Let's talk about art: White art


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This is a biweekly series about art and artists in the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves the community through arts education, exhibitions and artist resources.

White art

What do you think of when you hear the word "white"?

Clean? Pure? Perhaps things such as snow or milk come to mind. Or maybe something more philosophical, such as nothingness.

These are some of the ideas that are explored in a winter art exhibit at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, on view through Jan. 20. It's called: "The White Show: Subtlety in the Age of Spectacle."

Art history professor and curator of the show, Vicky A. Clark, says by presenting art that is mainly or completely white, it invites people to contemplate their own associations with the color white.

"It's the idea to stop and smell the roses, in a way. Simple, subtle works make you slow down to look, think, contemplate," she says. "A quiet moment can be so meaningful."

The concept for the show began with a conversation Ms. Clark had with Pittsburgh artist Delanie Jenkins, University of Pittsburgh studio arts professor and former Artist of the Year at PCA. "She mentioned that galleries kept telling her white art doesn't sell. So we started to talk about who makes white work, what it means, and it evolved from there," Ms. Clark says.

For one of her own paintings Ms. Jenkins used white acrylics on white tape to create a textured geometric, almost sculptural effect.

"The White Show" features 18 regional artists, each using his or her medium to create a great variety of quiet and contemplative art -- in white. Examples are: paper cuttings in repetitive organic leaf patterns, monochromatic paintings that stress technique, a video of a robot traveling through the white landscape of the salt flats, and wooden sculptures of everyday bathroom items. Each entice the viewer to slow down and look deeper into the work, the artists' process and what art is.

Besides Ms. Jenkins, the artists are: Jaq Belcher, David Burke, Ellen Carey, Eva Faye, Mark Franchino, Jane Haskell, Marietta Hoferer, Simone Jones, Michael Kukla, Amanda Means, Julia Morrisroe, John Noestheden, Bill Radawec, Nigel Rolfe, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey, Lenore Thomas and Brett Yasko.

For more information about this show or the other exhibits running concurrently, "Romancing the Tone" and "Small Step, Giant Leap," visit www.pittsburgharts.org. Admission to PCA is free during December.

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