So thrilled to be the recipient a ‘Best of Show’ Award from Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
My series of six 9″ x 9″ watercolor & gouache paintings of mobile homes, trailers and manufactured homes were accepted for exhibit at a Pittsburgh Society of Artists juried art show titled “Intr(au)spective” at the 56th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) in Pittsburgh June 5- June 14, 2015 at 937 Gallery 937 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15222.
I titled my series of six paintings which were awarded Best of Show ‘Unscenic?’. The overall theme of Three Rivers Arts Festival that summer was Unseen Unheard, therefore I used one of the words in making my title. No I do not think mobile homes are unscenic. These homes remain an affordable and needed housing solution. However I’d like to see progress in design. The interest in the Tiny House Movement has never yet produced an affordable solution that can compete, and cost of living is very much an issue. I hope someone can soon achieve scale in manufacturing a new series of modern designs.
Juror Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art awarded 3 Best of Show Awards and my series received one of them.
For this exhibit 92 artists submitted 160 pieces of artwork. Spira selected 34 pieces by 30 artists to be shown. My second submission was also accepted titled “Trailer Toile”.
Serving as juror for PSA’s Intr[au]spective is Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and specializes in Early Modern German art and works on paper. Spira has curated exhibitions including, Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012); and Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings (2012). Presently, she is curating an exhibition entitled Prints & People: The Building of a Metropolitan Collection, 1916-1966, which will be accompanied by a catalogue (2016). She has also curated numerous smaller exhibitions on nineteenth and twentieth century visual culture, including Legends of the Dead Ball Era, Century Posters, Life Magazine and Pop Art, and A Sport for Every Girl.
Freyda Spira Juror’s Statement:
“50 years ago a hardy band of eight artists formed the Pittsburgh Society of Artists with the mission to facilitate and promote the exhibition of original art by its members. Today more than 380 artists living within a 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh comprise PSA. The title of the show is a playful twist on PSA’s 50th anniversary nodding to the periodic table and the 79th element of gold, but it also reflects the interior life of the artist and the introspective nature of traversing the mindscape where the image and inspiration for the artwork first appear.
The provocative work submitted for the Intr(Au)spective exhibition ranged from beautifully detailed craftwork, to abstract paintings, sculpture, and prints. As varied as the artists who submitted the works, the questions posed, lives exposed, and continuing battles fought spoke to the underlying idea of the exhibition and demonstrated not only the artists own musings, but also set into motion open-ended reactions. As a juror, I was constantly engaged by new ideas, new ways of seeing, and this was a complete pleasure. The three works that I selected as “Best in Show” prompted in me the greatest introspection. Unscenic? (2015) posed the question of pride in our home, and captures the movement of the eye as it crosses a familiar but perhaps not faultless landscape, creating snap shots with the fugitive media of watercolor and gouache. Untitled (Salt 0806) (2015) fascinated as the perfect rendering of details of the mind as it distills and crystallizes into actionable thought. Unsee (2015) rather than bringing into focus the movement of the mind hides it beneath layers of wax and collage, leaving the viewer to search and grapple for clarity.
As the juror who had the privilege to select the works for the Intr(Au)spective exhibition, I thank the Pittsburgh Society of Artists for this honor and congratulate the guild on reaching this special milestone and a future that shines brightly towards its next 50 years.”
Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
Writer Brandon Getz engaged by Pittsburgh Cultural Trust write this about the exhibition:
“For its golden anniversary, the Pittsburgh Society of Artists has put together a fantastic exhibition of work from 30 local artists. From abstract paintings to sculpture to magnified photography, the 34 pieces in the PSA’s 50th anniversary Intr[Au]spective at 937 Liberty Gallery were handpicked by nationally recognized juror and curator Freyda Spira, each a variation on the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival’s 2015 theme UNSEEN/UNHEARD.
Spira, an Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is a specialist in paper-based and print works, especially Renaissance-era and—at the other end of the spectrum—“American visual culture from the 19th and 20th centuries,” including advertising prints. “I have a broad appreciation,” she says. “Because I’m not often working with contemporary art, it’s something I can bring fresh eyes to.”