Acrylic on canvas
36” x26” x3/4”
Acrylic on canvas
36” x26” x3/4”
My hope and goal with my work is quite simply to convey thought and emotion in the viewer. I find that all too often, Artists make works that showcase skill instead of trying to inspire feeling. I’ve always been drawn to works that give me an unexpected sensation that is only explicable through seeing it for one’s self. My dream has, and will always be, to be able to do the same for as many that choose to take a glimpse.
The painting that I created for ‘DIGS’ depicts the act of recognizing the importance of overcoming, to keep going. Even though the struggle is larger than myself, I can and I will. I may appear delicate and frail, but my strength knows no bounds.
Dawn Pogany is a 37 year old, Pittsburgh born artist specializing in Mixed Media. Her work is easily recognizable due to her implementation of newspaper. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Graphic Design in 2006. She is a recognized member of The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh as well as The Pittsburgh Society of Artist Guild. Her work has been seen on television, murals, and various other galleries and venues. In early 2016, Dawn won a scholarship which allowed her to display her work in the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival.
I find the idea of presenting my visual art in a written form super difficult. Here is my attempt, I hope, dear reader, I can keep your interest.
My name is Danielle Robinson. I am a visual artist.
I hope with my art I can just encourage conversation.
I paint black women and animals as I see them, integrated into the fabric of my life, as fantastic goddesses, beasts and super heroes. This is the way I see us. We are more than a shade of brown.
The way I express myself on paper is a thoughtless process, I just create. I do love to combine some of my favorite styles of art to create something different and new. I combine graffiti, art-deco and African art as starting points in most of my work.
I think my work is almost parallel to the theme of DIGS. Black women are underrepresented in many fields including art. This is why create, to change these biases.
I just want you to look and feel something. It may be good or bad, as long as I encouraged a feeling…start a conversation.
Danielle Robinson, visual artist and painter. Danielle has worked with a variety of artists and musicians in the Pittsburgh area. She creates visuals that are a mixture of cartoon/comic style and realism, with acrylic paint on canvas. Her pieces are stories of black women represented as powerful, royal, majestic, dark and fantasy driven.
Black women, nature and animals are the inspiration for her body of work. The connection of the three is commonly shown in her work.
“We lack representation. We can be powerful just like Superman and Wonder Woman. Black girls NEED to know they are magical…we can have dragons too, ya know…”
Sam Thorp’s work is inspired by an event that happened as an impressionable college freshman: “A highly regarded Art professor summed up my midterm critique with the statement that I draw really well for a girl. I was stunned that he meant it as an earnest compliment and spent a lot of time mulling over that “compliment” and all it implied.”
Also it is worth noting that large chain arts & crafts stores cater toward women because the market indicates women are overwhelmingly buying and making arts & crafts at the amateur/ hobby level. While the professional “blue-chip” Fine Art world supports and promotes men as the “most important artists of our time”.
As a result, Sam has created 4 large drawings. These are done with a digital drawing tablet, combining traditional drawing skills with the advantages of new technology. These works are meant to question the authority that believes a particular skill set has a gender.It is meant to challenge the systems that create a glass ceiling for being culturally relevant and bankable. The artist’s intention is to subvert the status quo that has tried to box people into “their place”.
Sam Thorp is known for creating sweeping energetic lines and color used for emotional impact. Classically trained in western tradition of figure studies and strongly influenced by comic books and fantasy cover illustrators. Growing up as an non-white, non-straight, non- binary outsider, Sam’s work tends to focus on exploring ideas in the fringe areas of gender, sexuality and culture.
Sam attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the arts and has a degree in Art Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Sam is based in Pittsburgh, with numerous exhibitions throughout the city, across the nation and over the world.
DIGS – Sexism in the Arts
A sense of isolation and fear, misogynist behavior, and an overwhelming feeling of sadness led to this exhibition. Riffing on the cliché that children should be seen, not heard, I knew that, historically, women haven’t been seen or heard. We weren’t included in art history except as objects in paintings and there hasn’t been much, if any, space for us on the walls of museums and gallery spaces. Linda Nochlin posed the question “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?,” initiating a serious discussion.
This is something that I never realized and thought about until I graduated from college, but now I know that discrimination is a bigger problem, especially when seen in tandem with race, age, class, and religion. These factors definitely limit women’s exhibition opportunities and employment, even though many white males deny the facts. There is this disconnect; white males feel that everything is moving forward and progressing, yet discrimination and sexual harassment is still an issue in the workplace and in the arts. Perpetuated by political environment, there are so many messages sent to males and females of all ages that it’s acceptable.
I chose 12 women in different stages of their careers and their lives. I asked each artist to create a piece based on sexism and how it intersects with age and/or race. This was initial idea turned into so much more, a visual story about rape, misogyny, and discrimination of all kinds. Each woman in this exhibit has shared a personal story and/or observation about what sexism is and how it intersects with many other factors. Each personal experience shared is unique, but it concerns everyone at the same time. While most believe, publicly or privately, that women have come a long way, I believe there is still a long way to go. I want to see a world where women don’t have to worry about how to dress to be taken seriously or if their heels aren’t too high, about making sure to dumb themselves down so they don’t appear too smart or intimidating. Making sure that they are invisible and acceptable is NOT is not coming a long way.
While you explore the work in this exhibition, remind yourself that the artwork is here not to necessarily make you feel comfortable. You will not find stereotype of feminine or floral artwork, the typical, and false, stereotype of women’s art. After Judy Chicago and others started making what they considered to be art by, for, and about women in the1970s, women have been pushing boundaries by considering what it means to be female in our current culture. The women in this exhibit are visionaries, mothers and mentors. I am proud to show their work, and I hope that this exhibit gives a deeper understanding of what we think, believe, and perceive to be the current culture, locally and globally, of how “sexism” is defined.
This exhibit is dedicated to my children. I love them with all of my heart and missed many hours with them to work on this project. I hope that this they know, everything that I do is for them.
– Carolyn Pierotti