Local Artist Ryder Henry Building Model Landscape Inspired by Changing Pittsburgh


Local Artist Ryder Henry building model landscape inspired by changing Pittsburgh
Contemporary Craft’s Artist Residency Program shares the hidden process of art making

PITTSBURGH, PA – June 29, 2017 – The Artist Residency program at Contemporary Craft (CC) has long been an accessible entry point for the public to see artists in action: carving, creating, and enjoying the process of an evolving artwork or installation. Visitors can observe artists’ creative processes and start a dialogue with them around their inspirations, concepts, and techniques. This summer, the organization invites local artist Ryder Henry to continue building an architectural model landscape inspired by the changing city of Pittsburgh; it will be a futuristic landscape reflecting the hustle, bustle, and history of Pittsburgh’s historic neighborhoods combined with ideas of fantasy and outer space.

A Pittsburgh-based sculptor and painter, Ryder Henry creates models and paintings of cities that reference real places. Combining fantasy, sci-fi motifs and futuristic buildings with contemporary urban architecture, Henry’s model incorporates the appearance of old brick juxtaposed with new composite surfaces, richly textured with set-backs, bump-outs, green spaces, pools, and balconies. His works are science fiction futurescapes with an oblique, generalized affinity with reality.

“The summer residency program is more than a residency program for artists,” says CC’s Executive Director, Janet McCall. “It is a program that encourages all artists to step out of their studio and connect with the community. The artists can share their creative experience and stories directly and genuinely with our visitors, many of whom didn’t have the opportunity to talk with artists.” The summer residency program fulfills one of CC’s core values of using the art to build community, as a significant part of the artist-in-residence’s experience will be interacting with the diverse visitors that pass through the doors of this free-of-charge arts organization.

Ryder Henry will be in CC’s work space in the gallery and available to interact with the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM beginning on Saturday, July 1, 2017 and running through October 14, 2017. The public is encouraged to visit often to watch Henry’s project expand throughout the summer months. Henry’s miniature model landscapes will be available for sale in the CC Store throughout his 2017 summer artist residency program.


Ryder Henry’s Summer Artist Residency will occur during two main exhibitions at CC.

Oaths and Epithets: Works by Sonya Clark is a solo show including works by internationally recognized African-American artist, Sonya Clark, that have never been publicly exhibited; her work explores self identity and social perceptions through commonplace objects and centuries-old handcraft traditions. The exhibition is exhibited at CC’s main gallery and open to the public through August 19, 2017.

Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home is a socially engaged art experience that focuses public attention on the pressing issue of human displacement happening globally and locally. Featuring more than 40 works in diverse craft media by 14 contemporary artists, Shelter explores increasing public concerns about housing insecurity and displacement, and how the arts can encourage positive self-expression and to guide thoughtful conversations about safe housing as a basic human right. The exhibition will be opening at CC’s main gallery on September 8, 2017 through February 17, 2018.


Presenting contemporary art in craft media by regional, national, and international artists since 1971, CC offers cutting edge exhibitions focusing on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art, as well as a range of studio workshops, community outreach programs, and a retail store. Through its mission of engaging the public in creative experiences through contemporary craft, CC offers meaningful art opportunities for 145,000 people a year through four core values: providing vital support for artists, filling critical gaps in public education; sharing cross cultural perspectives; and using art to build community.

CC is located at 2100 Smallman Street in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Exhibition and informal, hands-on art activities in the Drop-In Studio are always free to the public. Contemporary Craft is committed to making its exhibitions, programs, and services accessible to the public. For questions related to accessible accommodations, please contact us. For more information, visit www.contemporarycraft.org or call 412.261.7003.

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