Friday, March 25, 2016

Pittsburgh Watercolor Society celebrates 70 Years Strong with its first exhibit of this anniversary year

Victor Beltran "Jazz in the Park"


    The Pittsburgh Watercolor Society (PWS) announces its latest exhibit, Waterworks 2016. This exhibit, opening April 2, 2015 and running through April 25, 2016 will once again be presented at Spinning Plate Gallery, 5821 Baum Blvd., Pittsburgh, and is the “kick off” event for the PWS 70th anniversary year! The exhibit, open to all current Pittsburgh Watercolor Society members, showcases new works in watercolor and other water media. The opening reception on April 2 from 5 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. is FREE and open to the public.
    This exhibit features new works by PWS members completed within the past 3 years. All members are encouraged to enter this exhibit to create a comprehensive overview of the diversity and quality of the works created by our members. The juror for this exhibit, Graham Shearing, will select three pieces for special awards.
    Mr. Shearing has a lifetime’s worth of professional experience in collecting and critiquing art. He is a collector, critic, curator, consultant and writer who has lived in Pittsburgh for nearly 30 years. After studying law at the University of Cambridge and reading for the English Bar, he was distracted by the lure of art and has been so ever since.
    Even before university, Mr. Shearing says, “ I was an obsessive collector, habitué of museums and art galleries and a haphazard researcher. I never stopped doing these things. At Cambridge the critical moments were experiences in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard under the tutelage of its founder Jim Ede, and attending Sir Nicolaus Pevsner’s lectures in the Architecture Schools. Law came second. David’s Bookstall in Cambridge marketplace started a series of small libraries I have built up, dispersed and reassembled. Now, years later, with remaining accumulations of stuff, pictures, prints and books in the reviving city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I have lived for nearly thirty years. Here, I have been an art dealer, art critic, flaneur and unprofessional cook.”
    The Pittsburgh Watercolor Society was founded in 1945 to develop, encourage and maintain interest in watercolor painting. The original membership of 20 was one of the first groups to be affiliated with the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. The membership of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society has grown to over 200 artists who enjoy this opportunity to explore and share their broad range of style and techniques.
Anni Matsick "Sweet Dreams"
    The Pittsburgh Watercolor Society sponsors two exhibits per year. "Waterworks" is a members-only show with awards selected by a regional noted juror. Members may choose one piece to exhibit. "Aqueous Open" is an international juried exhibition with entries open to artists from around the world. The show is selected by an internationally known artist/juror who travels to Pittsburgh to jury the show and teach a workshop.
  

  General meetings are held twice a year to update members on group exhibits, workshops, and activities and view a demonstration. Members have many opportunities to volunteer some time or talent to the group. For more information about this exhibit or the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, please visit the PWS Web site at http://pittsburghwatercolorsociety.com.
    Spinning Plate Gallery is an independent artists’ space located in what was long known as the Constantin Pontiac Building in East Liberty. This wedge-shaped three-story structure was built in 1926 as a Hupmobile dealership. Art Deco was the reigning architectural style of the day, as evidenced by its terrazzo floors, sweeping staircases and decorative exterior brickwork.
    These elements were retained when the building was reborn as Spinning Plate Artist Lofts, Artspace’s first project outside Minnesota. Developed in partnership with Artists and Cities, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based neighborhood development corporation, Spinning Plate has 37 live/work apartments that offer open floor plans, large windows and high ceilings. The spacious first floor gallery in what was once part of a new car showroom is a bright, airy space at the tip of the wedge that gives artists a convenient venue for showcasing their work.

    Spinning Plate is in East Liberty, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. Long in decline, the area is now experiencing a revival, thanks in part to the influence of this project, which has inspired other housing projects as well as new restaurants, shops and other investment. The project is within walking distance of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and a number of other cultural attractions.

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