Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gold In Braddock PA Pittsburgh Art Exhibit May 1 June 5 2010

Show dates: May 1 – June 5, 2010
Gallery open weekends 12:00 to 5:00pm and by appointment.

Opening Night Party: May 1, 5:00 – 10:00pm
UnSmoke Systems, 1137 Braddock Avenue, Braddock, PA 15104

Gold in Braddock is an exhibition featuring artists working in all media from Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The artists have been invited to explore the theme of gold, including its physical, visual, monetary, social, historic, symbolic, decorative and sacred properties, in the town of Braddock, PA.

Braddock is a historic cradle of the steel industry in Western Pennsylvania. The population plummeted during the 1970s and 1980s with the closing of steel mills in the area. The community now has lost 90% of its population, buildings and businesses. It has gone from thriving boomtown to picture of post-industrial decay and vacancy. Braddock is trying to survive, but life there is not easy. Retail amenities hardly exist in Braddock, no prepared foods, no ATM, no coffee shop. There isn't a grocery store, or a video store. But there is an arts space. With the economic recession, and financial hardship across the country, Braddock’s survival provides a model of hope.

Over the last few years, the town of Braddock has begun to attract artists, artisans, and others looking for a place to live and work creatively. As a part of Braddock’s renewal program, the Mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, has invited the "urban pioneer, artist, or misfit to be a part of a new experimental effort." Artists are a group of people who create value and their economic impact on neighborhoods has been well documented. For this show, seventeen accomplished artists have responded to the call issued by Mayor Fetterman “to leverage Braddock’s remaining assets with new ideas, energy, and individuals to spark a cultural and economic revitalization.” Artists are investing their ideas and energy in Gold in Braddock. All of the artists in the exhibition are making new work created specifically for this show. After visiting Braddock, artists from across the country will return to their own communities having collaborated on, and witnessed, the Braddock experiment.

Gold in Braddock exploits the polarity between the exterior context (the steel town) and the interior space (the art gallery) to raise questions and cause reflection. In the spirit of Braddock’s experimental environment, this show is also an experiment. It asks, what can art do in this context?

The show will also investigate possibilities for transformation. Like the alchemists, who tried to turn lead into gold, perhaps there is a way to transmute present circumstances into (metaphorical) gold. Gold is a metal that looks like an ordinary rock until humans extract, polish, manipulate and socially establish its beauty.

For more information please contact:
Elise Adibi, Organizing Artist,
Jeanine Hall, Director, UnSmoke Systems,

Organized by artist Elise Adibi, in Partnership with Pittsburgh Filmmakers/ Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and UnSmoke Systems Artspace.

Participating artists: Elise Adibi, Keil Borrman, Pilar Conde, Jenelle Covino, Mark Dilks, Tracey Goodman, Violet Hopkins, Jon Lewis, Abby Manock, David Muenzer, Kate Nesin, Julian Pozzi, Jon Rajkovich, Annie Shaw, Sara Stracey, Josh Tonsfeldt and Dan Torop.

This show is made possible with generous support from the foundation community in Pittsburgh.

Artist bios

Elise Adibi
New York, NY and Pittsburgh, PA
Elise Adibi's work investigates the nature of abstraction through painting and photography. In 2008 she received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and in 2007 the Terra Foundation awarded her a residency in Giverny France. She has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and Brooklyn College and she has shown at the Hosfelt Gallery in New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2007. She also has a BA from Swarthmore College in Philosophy and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. More.

Keil Borrman
Brooklyn, NY
Keil Borrman received his MFA from Columbia University in 2008 and his BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. He is currently artist- in-residence at Denniston Hill. He is a founding member of the collaborative project, Die Storung. More.

