Category Archives: Contemporary Art

Sign up for The Art Connection—it’s not too late!


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On the first day of The Art Connection, the 6th-grade students began life-size, abstract self-portraits inspired by the drawings of the late Chinese artist Guo Fengyi, currently on view in the 2013 Carnegie International. As they draw in colored pencil and oil pastel on large sheets of paper, the students use line and mark making to express thoughts, emotions, memories, and functions of the body.

This year’s Art Connection is off to an exciting start! Students arrived to a museum transformed, with bold new work from around the globe spilling out from the galleries into unexpected places. Classes will explore and discuss new works of the 2013 Carnegie International, a process sure to spark inspiration and critical thinking. The International’s theme of “play” provides added engagement to set the wheels of creativity in motion. The Art Connection’s art studio environment encourages students to experiment, play and practice in the process of developing creative ideas. Professional artist educators and experienced assistants work with students to encourage collaboration and to help each student gain confidence in developing their artistic voice.

This year’s Art Connection has just begun, and it’s not too late to sign up for young artists in grades 5 through 9. Artists including Andy Warhol, Duane Michals, and Philip Pearlstein all got their start in our Saturday art classes—but you can develop your unique style and vision through your art! Check out this video to see what the program’s all about:

Cyberpunk Apocalypse & the Alternative Academic Space


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The Cyberpunk Apocalypse is a one-of-a-kind close-quarters residency and MFA alternative for writers in Pittsburgh, a household centered around literature where 36 writers from across the US and Canada have lived and worked over the last five years. When it began it was the only zine residency in the US and continues to be the only writer’s residency that puts comic artists, zinesters, novelists, journalists, poets, translators, and any kind of writer on the same competitive level. Writers come to the Cyberpunk Apocalypse with very different skill sets and overlapping interests, which makes each creator a resource for their fellow residents and creates room for rapid growth and collaboration. Each resident has personal goals connected to every new project they take on, while the goal of Cyberpunk is twofold: to support the residents in their pursuits and to advance literature through exploring and building alternative non-academic routes for writers.

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Photo: Sonel Breslay

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Join Cyberpunk Apocalypse on Sept. 20 at Artists Image Resource for the next 2013 Carnegie International event!
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So much about the literary world today is defined by the conveniences of academia. The genre of “literary fiction” as separate from “popular fiction” feels born of professors struggling to justify their position as master when so few of them have books that sell. The common literary practice of group critique known as “the workshop” can seem more valuable as a way to occupy 15 writers’ time in a tidy time slot than as a way to advance the craft or skill of writers. Even classifying writers as poets, fiction writers, or creative nonfiction writers is more about separating classes and degree tracts than it is about the work or the people producing it.

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Photo: Tameka Cage Conley

The way these aspects of the higher education system affect writing will only become obvious with a modern equivalent as comparison. And while there are as many paths to becoming a writer as there are writers in the world, there are few organizations that provide support, cross-promotion, and validation to self-proclaimed writers, and there are fewer still that have been around long enough to build a camp of writing. The Cyberpunk Apocalypse exists in part as an example of one possibility and a call for other individuals to imagine an environment and path in which great writers, and by extension quality thought, can be produced.

Learn more at thecyberpunkapocalypse.tumblr.com and danielmccloskey.com

Treasures from the Archives


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Two years ago, the Archives of American Art posted a photo on their website captioned “Where Art Comes Alive.” This struck such a chord with me that I posted it on the door to the CMOA Archives. There are so many treasures in our archives! No matter what question I’m researching, I invariably run across something fascinating—a letter, photo, book, or sometimes something a little more unusual, like this box of flags, which used to hang in the Music Hall during the Founders–Patrons dinner, in honor of all the countries represented in the Carnegie InternationalThe black tie dinner always coincided with the opening of the International. Finding these actual flags really brings the photo below to life. It makes me wonder about all of the materials from this year’s International, and which ones will resurface 100 years from now.

1928-dinnerThe 1928 Founders–Patrons dinner, with flags

Be sure to stop in the small room in Scaife gallery 16 to see more treasures from the CMOA Archives, in a special installation highlighting the history of the Carnegie International. Or learn more on the digital archive for the exhibition.

And stay tuned for more treasures from the archives!

Elizabeth Tufts Brown, Associate Registrar

Thanks, TeeRex


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Last Friday, we took advantage of the cool summer night and gathered at TeeRex Syndicate for our first Carnegie International /pittsburgh event. Live screen printing took place on the second level, where the crowd gathered to create their very own custom-made, limited edition 2013 Carnegie International swag. The Travelling Pittsburgh Craft-O-Tron Machine showed up to delight the crowd with a sampling of what local crafters are making, and Scott Connor of Evil Grin FX’s creepy creations brought enjoyment to all. And if you’ve been to the 2013 Carnegie International website recently, then you surely recognized curators Dan Byers, Daniel Baumann and Tina Kukielski joining in the festivities. East End Brewery beer flowed freely, alongside delectable eats from Brasero Grill and Cake Eaters Sweet Shoppe, and we made merry with a few hundred of our closest friends and neighbors. Thanks to everyone who joined us, and be sure to join us at Artists Image Resource for our next event on Friday, September 20!

Video: The Art Connection


We just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday, April 14 to mark the opening of The Art Connection Annual Student Exhibition! Check out the video to see our student artists hard at work in the museum’s studios as they prepared for this year’s exhibition. Throughout the school year, students in grades 5–9 worked through the creative process with the help of teaching artists in the museum’s galleries and studios. Artworks in this year’s exhibition reflect the influence of recent exhibitions such as White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes, Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Art at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939, and Cory Arcangel: Masters.

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