Public Art in Pittsburgh: Congregation

Public art is booming in the 'burgh. For the past month ending tomorrow we have had a chance to warm our hearts with an extraordinary sound and video installation entitled Congregation created by Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler.

We went last Monday night such a great night to go it was a bit warmer. The installation runs for 25 minutes in the center of Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. Central to the design is a human like figure in constant motion at times reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci's vitruvian man.  It morphs and merges into two or appears as an embryonic state inviting you to engage with the work and ultimately disappearing. The experience is magical as the light finds you, follows you, and connects you to other people in the square and on the screen, literally and figuratively.  It is in a constant state of flux and those who enter the circle are in a constant state of motion as it encourages you to want to move with the music and to follow the light to see where it leads.  The music composed for the piece is perfect to set the mood.  It is haunting and beckons people to the installation along with the light. 

The projection is temperature sensitive which enables it to follow and connect people.  Market Square could not be a better place to show it.  The light template's central design is derived from circles and the pavement in the center of the square is a circular pattern with a constellation in the center so the projection meshes in unexpected ways.  It looks like it was designed for Market Sqaure but in fact it has been installed in other cities.  This is a US debut.

To experience it you are equally entranced looking at the screen, ground or people moving within the patterns.  It is mesmerizing and brings smile after smile to everyone who participates or stops out of curiosity. 

I most certainly can't describe it half as effectively as the artists themselves.   


Day 2

Back to Paradise 1/2/2014


2014 The Year of the Newspaper

I am enthralled with this method of working and processing current events; I am totally addicted to the process.  I continue to think about ways I might exhibit the work experimenting with large format printing on fleece or my latest idea a series of 12 quilts one for each month.

To kick the year off:  Bliss Must Just Be Around the Corner NY Times 1/1/2014


2014 The Year of the Newspaper

Maintaining Ethics in Moving from Regulator to Regulated 2/6/2014

Thanks to the extraordinary work of photojournalists we don't just read the news we see the news.  For 2014 I've challenged myself to make a collage a day to advance their work and compose a new narrative.  The title of each is a headline from that day. 


Collages in progress

"Anything but Uniform"  1/30/2014

"Saying Good-bye to a City and it's Characters"  1/31/2014


The Latest

As I soldier on working with newspapers I am pleased to announce that "Ensconced in Luxury as Terror Pays a Visit" NY Times 10/29/2013 will be on exhibit in the Fiberart Guild of Pittsburgh's Membership show Edge to Edge juried by Meredith Re Grimsley at the Borelli-Edwards Gallery opening February 21- March 15, 2014

"Ensconced in Luxury as Terror Pays a Visit" NY Times 10/29/2013

I am experimenting with making a quilt using digitally printed fleece as the top layer.  This particular fleece is dense enough that you can get some definition with stitching but it is very subtle.   


I used a monofilament thread but think I may kick it up a notch in next attempts.


2013 was the year of the bridge…2014 the year of the newspaper

I was honored to co-direct Knit the Bridge (KtB) the amazing outreach project of Fiberart International 2013.   KtB was a community made fiber art installation or yarn bombing of the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pa. It was the brain child of lead artist Amanda Gross.  It was a dream of a project so many incredible individuals gave so much time, brain power, effort, enthusiasm and energy to make it happen.

Knit the Bridge - Andy Warhol Bridge Pittsburgh, Pa
For practically 2 years I devoted my time almost exclusively to this project.  It was installed in August, 2013 and removed one month later.  We have laundered almost every stitch, donated hundreds of panels and re-purposed many of the black railing covers as scarves and blankets with many more to go.  Not to mention the challenge of repurposing all the material we made with knitting machines to cover the towers.

Bridge tower material

The response to our project has been over- whelming such an incredible opportunity! I have learned and continue to learn so much.  Although I have a master's in social work my area of concentration was primarily clinical; my practice was in medicine which required strong advocacy skills.  With KtB I found myself learning a great deal about community organizing.  As a result I am getting reacquainted with my social work roots after years of concentrating on developing my artistic voice.  My art has always been socially and politically driven but currently I find myself considering ways to integrate art and social work.

As I read and think I have made a commitment to a newspaper collage a day.  As luck would have it I was invited to exhibit in Lost and Found at the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, Pa.  and had an opportunity to debut this new series What's black and white and red all over? Thinking in many different directions not all fiber…

Mug shots