Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pittsburgh here I come.

I can't even remember the last time I was actually in Pittsburgh, but it was an awful long time ago.  And I'm kind of excited to go back.  Each time I've been to Pittsburgh it's been different.  It hasn't been the most exciting place to be at times, but there's a lot more going on each time I go.  And usually it's all for a bunch of different reasons.... hummm...

The first time I went was back in college on an art trip.  And... it left an imprint on me for many reasons.  The first was that I was in small college town, stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no car, and no way to leave.  So it was important for me to get out (know what I'm saying?).  Second, I had just changed my major to art.  I went on the trip with my new teachers and peers.  It was a chance to finally get out and meet new people and be around the group I would be spending the rest of my college semesters with.  Next, it was to see art.  I've seen art, lots of art, but most of it was old art.  Not contemporary, not new, not experimental, not like this.

We went to the Mattress Factory, visited an artist's studio, spent time at the Carnegie international, Andy Warhol Museum (just after it had opened), and a quick shopping trip to the Utrecht Art Store (Mecca in my mind), and also the first time I ever ate Indian food --- imagine that?  It was awesome, and I remember being really inspired by the variety of things I saw there.  So much so, that it changed my perspective on art completely.

I had a very narrow view of art.  I managed to see a lot of the world by the age of 18, and I remember in high school we went to see a retrospective of Andy Warhol... but other then that, my exposure to modern or contemporary art was nearly nothing.  But after that trip, it was like a light bulb went on.  Oh-- this is what it's all about!  There is more to art then the western masters hanging on a museum wall.   A WHOLE LOT MORE! There is street art, there's installations, there's darkness, there's magazine clippings, there's performance,  there's light... there's TEXT!

I really enjoyed that trip because I finally had felt I was heading towards something.  I went to college as a very naive girl.  I hadn't known what to expect, what to major in, what classes to take, how to interact with people.  This was all foreign to me, not to mention I felt like a foreigner because I hadn't even lived in the states most of my life.  I was really just trying to assimilate.  This trip made me realize that art was a way I didn't have to assimilate.  My art was my art.

So from then on, I explored that.  Thank you Pittsburgh!

After the initial trip, there were many trips back.  I spent time in different parts of the city, exploring a little bit.  I would never say I know the city.  I've never lived there, and if I thought about it, I could probably sit down and count the times I have been there for one reason or another.

So here we go again.  Traveling with some art people, so we're sure to make a stop at MF, among other places.  I don't know what new and interesting things I'll see, but I'm excited to see the colorful bridges, the hills, the incline, taking a look at some art (old and new), and have a few good meals with some friends.  Will it be inspiring? Will it lead me in a new direction? Will the feeling of nostalgia wash over me as I drive through this curious little-big city? I dunno... but I guess I'm ready for it to.

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