Art notes: Birds nests bring spring to Hunt Institute
March 18, 2015 12:00 AM
Bird Nest Series No.1, colored pencil on paper by David Morrison. Part of the "Elements" exhibition at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University.
By Mary Thomas / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Birds are singing in the mornings, a welcome sign of long-awaited spring, and Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation has just the exhibition to set the mood. “Elements” features images of bird nests by botanical illustrators Wendy Brockman of Minnesota (watercolor), David Morrison of Indiana (colored pencil) and Kate Nessler of Arkansas (watercolors), and of their wooded environments by Pittsburgh photographer Sue Abramson. The emphasis in the illustrations selected for exhibition is on the disparate materials so skillfully woven into strong, secure nurseries.
All of the artists will attend a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday. All except Mr. Morrison will be at Hunt from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday to discuss their concepts and materials. Ms. Brockman will demonstrate her exquisite paint on vellum technique. Both events are free.
Concurrently, a Cabinet of Curiosities will display bird illustrations from the library’s collection of natural history and art books. “Elements” continues through June 5 on the fifth floor of the Hunt Library, 4909 Frew St., Carnegie Mellon University. A talk, ”Nest structures of North American Birds and the Materials Used in Their Creation,“ will be given by Patrick McShea during the annual open house at 1:30 p.m. June 28. Mr. McShea is Carnegie Museum of Natural History program officer and educator. Gallery admission is free and hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday except during university breaks. Information: 412-268-2434 or www.huntbotanical.org.
Silver Eye tonight
Skatopia, a notorious 88-acre skate park and anarchist commune in southeast Ohio, is the subject of a free talk, “Documenting Anarchy,” by Pittsburgh photographers Matthew Conboy and Dylan Vitone, beginning at 6:45 tonight at Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 E. Carson St., South Side. The artists will speak about their work and processes, including differing approaches to image making of the same subject.
Mr. Vitone is a nationally exhibited and collected artist and associate professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Conboy is Fellowship 15 Keystone Award winner and his work is exhibited through Saturday at Silver Eye along with Fellowship 15 winner Christopher Meerdo of Chicago. Gallery hours are noon-6 p.m today through Saturday; admission is free. Information: 412-431-1810 or www.silvereye.org.
Women photogs at The Frick
“Depth of Field — Processing the Work of Women Photographers” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at The Frick Art & Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Linda Benedict-Jones, retiring curatorial chair of exhibitions and curator of photography, Carnegie Museum of Art, will speak about the contributions women have made to the history of photography and moderate a panel discussion with Pittsburgh female photographers. The program is held in conjunction with the exhibition “Impressionist to Modernist: Masterworks of Early Photography,” which continues through April 19. Event admission, $10 ($8 members), includes a custom cocktail mixed and served by Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. Space is limited and registration and prepayment are required at 412-371-0600 or www.TheFrickPittsburgh.org.
Adventure Bingo! at CMOA
“Old-school bingo-meets-pub-quiz” is an understated description of the weekly events organized by madcap Pittsburgh artist and entertainer Alexi Morrissey that have been drawing in-the-know participants to East Liberty. Experience it from 7 to 10 p.m.Thursday at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Culture Club. Mr. Morrissey will lead a tour of the exhibition “Sketch to Structure” in the Heinz Architectural Center (remember high points for later application) followed by an architectural-themed bingo with prizes. Admission, $15 (members $10), includes one drink ticket. Cash bar opens at 7 p.m., the tour at 7:30 p.m., and bingo at 8 p.m. For information or tickets: www.cmoa.org or 412-622-3131.
Art, youth & social change
A program, “In Discussion: Art & Social Change: Movement-Makers in the Arts with DeAnna Cummings, Jasiri X and Dr. Joyce Bell,” will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side, in conjunction with the exhibition “Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent” (free with museum admission). Ms. Kent challenged war and social inequities in the 1960s and ’70s through provocative graphic silkscreens that were reproduced as popular, widely distributed posters.
Ms. Cummings is head of a youth arts program in Minneapolis who also engages with international audiences; Jasiri X is a Pittsburgh rapper, artist and educator concerned with issues of civil and human rights; and Ms. Bell, who will act as panel moderator, is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, where her research centers on race and social justice, with a focus on the lasting impacts of the Black Power Movement.
Information: www.warhol.org or 412-237-8300.
In conjunction with “A Winter Landscape Cradling Bits of Sparkle,” the thought-provoking public art installation by artist Jennifer Wen Ma in Market Square, three workshops are being offered by the Office of Public Art and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. All skill levels are welcome, ages 16 and over.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, “Botanical Illustration” will be led by Robin Menard, a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society. She has a certificate in botanical illustration from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where she teaches botanical drawing. The class will focus on illustrating bamboo, one of the “Winter Landscape” components.
“Landscape Painting” is the topic from 10 a.m. to noon March 28 with Sewickley artist Robert Kluz, who is retired after having taught elementary and high school art for 34 years. Using watercolors, workshop participants will focus on capturing the contrast between the black ink-stained plantings and the green leaf sprouts expected by the end of the month.
Writers Laurie McMillan and Sheila Kelly will lead the final workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. April 1, encouraging written responses to the artwork as it transitions to spring.
Workshops will be held in a tent in Market Square, or moved indoors if the weather is extreme. Project materials will be provided, but participants may also bring their own. Registration, $10, is at www.publicartpittsburgh.org or 412-391-2060, ext. 237.
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: 412-263-1925 or email@example.com.
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