Pilar Conde
Brooklyn, NY
Pilar Conde was recently awarded an Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Socrates Art Park in Queens, NY. She has been awarded residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and PS1 Artist Residency Program. She has shown at P.S. 1 Institute of Contemporary Art in NY and numerous galleries in LA, most recently at Kristi Engle Gallery. In 2009, she curated "The Fuzzy Set" at LAXART. She has an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jenelle Covino
Brooklyn, NY
Jenelle Covino's work is based in photography and often incorporates printmaking, collage and other physical alterations of photographic prints. She draws inspiration for her images from landscape, narrative, and exchange. Covino holds an MFA from Columbia University's Visual Arts program and a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University, CT. Most recently her work has been exhibited in Paris as part of Jeune Creation 2009 and in NY at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts as part of The Arctic Book Club: Artist's respond to An African in Greenland.

Mark Dilks
Philadelphia, PA
Mark Dilks uses thickly textured paint to mine visual experience and the line between abstraction and representation. He has worked for numerous art organizations in Philadelphia. Most recently, he worked as the Arts Coordinator for Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia's Children's Museum, where he experienced firsthand the visual storytelling of children. His painting process, which emphasizes learning through experience and observation, is informed by observing how children navigate between playfulness and self-consciousness. He studied at Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. To quote a recent review of a group show, Dragnet, at Sage Gallery in Philadelphia, "Mark Dilk's thickly impastoed portrait of a man that could be based on a colonial American portrait, Take Out My Eyes, is as poignant as it is rich and tactile." (Edith Newhall, Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 16, 2009).

Tracey Goodman
Brooklyn, NY
Tracey Goodman received her MFA from the NYU/Steinhardt Studio Art Program in 2009. She has shown at Tina Kim Gallery in NY, Peres Projects in Berlin, Soap Factory in Minneapolis and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn. She participated in the Artist in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2007. More.

Violet Hopkins
Los Angeles, CA
Violet Hopkins holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Selected exhibitions include: Foxy Production, NY (solo); Uschi Kolb Gallery, Karlsruhe, Germany; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; Claremont Museum of Art, CA; Gallery Sora, Tokyo; Galeria Moriarty, Madrid; BaliceHertling, Paris; Rubell Family Museum, Miami; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; David Kordansky Gallery, LA; Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London (with Lesley Vance); Peres Projects, Berlin; The Altoids Curiously Strong Collection; Deitch Projects, NY; David Zwirner Gallery, NY; CRG, NY; and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo. Hopkins' work is included in the Jumex Collection, Mexico City; the Sender Collection, NY; and in the collections of the Rubell Family Museum, Miami; the Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris; the New Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. More.

Jon Lewis
Brooklyn NY and Pittsburgh PA
Jon's work explores the continuum between abstraction and representation through the mediums of photography and painting. For the last four years, he has been working with gum bichromate printing, a mid 19th century photographic process that involves painting a light-sensitive emulsion directly onto paper. He has shown across the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Abby Manock
Brooklyn, NY
Abby Manock received her MFA from Columbia University in 2007. Her work has been included in exhibitions in New York, London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Miami, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her performative sculpture has been showcased by the Deitch Projects Art Parade in NYC in 2006 and at Performagia 2008, in Mexico City, and at major concert festivals around the US. She has lectured at the Art Center of South Florida and Bowdoin College, and teaches drawing at Columbia University. More.

David Muenzer
Philadelphia, PA and Pittsburgh PA
David Muenzer received his B.A. in painting from Yale University in 2009. He has exhibited in New Haven, New York, Norfolk, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA. His most recent project was opening a pop-up gallery in New York for a 2 month group show, "Recess!"

Kate Nesin
Brooklyn, NY
Kate Nesin is a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, where she specializes in postwar and contemporary art. Her dissertation examines the little-known, little-shown sculptures of painter Cy Twombly. She has been a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art since April 2006, lecturing frequently on the permanent collection as well as on artists as varied as Buckminster Fuller and Paul McCarthy, Georgia O'Keeffe and Dan Graham. Kate has also lectured on Twombly's work at Tate Modern in London and the Art Institute of Chicago. Her publications include essays on Richard Serra for the Guggenheim Bilbao, the journal Parkett, and Gagosian Gallery, and essays on Twombly for Tate Papers and Gagosian Gallery. More.

