Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
On view through July 20
Opening reception: May 9, 5:30 – 9 p.m.
The (art) envelope, please … The 2014 Artist of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year will be unveiled at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts during a public celebration. Being honored as the PCA’s 2014 Artist of the Year is interdisciplinary artist Hyla Willis, who has produced a significant body of work with both regional and national impact. Recognized as Emerging Artist of the Year will be painter Mia Tarducci Henry.
As Artist of the Year, Willis is presenting her conceptual mixed media art installation, America’s Least Livable City and other works, featuring video, paintings and drawings. In discussing the project, Willis explains that in 1985, when Rand McNally first identified Pittsburgh as “America’s Most Livable City,” her own hometown of Yuba City, CA was ranked last. Exploring the struggles of everyday life and the community bonds that still exist when “the outside world disregards you,” Willis’ exhibit also includes archival material and new work.
A longtime member of the subRosa feminist art collective and a past president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Pittsburgh, Willis teaches media arts at Robert Morris University. The recipient of two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships and a Creative Capital grant, Willis has performed, exhibited and led workshops in North America, Europe, Asia Australia. With subRosa, she combines art, social activism and politics to examine ways women are impacted by rapidly evolving biological and communications technologies.
Raised in Newport, RI, Emerging Artist of the Year Mia Tarducci Henry moved to Pittsburgh in 1998. Her PCA exhibit includes literal and abstract paintings that employ color to visually communicate human experience and emotions such as indifference, loneliness, anger, euphoria, chaos and peace. Thematically linked, Henry’s paintings explore humor, color and scale and reflect her relationship with the exterior world.
Also opening concurrently at PCA are new works by Jennie Thwing, Jake Beckman and Jeanne Jaffe, who are all recent fellowship winners ate the Center For Emerging Visual Arts in Philadelphia.