Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daydreaming about Pittsburgh Art, Part Two by Rick Byerly

What's this? Daydreaming about Pittsburgh Art? If you missed my first one check it out. This next one has occupied a lot of time, except for maybe when I was trekking Yellowstone in May. It sprang from one of those things where you're daydreaming what you would do if you won or somehow came into a lot of money. Not a completely ridiculous scenario save I don't play the lottery. It's not like daydreaming about what I would do if I possessed superpowers. Anyways with all this imaginary money I daydream about starting food co-ops and funding Pittsburgh based retraining groups like Bidwell Training Center and other projects to address the bloated college level educational experience which now is worth virtually nothing.

Beyond those important issues I think of how I would help out Pittsburgh artists and how to keep them here (like me). An almost constant daydream is the Pittsburgh Artist Museum. A museum featuring the talent of all types of visual art on the North Shore near the Warhol and Mattress Factory to further attract visitors and residents alike to see and buy the artwork which arises out of this New Pittsburgh. The art would be purchased on the gallery level thereby continuing to support galleries and artists alike and then the art would placed in the Pittsburgh Artist Museum, or Pittsburgh Art Museum if you like, on display and for sale at a higher price. When artwork is sold the artist would then get another percentage from the museum (if living) in the field of say 70% and the museum getting 30% for operating expenses.

Wherever this large amount of money would come from to fund this project it would be fully invested and only the % made over the principal would be used to buy art and keep the building running, thereby ensuring the continuing existence of the museum. In addition to buying artwork it would also fund public art, both with local and overall artistic angles, eg from sculptures of Pittsburgh Jazz legends to abstract art murals.

I'm amazed at how much money many non-profits and foundations have in the Pittsburgh region and how little they directly benefit actual Pittsburgh artists. So maybe someone has a lot of money out there they want to see go toward supporting Pittsburgh artists. Send me an email! Or maybe the Pittsburgh Foundation and the like is looking to include people on their committees who have a lot of ideas on how to keep Pittsburgh artists in Pittsburgh. Give me a call! Until then I may still be daydreaming and working on my fine art photography either in Pittsburgh or somewhere I can survive on my passions.

Rick Byerly

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