I am a fan of Rachel Carson

I am a fan of Rachel Carson! This is my pastel of her childhood home near Pittsburgh.

Contact me through my website if you would like to purchase greeting cards of this image. The original sold.

Tonight 2/8/2011 Squirrel Hill Historical Society presents a free talk at 7:30 PM by: Patricia DeMarco, PhD Executive Director, Rachel Carson Homestead Association. Patricia’s full title is Director Rachel Carson Institute, Scool of Sustainablilty and the Environment, Chatham University.

titled “Rachel Carson and Her Legacy”

date: Tuesday Feb 8, 2011

location- Squirrel Hill:
The Church of the Redeemer, located at 5700 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217

I love the irony that RC is from greater Pittsburgh, PA not Maine as I once thought. Like Warhol she not only grew up here but stayed in Pittsburgh through college (undergraduate years). I am a proud New Englander by birth (but long time resident of Pittsburgh which I love). I was becoming aware of Rachel Carson around the time of the first Earth Day since my mom had a copy of The Edge of the Sea around. It was a book, like many of my mom’s that I flipped through and found pretty interesting (and later got more interested in). Since we often went camping in Deer Isle, Maine I just assumed that Maine was where Rachel Carson was from, with that book as a reference.

So it was a surprise to me when moved to Pittsburgh, that the mother lode of the environmental movement was born and grew up just upriver from Pittsburgh, a place few would associate with being a major beach head of the environmental movement. Not counting those who came before like protectionists John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt and sort of conservationist Gifford Pinchot (land of many uses) – Rachel Carson really is the IT person on the environmental movement unless you are with the far right wing, in which case she is seen as a misguided liberal crackpot.

To fool around with the irony of her coming from Springdale, PA I created a poster combining my altered images of Rachel Carson Homestead with the smoke stacks from the local power plants where her father worked at times, like nearly everyone there.

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Homage to famous Pittsburghers

Homage to Rachel Carson
Homage to Rachel Carson -purchase a 17″ square print here
Homage to August Wilson
Homage to August Wilson- purchase a 17″ square print here
The first layouts for a print series where I pay homage to famous Pittsburghers were completed in November 2009. My photographs and my electronic alterations to my photographs are the media. What I would consider an original version using 4 images per piece, was shown, “honorably mentioned” in Pittsburgh Society of Artists “Small Works” exhibit, written about and sold at Borelli Edwards Gallery in Pittsburgh in April 2010.

Here are the first two images as high quality digital prints, copyright 2010 by Carol Skinger
Kurt Shaw’s review of “Small Works” has an explanation for the images I choose to put together in each homage.

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August Wilson and Rachel Carson Homage

Homage to August Wilson

Homage to Rachel Carson

Homage to August Wilson

One of the my fondest anecdotes came from my husband and my son who could not attend the art opening (in April 2010) so they went a few hours before just to see the exhibit at BE Gallery. They said they finally found my two pieces and five people were gathered around them looking closely at them and talking about them. That was a really great bit of feedback!

Arts writer Kurt Shaw writes about the exhibit, including my pieces in his write up of the show in the Tribune Review.

Well hooray! My piece titled “August Wilson Homage’ received “honorable mention” and both pieces sold at the opening of “Small Works” Pittsburgh Society of Artists Exhibit April 10th at Borelli Edwards Gallery. Artworks no larger than 14 inches in any dimension was the limitation for consideration to be accepted in the show.

Here is info about the Small Works Exhibit at Borelli Edwards gallery:

Borelli Edwards Gallery
3583 Butler Street
Lawrenceville (a Pittsburgh neighborhood), PA 15201

“Small Works” runs through April 24th,  2010.

In the August Wilson piece I included the building where he grew up as the primary image, and the Carnegie Library in Oakland as the secondary image. He went to that library to read and read after dropping out of high school when he was wrongly accused of plagiarizing a 20 page paper on Napoleon ( and many other complications and hostile educational settings). Eventually the Carnegie Library in Oakland gave him his high school diploma, and he is the only one to ever have received a HS diploma from the library. The image of Rachel Carson’s homestead in Springdale is mixed with my images of coal burning smoke stacks there- a current environmental battle involving new scrubbers proposed by owners RRI out of Houston TX that would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions but increase lead and mercury emissions. High school students (among others in the region) in Springdale have even gotten into the act and have mobilized to demand a better solution- so that is a current news story that I have to think Rachel Carson would have to be proud of.

Architect John Martine bought them! John is a lead design partner at Strada, an award-winning Pittsburgh architecture firm. Of course I’m thrilled about anyone buying my work but I am especially proud to be in John’s collection! I have enormous respect for his work in architecture, and he himself is a really fantastic artist.

 

 

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