Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BULLYING CAN CAUSE LASTING HARM—IT’S NOT A JOKE

BULLYING CAN CAUSE LASTING HARM—IT’S NOT A JOKE

Faces Seen, Hearts Unknown

On Saturday, October 15 at 1pm, the Society for Contemporary Craft, co-sponsored with the Dignity and Respect Campaign, will host Faces Seen, Hearts Unknown - a community dialogue to address ideas of personal identity and bullying. This program is free and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested.

Individuals interested in participating in this dialogue are asked to R.S.V.P. to 412.261.7003 x15 or at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MVBZ923 by Wednesday, October 12.

PITTSBURGH, PA – September 27, 2011 — Bullying can happen anywhere: face-to-face, by text messages or on the web. It is not limited by age, gender, or education level. It is not a phase and it is not a joke—bullying can cause lasting harm. Faces Seen Hearts Unknown, co-sponsored by the Society for Contemporary Craft and the Dignity & Respect Campaign and presented at SCC in Pittsburgh’s Strip District on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 1 pm, explores this issue through community dialogue.

Taken from a Spanish proverb, the expression Faces Seen Hearts Unknown refers to superficial judgments made about people, based solely on appearances, and cautions that to truly know a person or a community, one needs genuine access to their emotions. Faces Seen Hearts Unknown is presented in concert with SCC’s Bridge Exhibition Series and a featured installation, The Captains Congress, created by nationally recognized ceramic artist Anne Drew Potter. With an interest in the complex and contradictory nature of the human experience, Potter makes "performative" ceramic figures and unsettling installations that address the ways in which social meaning is projected onto forms of the body. By creating a tension between physical forms and exaggerated expressions, Potter highlights signifiers of gender, race, and age, and encourages viewers to confront their feelings about normalcy and difference. The artist explains, "I am interested in the moment when the self-evidence of our own experiences is challenged by confrontation with the other, the infinity of realities that exist outside of our own."

For Faces Seen Hearts Unknown, six individuals from the community have been invited to share personal stories to help visitors better understand issues of identity and bullying, which are central in Potter's installation. Christina Springer, a home educator and text artist who uses poetry, dance, theatre, film and other visual expressions, and Reverend Michele Pearl Ellison, an author, motivational speaker and civil rights activist, are among the participants. Matt Arch, program manager at the Center for Inclusion at UPMC, will facilitate the discussion. Individuals interested in participating in this dialogue are asked to R.S.V.P. to 412.261.7003 x15 or at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MVBZ923 by Wednesday, October 12.

The 2011 Bridge Exhibition Series highlights the work of three female artists from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds who are creating exceptional works that express progressive and unconventional points of view around social and cultural themes. For the series, Potter has created an installation titled The Captains Congress, which consists of 16 distorted figures. Fifteen of the figures are seated in a circle; each wearing a sailor-style hat made from newspaper. The figures are talking all at once in an animated manner. The lone figure seated outside of the circle-ironically larger, more naturally rendered-is at the mercy of these shorter and more distorted figures. Her face betrays a hidden voice a desire to share and be included in the group. The installation explores self-appointed authority, ineffective communication, bullying, and victimization.

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, SCC offers exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art, a range of classes, and a retail store. Located at 2100 Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, PA, SCC is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. For information, visit contemporarycraft.org or call 412.261.7003. The Bridge Exhibition Series is made possible, in part, by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Elizabeth R. Raphael Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, and The Fine Foundation.

The Center for Inclusion at UPMC introduced the Dignity & Respect Campaign to UPMC employees in 2008 to promote inclusion through behavioral and organizational change. In 2009, the Dignity & Respect Campaign was launched as a community initiative, which has engaged more than 50 organizations, and led to the unveiling of a website that is inspiring people across the United States. What began as a workplace initiative to foster a culture of inclusion, dignity, and respect at UPMC, is today a movement promoting inclusion in the workplace, community unity, and anti-bullying in schools.

Society for Contemporary Craft
2100 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

...

The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art 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 www.PghGalleries.com.

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