The Story of Collapse

The Art of Seth Clark

By Bea Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA Posted on August 18, 2015

The first time I viewed Seth Clark’s work, the intern architect in me felt threatened. What loss and shame in all of these collapsing architectures! Clark’s collages, though, are too mesmerizing to be dismissed that easily, and I couldn’t resist that attractive pull of something that scared me. I decided to learn more and set up an interview with Clark, who has been named the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 2015 Emerging Artist of the Year. I started with a joke about the fact that, initially, he could be seen as a nemesis of architects, and believe it or not, that broke the ice. While also working as a graphic artist, his installations and collages focus on collapsing buildings and...

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90 Neighborhoods

Ron Donoughe's Love Letter to Pittsburgh

By Becky Spevack Posted on May 12, 2015

“What is around here that I should paint?” That is the question Ron Donoughe found himself asking a lot last year. In the summer of 2013, he undertook his ’90 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods’ project, committing to paint a scene from each and every one of Pittsburgh’s 90 unique neighborhoods, in alphabetical order, within a year. And he quickly found that reaching out to those who lived there helped guide his brush. “If you humble yourself to ask, it makes a stronger connection to the neighbors, to the community.” THE STUDIO VISIT I find myself hunched against the wind as I wait at the backdoor to a large brick building in Lawrenceville. It’s a grey-skied day… typical Pittsburgh. The solid wood opens...

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Another Pittsburgh Gem

This transplant is wowed by "Imperfect Health" and the Miller Gallery

By Becky Spevack Posted on February 14, 2013

When I was in art school, my college held a course that focused on the life and works of Andy Warhol.  After spending a semester learning exclusively about this 20th century icon of pop-art, the class culminated in a trip to The Andy Warhol Museum to survey his archives.  This may not seem like a very big deal; after all, The Warhol Museum is right across the 9th Street Bridge from Downtown.  But I went to school in Providence, RI, so this endeavor involved a multiple-day trip across half a dozen states, all to learn more about Andy. At the time, I had never been to Pittsburgh, nor was I planning a trip in the near future. Suffice it to...

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Down Memory Lane

Exploring Douglas Cooper's latest work

By Becky Spevack Posted on February 6, 2013

Memory is a funny thing… what is captured, what is lost; how seemingly insignificant details become paramount while grander moments all but disappear.  Many others have tackled the subject of memory with a far more eloquent understanding than I could ever hope to – take Proust and his madeleine or Dali and his clocks – and Douglas Cooper’s works on paper make him an insightful participant in this dialogue. Upon entering Concept Gallery and climbing the austere stairs to the more traditional exhibit space, you are presented with the first of more than a dozen pieces – large scale, architecturally tinted charcoal drawings.  The details of various buildings are impeccable, considering their obviously hand-drawn nature, but as you explore any...

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New Art Landscapes speak with many voices

Blurring distinctions between art, architecture, and landscape

By Michelle Nermon, Assoc. AIA Posted on October 5, 2012

The new exhibit at the Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art – White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes – is an abounding display of six art institutions – or “sites,” as curator  Raymund  Ryan prefers – from around the globe that challenge the traditional museum setting. All six diverse sites are connected in their rupturing of the  “white cube,”  ultimately blurring distinctions between art, architecture, and landscape. Chosen by Ryan, the featured sites are themselves substantial, and so is the exhibit, whose mixed media collection is punctuated by the featured photographs of renowned  Iwan  Baan (a recent recipient of the Gold Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale).  White Cube, Green Maze  also features work from  18 different...

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Art Activity Day at LESLIE Park Pool

An action-packed community event in Lawrenceville

Pittsburgh is commonly referred to as the biggest small town – with its 80+ neighborhoods, there is always something happening and it’s easy to miss out on any number of events due to shear quantity.  Here is a look at an upcoming community event that Columns thought may be of interest to you…. And if you know of others, please let us know! The LESLIE Collective has been producing unusual, family-friendly events in empty LESLIE Park Pool for over 3 years to re-imagine a use for a decommissioned CitiParks pool in Lawrenceville.  They’ve done it again! Art Activity Day on Sunday August 19th, 12pm-5pm, kicks off “Project: Lido,” a curated art installation that uses this gorgeous urban ruin as inspiration. ...

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The Art of Experimentation

Where art and architecture meet

By Deborah Knox Posted on July 20, 2012

Experimentation is an essential part of the design process, but is it a secret activity carried out by a team of designers huddled in the studio, or an open process, supported by the client? What makes the magic happen? Ultimately it can happen either way. Ideally it incorporates a little bit of both. EXPERIMENTATION AND VISION Known for his wildly imaginative designs, Burt Hill’s James O’Toole, Assoc. AIA may be best known for the steelworkers sculpture at the Hot Metal Bridge and the two dinosaurs he designed for Dino Days a few years ago — the “Tonkasaurus” and the winged Da Vinci T-Rex, sponsored by his former employer Astorino. His experimentation and creativity comes from an emotional place deep inside....

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