Julian Pozzi
New York, NY
Julian Pozzi graduated from the CalArts MFA program in 1997. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. His paintings on paper weave architecture, bodies and landscape into intricately gridded and ghostly structures. Buildings and bodies are wildly improvised, treating space and the human form as both formal and concrete possibilities. In both large and small scale works, space contracts, envelops, and flattens out - playfully and sometimes implausibly. Through hot and cool colors, varied mark marking and line, Pozzi's work suggests multiple readings and vantage points within each piece, offering the viewer different and transitory interpretations of apprehended space. His process of thoughtful wavering between fidelity and improvisation yields transformations from exterior to interior, and from architectural to organic. More.

Jon Rajkovich
Los Angeles, CA
Jon Rajkovich is an artist and choreographer with extensive exhibition history at venues such as the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica and the Lisa Boyle Gallery in Chicago. His work has also shown at the Axel Raben Gallery in New York, NY, the Susanne Hillberry Gallery in Fernadale, MI, and the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art in Jacksonville, FL. His work has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun Times, Time Out, Art Papers, and Art in America to name a few, and he has been awarded fully funded residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Vermont Studio Center, and Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Write School of Architecture. Jon is also founder of the dance/artist collective Sinergismo, which has performed at venues including Piccolo Spoleto; and has recently created Crater, a multi-media project with LA based duo Dance Paradigm, which premiered at Theater Artaud in San Francisco.

Annie Shaw
Brooklyn, NY
Annie received her MFA at Columbia University in 2007. Her "Flyerman" project was recently highlighted in a group show with veteran political artists such as Guerrilla Girls, the Residents, Gran Fury at La Casa Enciendida, Madrid. She has also shown at LAXART, Monte Vista Projects, and Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, and is the founding member of Outpost For Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Annie Shaw creates environments, situations, videos, and installations of everyday objects. Her work often deals with disparities among commercial, sentimental, aesthetic and personal notions of value. Annie is known for organizing the five-year project series "Leefahsalung at the New China Town Barber Shop" located in what had been a community business for more than sixty years in Los Angeles' Chinatown. The series focused on works where process, collaboration, and public participation were paramount. In another project, "Hey, You Never Know," she organized a lotto pool for over a hundred artists. Using the social mechanism of the Mega Millions Lottery, this work examined the uneasy relationship between art and wealth, and explored how money and class are manifested geographically in Los Angeles and New York.

Sara Stracey
New York, NY
Sara Stracey's work has been exhibited recently at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Robert Lehman Art Center in New York. Sara has also worked with the architecture firm, SITE to develop many designs including the Shake Shack in New York. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2008 and she has a BFA from RISD.

Josh Tonsfeldt
Brooklyn, NY
Josh Tonsfeldt's work has been exhibited recently in group shows such as ‘One Minute More' at the Kitchen in New York and ‘Phot(o)bjects' at Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver. In 2008 he had a one-person exhibition at Simon Preston Gallery in New York and in February he will have a one person exhibition at Franco Soffiantino in Turin, Italy. More.

Dan Torop
Brooklyn, NY
Dan Torop is a photographer and digital artist. His work often deals with a subjective relationship to the land and the inhabitants thereof. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally since the mid-90's, including solo shows at Derek Eller Gallery and video screened at the New York Video Festival. His digital Ocean has been installed at institutions such as the Exploratorium and the American Museum of the Moving Image. Cabinet, Triple Canopy, Modern Painters, Purple Magazine, Paper Monument, and Columbia Journal have published his writing and images. He has curated or co-curated several shows, including the 2006 alternative photo-history "A Rabbit As King of the Ghosts." His projects have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The New Yorker, Art on Paper, Flash Art, Modern Painters, Time Out New York, and other publications. Torop currently teaches photography at NYU's Steinhardt school. He has been a visiting artist/critic or instructor at Columbia, Yale, Parsons, and the School of Visual Arts. His work has been aided by residencies at Eyebeam and Teachers College. He studied at Harvard College as an undergraduate, and received an MFA from Yale School of Art. More.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

pittsburgh galleries is reborn anew as The Pittsburgh Art Blog. the blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.

pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh art advocate rick byerly,