Friday, December 23, 2011

"The Painted City" at First Night Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, March Snow by Steve Boksenbaum

Immaculate Heart of Mary by Ron Donoughe

There will be several one-night art exhibits and window displays to check out this First Night. Be sure to see The Painted City at 937 Liberty Avenue, featuring paintings by beloved Pittsburgh plein air painter, Ron Donoughe, alongside paintings of the daily life of Pittsburghers by artist Steve Boksenbaum.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interviews with Bovey Lee

One of my favorite Pittsburgh artists, Bovey Lee, was recently interviewed by Design Boom and by CBS Pittsburgh.

The interviews and accompanying images are lovely, and she describes her latest projects. My favorite quote is her advice to young artists:
"Stay the course. Have the courage to say no to an opportunity that looks attractive at the time but you know will distract you from what you really want and love to do. Gather all your strength and confidence and show it in your work."

Read the full interviews here:

Bovey Lee, Paper Streets, 2011 (as exhibited at 709 Penn Gallery in April, 2011)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Teenie Harris at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Charles "Teenie" Harris, Woman seated on car, with steel mill in background, c. 1940-19461

This past weekend we went to see Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story at the Carnegie Museum if Art. It is a wonderful retrospective of the photographer whose images for the Pittsburgh Courier (the country's most widely circulated African American newspaper during the civil rights era) capture the poetry of every day life and important figures who helped shape the 20th Century.

Figurative paintings from the Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art has so many beautiful examples of figurative art in its permanent collection. Here are a few that caught my eye during our visit this past weekend...

Raphael Soyer, Pensive Girl, 1946-1947 (above)

Alex Katz, Lake Time, 1960 (above)

John Currin, The Old Fence, 1999 (above)

Elizabeth Peyton, Ben Drawing, 2001 (above)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Detritus by Thomas Norulak opens Friday @ 709

Detritus, a solo show by Thomas Norulak, opens this Friday, November 25, at 709 Penn Gallery. (Reception 6-8 p.m.)

Root Cluster, Thomas Norulak, etching

In Detritus, printmaker Thomas Norulak finds beauty in objects that have been altered over time by their interaction with the elements.
Subjects include rocks and debris along riverbanks and hiking trails, an uprooted tree trunk, an abandoned truck tire, machinery rusting in the woods, and a dead fish washed up on the shores of Lake Erie.
As nature has transformed these objects over time, Norulak’s studio process is also transformative. “I start by taking photographs of these phenomena, and use the following process to transform them into black and white etchings: Laser prints of the photographic imagery are transferred onto a zinc plate with a solvent, and then etched in nitric acid. Using traditional printmaking techniques such as aquatint, open bites, scraping and burnishing, the images acquire abstract or surreal qualities, bearing little resemblance to the original photographs.”


Albert Einstein by Andy Warhol, screenprint, 1980

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." -- Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Awakening

The Awakening, J. Seward Johnson, aluminum, 1980
(photographed by Karen O'Connor, my sister)

Last winter we went to the National Harbor to see this incredible sculpture, The Awakening, a 70-foot giant struggling to rise from the earth.

(Click image to enlarge.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Closing reception @ 709 Penn Gallery this Friday!

Thomas Bigatel, The Prism Within, oil on canvas, 2011

Don't miss the closing reception for Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions, paintings by Thomas Bigatel and sculpture by Peter Johnson, Friday night, Nov. 11, at 709 Penn Gallery in the Cultural District. (5-8pm)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Joshua Hogan: I Fly Like Paper

Today we drove the winding roads through Bethel Park to the Jeff Edwards Gallery to see Joshua Hogan's exhibit. The invitation had arrived in the form of a paper airplane, a distinctive touch that made the invitation stand out from the usual slew of postcards. While the title of the show, I Fly Like Paper, hints at the mysterious psychological journeys that Hogan's paintings represent, I took the title as a reference to his series of watercolors on paper. It is a new medium for the artist, as far as I've seen, that perfectly complements his oil paintings. The title may also be borrowed from a lyric by M.I.A.
My favorite piece was this painting, called The Beginning of Triumph. The lines and forms reminded me of Calder mobiles. The painting seemed to shimmer in the light, and swept me away.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mary Blair

I was excited to see that today's Google Doodle is dedicated to Mary Blair.

