The Pittsburgh Left

A tour of The Pittsburgh Left exhibition at SPACE Gallery as seen through the lens of photographer and exhibition artist Larry Rippel.

SPACE Gallery from Liberty Avenue sidewalk. Logo by Tom Sarver.

Organized by Pittsburgh-based artist Tom Sarver, The Pittsburgh Left opened at SPACE Gallery on August 26, 2022. The gallery is one of several spaces run by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The show features collections of work and installations by eleven artists. The show runs through October 23rd, 2022. More information on hours and programming can be found HERE.

Installation shot with wall of 50 Pittsburgh pen & ink drawings by Tom Sarver (left), sculpture by Kathleen Zimbicki (middle) and Kathleen Zimbicki large-scale watercolors (right).

Sarver discussed ideas for a Pittsburgh-themed show with the visual arts curator of The Cultural Trust in 2019. He was creating sketches and drawings of Pittsburgh on-location and wanted to assemble a group of artists for a show at SPACE. After a couple years of studio and gallery visits, a lineup was selected.

Look Up by Ramon Riley, Kairotic Painting, 2021, 60″ x 60″, paper, watercolor, oil, graphite, acrylic mounted on canvas.

Kairotic Painting comes from the ancient Greek word kairos, which roughly translates to mean “the right time”. By referring to the works as “Kairotic Paintings”, I am stating my intention to improvise and embrace the presence of intangible forces as part of my creative process. – Ramon Riley

Arrangement of four paintings by Ramon Riley.

The details of the heavenly orbs atop the 16th Street
Bridge have always fascinated me. The winged horses,
the zodiac and mythological symbols tells us its creators
valued aesthetic beauty. I am in awe of both the form
and the function of this bridge. Some lives are forever
changed because a bridge was built and a bridge was
crossed. -Ramon Riley

Immersive video installation by Chris Ivey.

Filmmaker Chris Ivey is presenting We Are Here- Finding Beauty In The Raw, a multichannel video installation of several interviews wrapped in an immersive environment. Ivey’s history of hands-on, investigative work (East of Liberty documentary series, Grenfell Tower/Arconic engagement works) reveals and confronts racism and injustice both in Pittsburgh and internationally.

Installation by David Montano, 2022.

Conceptual artist David Montano has been collecting Pittsburgh post cards for many years. Montano is interested in the people who hand-wrote messages to their loved ones. He created an installation in the window space alcove of the gallery.

A collection of antique Pittsburgh-themed postcards arranged and pressed between two pieces of plexiglass are viewable from both sides of a window cut into an interior gallery wall.

A hand-painted copy of an antique postcard. David Montano, 2022.

An installation by Larry Rippel includes framed photographs and computers from many stages of his career. Each computer plays a slideshow of his creative work.
Larry Rippel has worked in the Pittsburgh photographic community for over forty years. He presents a multimedia retrospective installation that highlights his passion for Pittsburgh arts, culture and community.

A “print-stallation” of Risograph prints by Mary Tremonte
Mary Tremonte is a Pittsburgh-based DJ, artist and educator. Printmaking is at the core of her practice, as she creates installations, wearable art, banners, zines and more.

Deavron “The Urban Explorer” Dailey and gallery visitors checking out his wall of work during the soft opening of the exhibition.
An arrangement of ceramic tile wall pieces by Deavron Dailey.
Deavron Dailey’s collection of work includes prints, ceramic wall pieces, and wearable art.

Splitting time between Pittsburgh and Detroit, Dailey often reflects on each place from a distance. He draws inspiration from exploration in each and realizes his visions in a wide variety of artistic media including ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting.

A fibers piece and two cartoon illustrations by Kirsten Ervin.
Jerry Saves The Land of Make Believe. Kirsten Ervin, 2022 Gouache paint, ink on arches watercolor paper.

Kirsten Ervin is a Pittsburgh-based fiber artist and illustrator focused on building community and promoting joy.

Kathleen Zimbicki is a Pittsburgh arts legend. At 88, she is the oldest artist in the show. A selection of her large-scale visionary watercolor paintings were selected to show salon-style on a large gallery wall. The two bottom-central pieces are from 2022. The others were created during various stages of her prolific career.
Golden Artemis by Kathleen Zimbicki, Watercolor.

Installation of paintings by Kate Lundy.
Painter Kate Lundy created an installation anchored by paintings that tell a story of her time in Pittsburgh. Each painting depicts a place important to her experience, and together they map out her journey.

Show installation view.

A wall of plein air oil paintings by Tyler Gedman. At 22, Tyler is the youngest artist in the show.
My work basically boils down to my own personal enjoyment in finding unconventional beauty in overlooked commonplace scenes and the thrill of creating a realistic illusion. I’m also intrigued by the emotional response that the relationship between dramatic light and shadow can evoke in the viewer—something Edward Hopper was known for in his work. -Tyler Gedman

Pittsburgh Drawings and Sketches, Tom Sarver, 2019-2022.
Tom Sarver’s wall of 50 Pittsburgh Drawings and Sketches.

In 2019, I began making drawings and sketches of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I made the works on site, attempting to capture the people and activity of each place. I wanted to show the gritty places, the overgrown lots, the decay, but also a sense of humanity in representing the variety of places where people live and interact.

In developing The Pittsburgh Left, I’m interested in how other artists think about the city and how it has influenced their work. I chose artists at various stages of their careers. Some I’ve reached out to for the first time, and some I have worked with over the years. Within this mix, I hope for unexpected dialogue. I don’t expect a very harmonious arrangement, but a quirky one that challenges the viewer to look closely at each artist’s point of view. – Tom Sarver

All photographs Copyright, Larry Rippel, 2022. Artwork images are Copyright of exhibition artists. Thank you to The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

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