Trophy art honors women


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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.

Interdisciplinary artist Jennifer Myers

Are your old trophies collecting dust? One Pittsburgh-based artist makes sculptures out of these past mementos.

Jennifer Myers began collecting various kinds of trophies from local thrift stores a year ago. "They are so cheap and easy to find," she says. "And I liked how accessible and interesting they are."

In her Upper Lawrenceville studio she experimented with attaching different materials to them: rocks, tape, gems, papier-mache, paint, pieces of branches and plants. At first she created the repurposed trophies as personal gifts for important women in her life: her mother and aunts.

But after a while she began to see them as part of a larger project. "I started imagining them as trophies for women never awarded a trophy. The unsung heroines all around us."

Ms. Myers is an interdisciplinary artist -- that is, an artist who might use concepts and practices that blend and borrow from media arts, fine arts and performing arts. She received her bachelor of arts degree in art and photography from Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass., and her master's of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.

Currently, she has a solo exhibit titled "Women in Time" at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside. It is part of a series of solo exhibits on view through April 20. The shows present contemporary regional artists working in a variety of media.

The trophy sculptures are not on display. Instead Ms. Myers has photographed them -- playing with size, color and composition -- then printed them, making them larger than life.

"The little sculptures suddenly become monumentalized," she says. "It is a way to make them even bigger than they are and give them a second or third voice. These are two very different modes of working [sculpture and photography], but both complement each other."

Ms. Myers has been creating art that examines women in society since 2009. "I am making work that considers the female as the protagonist. I do not believe in or live in the world that treats her as inferior, second-class or third-class," she says.

To learn more about Ms. Myers visit www.punkypip.com. For more about exhibitions at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, visit pca.pittsburgharts.org/current-exhibits.


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