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Woodturning News: General News

EXHIBITION: "Her Turn" April 27-July 25 BNY Mellon Satellite Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

Monday, April 13, 2015  
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BNY Mellon Exhibition Showcases Contemporary Works by Women Woodturners

PITTSBURGH, PA April 7, 2015 – Showcasing work by 12 respected women artists working in the male-dominated world of woodturning, Her Turn provides an eye-opening look into the world of functional and sculptural art created on the lathe. Opening April 27, 2015 at the Society for Contemporary Craft’s (SCC) satellite gallery at BNY Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh, this exhibition is organized in conjunction with the American Association of Woodturners’ (AAW) 29th Annual International Symposium (June 25 – 28, 2015). Co-curated by Natalie Sweet of SCC, and Tib Shaw of the AAW, the exhibition continues through July 25, 2015.

Multi-axis turning, carving, and pyrography are among the techniques used—in combination with common and exotic woods—in this varied and visually exciting exhibition. From the richly grained wood of a traditionally turned, functional bowl to the organic undulations of a green-turned vessel or the sensual curves of a sculpture, every piece reflects the unique partnership between material and an artist in command of her craft.

Welsh-born artist Hayley Smith’s striking wall piece, Alone, investigates the significance of the hand, evoking thinking about the cross-cultural history of the symbol of humanity as well as the inherent tie to making. In the work of artist Dixie Biggs, realistically carved leaves and branches pay tribute to the natural landscape from which the objects are made. Cognizant of the unique nature of their once-living medium, the artists often found, fallen or sustainably harvested or salvaged wood.

“People leave salvaged, local woods in my driveway and share stories about their tree,” comments Washington state artist Helga Winter. “I attempt to create objects that are pleasant to be with, invite the touch of the hand, and ask to be held and inquired. The process of my work is self-discovery. The pieces are felt and become known to me – only to be discovered anew through the beholder’s imagination that decides and investigates the function of the piece.”

Internationally recognized artist, Betty Scarpino is known for wood sculptures that combine fluid motion with intricate detail. With a degree in industrial arts, her early career focus was on creating functional objects, but Scarpino quickly evolved into sculptor. With her current direction, Scarpino plays with more abstracted forms, as seen in Elements of Temptation. In addition to her artistic work, she was the former editor of American Woodturner, and is a founder of Women in Turning, a virtual chapter of the AAW. Established at the 2014 AAW Symposium in Phoenix, AZ, this online network has grown to over 500 members in its first year, providing information and support to women, as well as working to provide increased visibility for their work, and sparking the interest of a future generation of female turners. As part of a daylong, pre-conference program, presented by the Collectors of Wood Art and the AAW at SCC on Thursday, June 25 from 9 am – 4pm, Scarpino will present a talk about her recent participation in an international wood carving competition in China. For reservations or more information about the program visit www.contemporarycraft.org.

Exhibiting artists include Hayley Smith (Bisbee, AZ), Betty Scarpino (Indianapolis, IN), Merryll Saylan (Berkeley, CA), Helga Winter (Port Townsend, WA), Barbara Dill (Rockville, VA), Cindy Drozda (Boulder, CO), Linda Van Gehuchten (Sarver, PA), Kimberly Winkle (Smithville, TN), Ashley Harwood (Charleston, SC), Kalia Kliban (Berkeley, CA), Kristen LeVier (Moscow, ID), Dixie Biggs (Gainesville, FL), and Sharon Doughtie (Kaiula, HI).

This exhibition is made possible by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Elizabeth R. Raphael Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, AAW, CWA and other generous donors.

Helga Winter
Symbiosis, 2011
5 ½” x 15” x 14”
Photo: James Klose
Kristin LeVier
Horn III, 2013
Turned and carved compressed maple, copper wire, acrylic paint
8” x 16” x 4”
Photo: Jonathan Billing, Archer Photography

About American Association of Woodturners
AAW is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, dedicated to advancing the art and craft of latheturned work worldwide. Established in 1986, the AAW currently has more than 15,000 members and a network of over 350 local chapters globally, representing professionals, amateurs, gallery owners, collectors, and wood/tool suppliers. AAW’s journal, American Woodturner is the foremost publication on the art and craft of woodturning in the world. The AAW's Gallery of Wood Art presents four to six exhibitions of contemporary wood art annually, www.woodturner.org/ .

About the Collectors of Wood Art

The Collectors of Wood Art is an 18-year old organization with an international membership committed to the development and appreciation of studio wood art (including turned objects, sculpture and furniture) among collectors, artists, educators, art critics, galleries, museums and the general public. For more information visit www.collectorsofwoodart.org.

About Society for Contemporary Craft
Presenting contemporary art in craft media by regional, national and international artists, SCC offers cutting edge exhibitions, a range of studio experiences for makers and non-makers alike, and a retail store. The satellite gallery is located in the “T” station lobby of BNY Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh, and is open daily from 6 am through midnight. SCC’s main location is at 2100 Smallman Street in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. Exhibitions and informal, hands-on art activities in the Drop-In Studio are always free to the public, with a suggested donation of $5. Please visit www.contemporarycraft.org for additional information on programming and events, exhibition technology, and downloadable high-resolution images.

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Norah Guignon, Marketing Manager


412-261-7003 x29

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