I picked up a neat little publication by Pittsburgh's Office of Public Art, a book that highlights Pittsburgh's public art and noteworthy architecture all mapped out for walking tours. It is a perfect companion for artful sight seeing around the Burgh.
Meant to be taken with you on your journey, the little 6 inch high book is filled with colorful pictures and brief but informative descriptions of each sight. Free copies can be downloaded at http://www.publicartpittsburgh.org/
There is a catalog which accompanies the exhibit that is so well produced, I was surprised that it was free. Certainly a lot of care went into this exhibit, making their centennial a special celebration.
Opening reception: Friday, July 9, 2010 (6:00-8:00 p.m.)
In Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household, Vanessa German creates a historical fantasy, an imagined storefront of art objects that seem to have existed long ago. While the sculptures are “useful” with an implied function for the home, each has a spirit beyond its purpose.
The installation provokes thoughts about our interaction with the material world, what we use and how we use it, and the history within objects that have performed tasks through their use over time, as experience.
Describing the inspiration behind Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop, Vanessa German said: “I am very interested in old things, specifically old domestic objects – the items my grandmothers and their mothers would have used to make a life and a world for the people around them, from tools to utensils, to the advertising ware of these things. I am imagining that there are stories in these items, that these stories remain present, in the skin of the objects. I think, Who used this item and why? What were they thinking and feeling while using it?
What stories are in the object? What history is in the object? Does the object do the obvious-stated thing in the clear and obvious way? Or, does it also work in a spiritual way? I imagine that these objects are the power objects of my life and imagination – that they are imbued with levels of purpose and intention – doing the stated useful thing and infinitely more.”
Vanessa German is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh-based multi-disciplinary artist, well known as a sculptor, photographer, performance artist and poet. Tar Baby Jane and Doo-Wop: Everything Useful for Your Modern Household, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Dept. of Education and Community Engagement, opens on Friday.