Photo by Nicole Jarock.

Visual artist and East Liberty resident Laurie Trok creates large paper cut installations and paintings. Don’t miss her new Paper Ball Project, on view at Bar Marco‘s Union Hall through February. A South Hills native, Laurie also works as a studio assistant and manager for several Pittsburgh artists. “I am truly lucky to be able to daily reinvent myself and to have the opportunity to create my own career,” she says. “I hope to get to the point where I can help other people create that for themselves.”

Monday, February 15

Monday mornings start early in our house; my husband Phil and I wake up around 6 a.m. and head over to the Kingsley Association in Larimer for a quick workout. Afterward, the first part of my work day is always administrative. With a coffee from Commonplace Coffee in hand, I’ll schedule, pay bills, etc., so I can move forward without anything weighing on me.

Photo by Nicole Jarock.

This week I’m heading over to Radiant Hall at Susquehanna to begin working on a collaborative project between Ryan Lammie and Urban Tree. I’m helping to manage the project, so I’ll stop in and make sure everything is running smoothly. Next I’m meeting Seth Clark at Constellation Coffee to discuss my experiences with my Studio Direct program, which he designed. Afterward I’m headed to Squirrel Hill to pick up some supplies at Artist and Craftsman Supply and stopping at the Framesmith to drop off a commission piece to be framed

Then I’ll spend some time in the studio before meeting up with Maralynn Jacoby from Bear Left Bear to work on some wonderful packets that she designed for my patrons. I will also pick up an amazing bouquet from Gold Dust Floral in Lawrenceville that will add some much needed color to my cold studio.

Tuesday, February 16

I’ll spend a lot of today in the studio, binding some books that were printed by Tip Type and designed by Bear Left Bear. I am also hosting gallery hours at Bar Marco’s Union Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and I’ll use that time to catch up on some work I’m doing for Radiant Hall.

After work I plan to stop by Five Points Artisan Bakeshop to pick up a French loaf; they have the best bread in town and we have a friend coming by for dinner.

Wednesday, February 17

Laurie’s studio in the Mine Safety Appliance building.
Laurie’s studio in the Mine Safety Appliance building.

Kingsley, again, and back to Radiant Hall to check in on the project and see how it is progressing. I’ll be at Bar Marco again today, gallery sitting for my exhibition, but I’ll have several meetings while I’m there. Today I’m linking up with Jeff Jarzynka, who has created an art consulting business that works outside the traditional gallery model. Looking forward to hearing what he’s been up to. I hope to also link up with Ryan Lammie, who runs Radiant Hall to chat about some big picture ideas.

Tonight my husband Phil and I will head over to Pizza Taglio in East Liberty for dinner. Our friend Tony Giaramita makes the best roman pizza, plus I want to talk with him about some artwork ideas for the shop.

Thursday, February 18

I’ll head over to Espresso a Mano for an espresso and to check a few things for next month’s artist, Jacquet Kehm. Then I’ll meet up with TJ, the owner of Commonplace Coffee at their roasting facility in Larimer to discuss their art programming for 2016 and some work I’m creating for them.

Next I’m meeting up with Mia Tarducci Henry at her amazing studio in the Susquehanna building in Homewood, the former Westinghouse building. I will catch up with her on what she’s been working on and help her wrap some big paintings to travel to a gallery in Arizona. She and I will grab lunch at the East End Food Co-op and head over to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts to see the solo shows on view, including Sarika Goulatia‘s immersive installation, which I’m very much looking forward to checking out.

Courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Friday, February 19

The most exciting part of today will be heading over to the fish fry in Morningside at St. Raphael’s, a Pittsburgh favorite. My family is trying to make a go at trying as many places at we can this lenten season, even though none of us are Catholic. St. Albert the Great in Baldwin is also awesome.

Then we’ll try to catch The Garment District‘s set at Cattivo (full disclosure: this is the band of NEXT Up editor, Jennifer Baron).

Saturday, February 20

Today I’m really looking forward to an Artist Talk at The Andy Warhol Museum, Exposures: with Elizabeth Rudnick and Jamie Earnest at 2 p.m. Before that, Phil and I will make coffee, prepare a leisurely breakfast, and do some reading at home.

Laurie’s studio
Laurie’s studio

After The Warhol, we are heading over to the Carnegie Museum to spend some more time in the Heinz Architectural Center at the HACLab Pittsburgh: Imagining the Modern exhibition. It is FULL of information about Pittsburgh’s relationship with modern architecture and urban planning, something we’ve become increasingly interested in. We’ll be exhausted from all that information, so I’ll just want to stare at the Hall of Minerals for awhile and head home for some reading and baking.

Sunday, February 21

An early morning wake-up because in our house we cherish the weekends so much. We’ll head out to some thrift stores after breakfast, probably the Community Thrift Center on Noblestown Road, its been a while since we’ve hit that location, and maybe to Lawrenceville’s Goodwill. While we’re there we’ll pick up some loose tea at Gryphon’s Tea, and grab a treat from La Gourmandine Bakery.
From there we are headed to SPACE Gallery to check out David Bernabo and Blaine Seigel’s exhibition, Causal Loop, which I’ve been very much looking forward to seeing.
Back home to get things in order for another great week!

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...