silver eye center for photography weber image
Julie Weber, Three Permutations of Light (Agfa Insignia Warmton 2 Baryta), 2016. Courtesy of the artist. An image from Silver Eye's last exhibit at their South Side location.

Silver Eye Center for Photography is joining other arts-based businesses—Assemble and Level Up Studios—to round out the commercial space at Penn Mathilda, ACTION-Housing’s affordable housing development at 4812 Penn Avenue in Bloomfield.

“The relocation of Silver Eye Center for Photography to the Penn Avenue Arts District is a wonderful validation of 20 years of neighborhood efforts to make Penn Avenue a primary destination for artists and community,” says Linda Metropulos, director of housing and neighborhood development at ACTION-Housing.

Having new space allows the 35-year-old Pittsburgh arts organization to add 900 square feet of dedicated educational and lab space and build out gallery space practically from the ground up.

Penn Mathilda Apartments complete facade
Silver Eye’s new home will anchor the corner of the Penn Mathilda Apartments. Photo by Nathaniel Rice.
Silver Eye’s new home will anchor the corner of the Penn Mathilda Apartments. Photo by Nathaniel Rice.

Moving from the old South Side building the organization has owned since 1987 was not an easy decision, says Juliana Zipay, membership and marketing manager for Silver Eye.

“The new space opens up the creativity of the shows we curate,” says Zipay. “We want to expand and grow in a way that is better for the art and photography.”

Silver Eye is working with the Design Alliance Architects on the design of the new gallery which will have high ceilings and an abundance of natural light from the large glass windows. The new Silver Eye will have 2,000 square feet of gallery and office space as well as the 900-square-foot learning lab so the organization can grow their middle and high school educational offerings and install a large high-quality photo printer for members.

The Troy Hill-based photography bookstore Spaces Corners will curate a selection of contemporary photo books which will be available for sale, adding a retail component to Silver Eye.

Silver Eye expects to open in the new space in spring 2017; they plan to hold their annual fellowship exhibit at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood gallery in early February 2017.

Materials & Processes, the current exhibition at Silver Eye on the South Side at 1015 East Carson Street, will close this Saturday, October 15The gallery will be open from 12 to 6 p.m. with a closing reception from 7 to 9 p.m.

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.