Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the simultaneous opening of two new exhibitions: Dressed for Life and PCA Group Show. Featuring new work by nine area artists, the exhibitions showcase the creative work in our region and continue PCA's commitment to contemporary art. Both launch with an opening reception on Friday, May 10, 2002, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.
In Dressed for Life, artist Elaine Morris uses actual dresses and garments as a starting point, transforming each into an act of storytelling through the addition of envelopes, buttons, paper cut-outs, and even poetry and language. The result is a quiet but startling look at memory and nostalgia, from an artist with a long history of regional and national exhibition.
Elaine Morris holds degrees from Smith College and University of Pittsburgh, and has been teaching and exhibiting in museums and schools for over 20 years. Her work - which is often made from found and saved objects - has been shown throughout the United States in group and one-person shows. Recently, Morris has exhibited locally at Mendelson Gallery, University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and the Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as nationally at St. John's University in Santa Fe, N.M., Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts in New York and Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.
PCA Group Show combines eight artists working in a wide variety of media in one comprehensive exhibition of contemporary regional art. PCA Group Show features the work of:
Tina Brewer, fiber artist - Pittsburgh
Jerry Caplan, sculptor - Pittsburgh
Judi Charlson, sculptor -Pittsburgh
Don Graeb, painter - Glenshaw, Pa.
Akiko Kotani, fiber artist - Slippery Rock, Pa.
Jan Myers-Newbury, fiber artist - Pittsburgh
Paul Sirofchuck, architect - Ligonier, Pa.
Michael Wills, printmaker - Portersville, Pa.
In exhibiting the small-scale bas-relief sculptures of Judi Charlson alongside the silk drawings of Akiko Kotani and the ultra-modern wooden furniture of Paul Sirofchuck - not to mention the unique work of five other artists - PCA Group Show is testament to the dynamic work being made throughout the region. (See attached sheet for artists' bios.)
Lourdes A. Karas, PCA's interim executive director, is pleased these exhibitions will open at the same time. "The Center has always had a commitment to regional artists," she says. "Both Dressed for Life and PCA Group Show enable us to honor that commitment, and help to demonstrate Western Pennsylvania's vitality to artists and art-lovers."
Tina Brewer has established a national reputation as a creator of story quilts, which often explore African-American history and her personal experiences that tie her to it. Locally her work has been exhibited at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, PCA, Society for Contemporary Crafts, Jewish Community Center and University of Pittsburgh's Frick Fine Arts Building. Brewer was among 50 artists chosen to exhibit in the 1998 National Black Artists Festival in Atlanta, Ga. In 1997 she took first place with one of her story quilts in the Art of the State Exhibition in Harrisburg, Pa.
Jerry Caplan holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. A professional artist specializing in ceramics, he has taught sculpture for over 35 years at PCA and at Chatham College, where he is now Professor Emeritus. Caplan is also a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Watercolor Society.
Judi Charlson has won Juror's Awards for her sculptures in numerous local and national exhibitions. She sculpts from life and celebrates the human form and emotions. For the PCA Group Show, Charlson will exhibit her new bas-relief kiln-glass sculptures, which she forms through a technique that allows her to blend colors as if painting. Her work has been shown regionally at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art and numerous area colleges and galleries. Nationally she has shown in Youngstown, Ohio and New York City.
Don Graeb holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has held memberships with many regional and national artists groups and guilds. About his work, he writes, "As a watercolorist, I welcome the uncertainty and challenge the medium presents. The...process affords the opportunity to venture with the edge of disaster.... It means taking chances constantly and making decisions endlessly." His painting has been exhibited in dozens of national juried exhibitions, and is included in the collections of many area companies.
Akiko Kotani's career in art began at the University of Hawaii. Her nontraditional approach to fiber art came to fruition with a two-year tenure under a Mayan Indian weaver in Guatemala. She has exhibited in 15 solo and over 150 group shows, including such museums as the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where her work was added to the permanent collection in 1981. Kotani currently serves as Professor Emeritus of Art at Slippery Rock University.
Jan Myers-Newbury is known for her geometric, pieced quilts using hand-dyed fabrics, and more recently for works using shibori fabrics - textiles embellished by shaping and securing before dyeing - of her own creation. In 1999, Myers-Newbury was an artist presenter at the Third International Shibori Symposium in Santiago, Chile. Her work is in the permanent collections of many museums and arts groups. Locally, Myers-Newbury is an active member of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Surface Design Association.
Paul Sirofchuck built his first bench at the age of five, and has continued in a life-long relationship with wood sculpture since then. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Temple University and has studied with past PCA Artist of the Year Thaddeus Mosley. His professional experience includes designs for numerous homes and offices, including his own furniture gallery in Ligonier, Pa. Sirofchuck exhibits throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.