FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 15, 2014 – PITTSBURGH, PA:
Launch event for the second in a series of temporary public artworks along City of Asylum’s Garden-to-Garden Trail
On January 10, 2015, Pittsburgh artist Blaine Siegel will launch North Side Crossing, the second in a series of temporary public artworks commissioned by City of Asylum for its Garden-to-Garden trail. This new public artwork is a community-wide video installation that will feature ten videos projected onto the windows of three Northside locations: the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Allegheny, the Allegheny City Market, and the former Garden Theater. With the exception of the installation at Allegheny City Market, which will run continuously, projections will begin every night at sundown and run until midnight, February 14th, 2015.
The launch includes an artist talk and opening reception that will run from 4 to 5 pm on Saturday, January 10th at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Allegheny, 1230 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. The reception is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested: www.cityofasylumpittsburgh.org/events/ or call 412-323-0278. The artist will be present at the reception and will speak about the project.
Following the reception, the artist—along with members of the Office of Public Art—will conduct a short neighborhood tour of the artwork. The tour will begin at the library at 5pm.
About North Side Crossing
North Side Crossing is the second in a series of temporary public art commissions being installed along City of Asylum’s Garden-to-Garden Trail. The Office of Public Art provided technical assistance to produce the project
Artists chosen for the series were selected during an open call, with a panel of Northside residents making the selection. Each installation involves collaboration with the Central Northside community by the artist, and each involves the use of language—body language, text, and the language of film—to explore alternate modes of storytelling.
Sitting in the Northside Farmer’s Market with a sign inviting passers-by to talk with him, Blaine Siegel discovered a number of enthusiastic participants, and worked with them to develop their stories using non-spoken languages. “When we think of language,” the artist writes in his statement, “we think of speaking. It is important for me to show all the other ways that we use language…how we write, what we write, the way we communicate with our eyes, the ways we use our body to create meaning or express control. By altering the speed of movement in the videos I am able to emphasize the simplest of actions, to add meaning to what is usually seen as a normal gesture. Language is so much more than just the words we speak.”
North Side Crossing will feature ten videos projected onto the windows of three Northside locations:
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Allegheny
1230 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
The Allegheny City Market
1327 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
The former Garden Theater
12 West North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
With the exception of the installation at Allegheny City Market, which will run continuously, projections will begin every night at sundown and run until midnight on February 14th, 2015.
About the Garden-to-Garden Trail
The Trail will connect City of Asylum’s new Alphabet Reading Garden on the 1400 block of Monterey Street to its new Alphabet City literary center in the Garden Theater block. It is a .7 mile walk transformed and activated by the arts and resident artists with temporary and permanent public art, numerous free performances on public streets and in tented vacant lots and gardens, smartphone tours, and community- based artist residencies with public workshops and performances.
The Garden-to-Garden Trail is underwritten in part thanks to generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America.
About the Artist
Blaine Siegel earned a BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University and an MFA in Sculpture from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has exhibited work in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Florida, New York and Arles, France. Recent exhibits of note include, ENOUGH Violence at Pittsburgh’s Society for Contemporary Craft, Objects for Dance at PRACTICE in Philadelphia, and DREAM BODY at 709 Gallery in Pittsburgh.
About the Office of Public Art
The Office of Public Art is a partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh. OPA provides technical assistance and educational programs about public art in the Pittsburgh region. Learn more at www.publicartpittsburgh.org.
About City of Asylum
Founded in 2004, City of Asylum is a model for arts-based community development, bringing writers, readers and neighbors together through global literature and cultural exchange. Located on Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s Northside, City of Asylum’s campus of redeveloped houses serve both as homes for exiled writers and as public artworks. It has presented more than 250 authors and musicians from 42 countries in free readings and concerts. Sampsonia Way, the publishing arm of City of Asylum, specializes in banned books in translation and anthologies of contemporary writing from countries where free speech is under threat; SampsoniaWay.org, its online journal of free speech, literature, and justice serves as a virtual home for persecuted writers and serves a growing global audience online.