Learn more about the artist and her fantastic illustrations here:
image galleries:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Heroes and Villains

I can't wait to see Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross at the Andy Warhol Museum when my sister and brother-in-law come to visit! I just love his highly detailed watercolor illustrations. I expect to be amazed.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gallery Crawl this Friday!

Here are just a few snapshots from Thomas Bigatel and Peter Johnson's opening reception for their show at 709 Penn Gallery, Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions. Don't miss the Gallery Crawl this Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions

Abstract painter Thomas Bigatel collaborates with wood sculptor Peter Johnson in Universal Expressions: Movement in Multiple Dimensions, opening Friday, Sept. 23 @ 709 Penn Gallery in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. (Reception 6:00-8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stephanie Armbruster's Closing Reception

If you missed tonight's closing reception for Stephanie Armbruster's solo show at 709 Penn Gallery, In Search of Something More, you still have a week left to check out the exhibit! Show closes Sept. 11. Here are some images from tonight's reception...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Remembering Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud

The world lost two important artists this month, Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud. While their work couldn't be more different, they both will represent our time in the narrative of art.

Venus by Cy Twombly

Self-portrait by Lucian Freud

It was Cy Twombly's retrospective in Vienna that attracted me to his work for the first time. When I had seen his works in the past individually, a piece here, a piece there, it was easy for me to pass them by, to see his works as "too quick", too simply scribbled. I had missed that what he was doing was forming a vocabulary of marks, a visual poetry, his own calligraphy, creating his own "romantic symbolism". At the MUMOK, his retrospective was titled "Sensations of the Moment." Seen together, the scrawled texts, paint, and drawn scribbles appeared to me as immediate, sensual responses to nature, beauty, and love.

Wilder Shores of Love by Cy Twombly

Lucian Freud was my favorite contemporary artist. He brought psychological and textural depth to portraiture. I first learned about him when I was an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon, during an incredibly enriching independent study on contemporary portraiture with Dr. Elaine King. Freud's paintings appealed to me visually, their thick paint becoming flesh in a way that felt real without being photorealistic, but in a way that let you feel the sitter was actually there before the artist's eyes, breathing.

Sleeping Head by Lucian Freud

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Search of Something More: Stephanie Armbruster @ 709 Penn Gallery

Residential Movement by Stephanie Armbruster, mixed media, 2011

Stephanie Armbruster's solo exhibit,
In Search of Something More, opens at 709 Penn Gallery this Friday night during the Gallery Crawl!
(5:30-9:00 pm in Downtown's Cultural District)

Visually influenced by street art, design and documentary photography, Stephanie describes this new series of encaustic and mixed medium paintings as a reckless commentary inspired by the absurdities of urban life, random encounters and the tension of the city in a state of flux. Recollections of cheap rent, budget glam, underground music and demolition come together in a stream of consciousness rant of overbearing typography and architectural elements.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Finished a new portrait!

Portrait of Laura Miller
oil on canvas
30" x 40"
(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 Three Rivers Arts Festival

(Poster art by Seth Clark)

One more day to catch this year's Three Rivers Arts Festival in downtown Pittsburgh! Don't miss the music, gallery shows, public art, juried exhibition, and artists' market.

Monday, June 6, 2011

James Grashow's Currogated Fountain @ 709 Penn Gallery

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a program of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, presents the epic sculptural installation Corrugated Fountain by East Coast artist James Grashow at the Trust’s 709 Penn Gallery. James Grashow’s ambitious, large-scale work recalls the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Steeped in classical mythology, the room-sized installation fills 709 penn Gallery with a mammoth sculpture of Neptune, Tritons, rocks, waves, fish and dolphins. As homage to the achievements of classical and baroque artistry, Grashow uses his signature cardboard material to breathe playful new light into old stone. Three years in the making, Corrugated Fountain is James Grashow’s most ambitious work to date.

Friday, May 27, 2011

PAN—Fin de Siècle Prints: Art Nouveau on Paper at the Frick Art & Historical Center

This past weekend we went to see PAN—Fin deSiècle Prints: Art Nouveau on Paper at the Frick in Point Breeze. PAN was a periodical devoted to art and culture, published in Berlin at the end of the 19th century. It is considered the first 20th century arts magazine, and featured graphic prints created by many remarkable artists including Beardsley, Kollwitz, Rodin, and Lautrec.

