pitt has brought new artists to the flat file archive, with results like the Pittsburgh Alumni show, and now, the Blogger Show.

Many of the bloggers put an enormous amount of time and thought into expressing their dedication to the arts. Posts range from journals to coverage of local art exhibits to political issues. The most frequented sites add an element of activity in the comments section. Most art bloggers welcome comments and encourage lively debate.

It isn’t just the artist bloggers, although there are quite a few of them. It is also the art lovers that have marshaled their personal resources to express their thoughts about what is happening in this ephemeral community. James Kalm points out in his Brooklyn Rail article, (Gangs of New York ) that the nature of the blog reflects the current pluralism that is a hallmark of contemporary art, with so many disciplines and aesthetic systems coexisting.

Tim O’Reilly defines…

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I’ve elsewhere called “harnessing collective intelligence.”)

Arts bloggers are using this technology to redefine the role of arts in American culture. The interactive aspect of blogging has encouraged the growth of artistic discourse in unexpected ways, with a shift in who and how art is discussed. One of the most significant contributions of artist bloggers to this dialog is an honest appraisal of process and theory. Using the platform of the internet to express these thoughts has included a multitude of elements. Many artists load images onto their blogs. Another aspect of the online community that has yet to make its impact felt is in the arena of regional arts that makes an exhibit in Detroit is accessible as one in New York.

The artists in the exhibits at Agni, Digging Pitt and Panza Galleries represent a range of visual disciplines and aesthetics. The one commonality is active blogging. Some use blogging as a platform for discussing issues facing visual artists while others treat the blog as a public journal. Whatever approach or combination of approaches, all have brought a level of clarity to artistic discourse. These exhibits are a reflection, in physical space, of the ephemeral blogosphere. And by its very nature, an extension of the guiding philosophy behind Digging Pitt’s flat file archive.

Excerpt from Bill Gusky’s article (Artblog Comments)

A number of artists have entered the blog arena, writing about art and the art world as they participate in it through their visual work. There have always been artists who write about art, and at times their writing has been highly influential; Donald Judd is one name that leaps to mind. As a new art narrative emerges, writers of all stripes – critics, historians, curators and even art bloggers — will play a large part in shaping, interpreting and defining it.

This exhibition focuses on the work of artists who are active art blog writers. The work you see here emerged in the studio in near-simultaneity with the artist’s written expressions. These twin efforts – art making and blog writing — sometimes appear to flow together and intertwine beautifully, and at other times almost seem to be in diametric opposition.

The relationship between written word and the created artwork suggests the erratic flow of a culture in which propaganda freely mingles with news journalism and science is polluted with articles of faith. It seems at times that the only appropriate response to the apparent untrustworthiness of all our societal and cultural expressions is a schizophrenic call-and-response in which everyone probes for even the merest scintilla of truth using tools of decidedly mixed sincerity. The questions that emerge and the answers that may or may not accompany them will hopefully provide valuable insights into ongoing cultural developments that are incredibly difficult to discern amid the maelstrom of media that beset us all, but that must ultimately be discerned if we are to gain an understanding of where we’re headed as a culture.

Appearing at – Agni Gallery (New York NY)

Nancy Baker (Raleigh, NC) – Tire Shop

Martin Bromirski – (Richmond VA and Limbo) Anaba

Sharon Butler (Mystic, CT) – Two Coats of Paint

Lisa Call (Parker, CO) – New Work and Inspiration

Rose Clancy (Pittsburgh, PA) – paperWorks

Kevin Clancy (Boston MA and Pittsburgh PA) – soft soft pink pulls through the ivory void

Susan Constanse (Pittsburgh, PA) – Oranje

Warren Craghead – drawer (Virginia)

Mark Creegan (Jacksonville Florida) –

Christiane D (Pittsburgh PA) – Christiane D

Ann Gordon (Detroit MI) – Detroitarts

Cable Griffith (Seattle WA) – Cable Griffith

David Grim (Pittsburgh, PA) – Serendipity

Bill Gusky (Canton, CT) – Artblog Comments

Tracy Helgeson – Works by Tracy Helgeson

Stephanie Lee Jackson (Brooklyn NY) – Pretty Lady

JT Kirkland (Washington, D.C.) – Thinking About Art

Mary Klein (Minneapolis, MN) – stillifes

Eva Lake (Portland, OR) –Eva Lake

Steven LaRose – (Ashland OR) Steven LaRose

Michael Lease (Richmond VA) – Annabelle’s Aspirin

Rob Matthews (Philadelphia PA) – Matthews The Younger

John Morris (Pittsburgh, PA) – Digging Pittsburgh Arts

Loren Munk (Brooklyn NY) – James Kalm

Elizabeth Perry (Pittsburgh, PA) – Woolgathering

David Pohl (Pittsburgh, PA) – find the time to rhyme

Chris Rywalt – (Wood Ridge NJ) NYC Art

Marc Snyder (Pittsburgh, PA) – Fiji Island Mermaid Press

Digging Pitt Gallery (Pittsburgh PA)

Martin Bromirski – (Richmond VA) Anaba

Sharon Butler (Mystic, CT) – Two Coats of Paint

Lisa Call (Parker, CO) – New Work and Inspiration

Rose Clancy (Pittsburgh, PA) – paperWorks

Kevin Clancy (Boston MA and Pittsburgh PA) – soft soft pink pulls through the ivory void

Warren Craghead – drawer

Ann Gordon (Detroit MI) – Detroitarts

Cable Griffith (Seattle WA) – Cable Griffith

Tracy Helgeson – Works by Tracy Helgeson

Marc Snyder (Pittsburgh PA ) Fiji Island Mermaid Press

Best Hipster Shows How It’s Done


I think it’s been fixed but someone vandalised DADA’S Wikipedia entry. Nothing is sacred.

A Treasure In Millvale

Pittsburgh can be a very depressing place to live because one is often surrounded by treasures which too few people know about, care enough about or have the cash to save. Please, everyone make an appointment or go to church to see the amazing murals done by the artist Maxo Vanka in Millvale. I recommend a tour since the volunteers know and care a lot about the place. The woman who gave me the tour watched Vanka paint the murals as a child.

I was there once, in early July and I tried to take some shots (more) and my friend did a post. Sadly, the church sustained damage from a leak during huricane Ivan, which I hope has not gotten worse.

Comming Soon : The Blogger Show

Since I have had my gallery,I have been trying to figure out ways to better connect my gallery and the whole Pittsburgh Art scene to the world. From November through January, I will be putting together a series of shows of artists from both within and outside the region who have blogs. I will actually be extending my meager funds to extend the show into a NY space in the month of November as well as extending the show in my Pittsburgh spaces. Panza Gallery, in Millvale will also be hosting related shows in December and possibly January and Boxheart Gallery, in Bloomfield will be hosting a solo by Tracy Helgeson, an artist and blogger from upstate NY.

You can follow the evolution of the shows and related online projects on this blog and on my gallery website.

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