The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's finalists for its 2009 Work of Art Awards includes the CMU@NYC blog by Eric Sloss, director of media relations at Carnegie Mellon University, and administered by the Post-Gazette (mostly Matt Kennedy and me). We introduced the blog in January, when Eric and CMU faculty, officals and alumni from the College of Fine Arts embarked on a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple arts scene, including a personal tour of artist Philip Pearlstein's studio. The stops spanned the college’s five disciplines of art, design, music, drama and architecture to showcase Pittsburgh artists making an impact in New York, and Eric provided multimedia content during his trip.
This was Eric's idea and the draw for us was mostly Mr. Pearlstein, but the PG has always followed locals who make good in New York and other cities. Eric dove in with enthusiasm -- whether it was text, images or audion -- and we were happy to give his work a home.
The CMU@NYC blog is a finalist in the Arts & Technology category, "which honors an artist or organization that has successfully incorporated technology in a skillful or inventive way to do their artistic or management work." Others in the category were artist Ron Nigro, who uses technological castoffs to create sculptures "with a formal yet whimsical approach," and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's MCG Youth, which partnered with the Pittsburgh "Robot 250" project and artist Dror Yaron, using Gigapan Technology to develop learning experiences that connected youth with their communities and opened collaborations around the world.
The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council event on June 1 will honor the individuals and organizations that create and support the arts in Western PA. Winners will be presented with an art award designed by local artist Justin Rothshank. More info at the arts council's Work of Art Awards site.
Other categories and finalists are:
Creative Arts and Business Partnership Award recognizes a successful collaboration between an arts organization and a business that furthered the interests of both parties.
Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School (ToonSeum) & Gypsy Café, who partnered to host the Pittsburgh chapter of a world-wide movement that brings together artists, musicians, burlesque performers and unique models in a quirky, social atmosphere of drawing and imagination.
Passports Art Diversity Project & McCormack Baron Salazar, who collaborated to place original work by local artists in three McCormack, Baron, Salazar, Inc. housing sites-a model of how local developers can work with Pittsburgh artists to complete interior design projects.
Quantum Theatre & Seagate Technology, who created the Seagate Tech Circle of donors, in which Seagate committed to a financial match for donations by other tech-based companies, giving emerging companies a way to support and experience the arts in Pittsburgh.
Best Practices in Arts Management Award recognizes an innovative and creative arts management practice that can serve as a model for the advancement of arts and culture in the region and beyond.
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild's MCG Youth, which hosted the 2008 NCECA Conference and developed Cera[m!x] Pittsburgh, a region-wide network of ceramic artists, educators and enthusiasts that placed 100 exhibitions in 60 venues and attracted 4,600 conference registrants.
New Hazlett Theater, which has delineated a unique operating policy and structure that allows nearly 30 of Pittsburgh's small and mid-sized arts organizations, as well as individual artists, to pursue their own missions, present their own programs and connect with their own audiences.
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, whose Artistic Director Kevin Noe introduced operating and artistic procedures that have lead to a 600% audience increase since 1999, the release of two commercial CDs and a major international tour (2008).
Working Artist Award recognizes an individual artist who has demonstrated exceptional innovation, boldness and creativity when working on the business/promotion side of his or her art.
Gerry Florida, an avant-garde, eco-friendly jewelry designer and recycle artist who reinvented herself after a disability by creating a home-based business that has connected her to boutiques, galleries and art shows.
Thomas Mosser, whose twenty-year career as a working artist includes a Pittsburgh Pirates mural in the office lobby at PNC Park and a downtown mural created in collaboration with Sarah Zeffiro entitled The Two Andys.
David Motak, a leading promoter and practitioner of the Cracow Szopka art form in the United States, whose individual works, student workshops, szopka exhibitions and cultural events have shown tremendous leadership, innovation and drive in promoting his Pittsburgh-based initiative.
Excellence in Arts Education Award honors an individual or organization in the Pittsburgh region who has worked over time to implement excellence in arts education. This award is presented in partnership with the Arts Education Collaborative and Gateway to the Arts.
Dance Alloy Theater, for the Dance Education Initiative, a multi-faceted project with six Pittsburgh schools using teaching formats that include intensive residencies, lecture demonstrations, mentoring relationships, studio site visits and guest artists.
Marilyn Egan, who has grown the quality and reach of the Pittsburgh Opera's wide array of programs for educators, students, schools, families and adults, helping educators integrate the arts meaningfully into all subject areas.
McKeesport Area High School Opera Academy Team, whose educators Ray Beard, Bonnie Butler and Debra Calise actively integrate opera into their lessons in meaningful and creative ways with a profound effect on students' motivation and learning.
Mayor's Award for Public Art recognizes an individual or organization's efforts in the development of a public art project that contributes to the quality of life and economic development of a Pittsburgh community. Winner will be selected and presented by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Conservation of "A Song to Nature" in Schenley Plaza, a large-scale public sculpture created by artist Victor David Brenner to honor Mary Schenley, who donated land in 1889 to establish Schenley Park.
Sports & Exhibition Authority, "Langley Observatory Clock" by R.M. Fischer, part of the North Shore Riverfront Park, this site-specific installation is a response to the industrial history of Pittsburgh while simultaneously appearing timeless and looking forward.
Squonk Opera, "Astro-rama" performance in Schenley Plaza, a site-specific, large-scale visual theatre performance-infused with a rock concert sensibility, wit and innovative spirit-that drew 10,000 people to Schenley Plaza.
People's Choice Award recognizes a favorite arts or culture event and is selected through a public polling process.
Art All Night: Lawrenceville, a grassroots, uncensored, non-juried art show staged by an all-volunteer crew in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Handmade Arcade, an indie craft fair created to give grassroots, independent crafters an opportunity to show and sell their wares and to provide an alternative to traditional craft fairs.
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble's 2008 Summer Season, a summer festival of new music, visual art, theatre and computer-generated images in a thrilling arts experience.
The Award for Outstanding Volunteerism recognizes outstanding contributions of an active volunteer, firm or business from the Arts Council's Business Volunteers for the Arts® and/or Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts programs. The 2009 award is presented to Pepper Hamilton LLP, whose attorneys volunteered nearly 250 hours through VLA-a market value of almost $50,000.
The Leadership in the Arts Award recognizes an individual or organization from the business, legal, arts or civic sectors whose work has had a significant impact on the region's cultural landscape. The 2009 Award will be presented to Allegheny Regional Asset District in recognition of the significant contribution this program has made and will continue to make on the arts in our region.