My favorite print in the exhibit was this soft ground etching by Charles Maurin published in PAN vol. 1.

Charles Maurin, Mother and Child, 1896

The description of this image in the gallery informs us that Talouse-Lautrec had one show in a commercial gallery in his lifetime, and it was a 2-man show with Maurin. Maurin is largely forgotten today, but he was known for his draftsmanship and depiction of daily life in Paris, including domestic scenes such as this tender image.

PAN—Fin deSiècle Prints: Art Nouveau on Paper will be on exhibit at the Frick Art and Historical Center until Sept. 11, 2011.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another great review of Paper Streets!

Another great review of Bovey Lee's solo show at 709 Penn Gallery, Paper Streets! This one is by Kurt Shaw, art critic for the Tribune Review:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review of Paper Streets

In today's paper, Mary Thomas, art critic for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, wrote a wonderful review of Bovey Lee's solo exhibit at 709 Penn Gallery, Paper Streets.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2011 Handmade Arcade

Congratulations to all involved in Handmade Arcade today! It was so great - the best one yet!!

Check out the crafters and their web sites through the HMA web site, here:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Paper Streets: Cut Paper Installations by Bovey Lee opens Friday!

Paper Streets: Cut Paper Installations by Bovey Lee opens this Friday, April 15, at 709 Penn Gallery! (Opening reception 6-8pm, 709 Penn Avenue, in the heart of Pittsburgh's Cultural District)

To commemorate her 10th anniversary as a Pittsburgh resident, "Paper Streets" is a solo exhibition of new installations based on Bovey Lee's visual cataloging of the city and its region's topographical complexity.

The exhibition title comes from the so-called paper streets that are plunging staircases and walkways on maps considered as valid streets in Pittsburgh.

Lee is an amazing local artist whose intricate and imaginative work has won her numerous awards, including the prestegious Pollock-Krasner award in recent years, and her work is exhibited internationally.

There was just an article about her work in the Huffington Post this past Thursday, featuring works she created in 2008-2009 that are relevant to Japan's current crisis. Check out the article and those works here: link

See you at the opening on Friday!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Idle @ 709 Penn Gallery closes Sunday

Colin Noonan's solo show, Idle, closes on Sunday at 709 Penn Gallery.

Many of the subjects of Colin's portraits attended the opening party. It was fun matching them to their images. It actually felt a little like movie-star spotting, seeing the individuals Colin had cast in his paintings in real life...

Steve and Eva by Colin Noonan, oil on wood panel
(Steve also was the d.j. for the night, playing some really good vinyl.)

Ryan by Colin Noonan, oil on wood panel
(Ryan brought some amazing wings for the opening from the New Amsterdam.)

Evie and Amie by Colin Noonan, oil on wood panel
(Evie and Amie, beautiful twin sisters, work with Colin, the artist, at Coca Cafe - my favorite breakfast place in the Burgh. Here they are in front of their portrait with the artist himself!)

Colin is a seriously talented painter. If you haven't checked the show out yet, go before it closes on Sunday!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Finished this painting at 12:02 last night! It's of Kate Little, former Curatorial Assistant at Wood Street Galleries. (Click above image to enlarge.)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sistine Chapel

This web site shows a 360 degree view of the Sistine Chapel:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Idle opens at 709 Penn Gallery this Friday!

Colin Noonan, Untitled, oil on canvas, 2011

Colin Noonan's solo show, Idle, opens at 709 Penn Gallery this Friday, March 4! Come to the opening reception, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Friday, February 18, 2011

8 solo shows @ Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Collapse by Seth Clark (pictured above) is on display in his solo exhibit, Ruination, at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
Link to Seth Clark's web site:

There are 8 solo shows up now at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and they are all well worth seeing! Together, they offer a broad scope of work from excellent local talents.

The exhibits are: Looking at Looking by Golan Levin (a Carnegie Mellon University professor); Motherlands by Heidi Bender; Ruination by Seth Clark; Midway by Aaron Henderson; The Space Between by Anna E. Mikolay; Rodin by Henry J Simonds; Pleasant Momentum by Ian Page; and Rare is the New Medium by Gerald Van Scyoc. The shows are up now through March 20.