A Man's Internal Reflection & A Few Paper Thin Hearts

As promised, today was the second step in my February Gallery Fest and I'm pleased to report the art is getting better and better (in my opinion at least). Today, I went to 707 Penn Ave. and 709 Penn Ave., which are located about five feet away from each other. Both exhibits were fabulous.

707 - Steve Emmett: Internal Reflections
Man's Best Friend
In this gallery you will find a number of paintings that focus on "his motif of the solitary male figure," done by the late Steve Emmett, who was a professor at Edinboro University, as well as an artist. Now I must admit, these paintings were quite manly in the sense that I could imagine all of them being done in real life, by men and only men. A lot of them made me feel like I accidentally walked in on a man just living his life on a typical Saturday afternoon. Boxers, mess and beer is an easy way to sum up the gallery as a whole. And while I found it a bit off to have the paintings hanging in a perfectly clean gallery, maybe that was the intent. I love when artists let you walk in on real life, each of Steve's paintings were very rich in color and raw in emotion. It's not everyday that you see art that's beautifully messy, usually, from what I've seen, artists tend to pick one or the other. I admire when artists break out of the "norms"...I believe that's really what art is supposed to do anyway.

My favorite piece from this collection was called Man's Best Friend, which was done in 2005 and is being sold for $1,900...in case anyone is interested. Again, the emotion on the man's face in this painting is so real and the scene is striking but yet, depicting something so common. Whatever is going on in this man's mind must be agonizing, but at least his faithful little companion is there to support him.

709 - Kathryn Carr: Paper Thin Theater
Mother Earth
I absolutely adored this exhibit! I seriously could not get over it; the detail, the humor and wit, the innovation and interaction, the technique...all flawless. (I'm pretty sure I became her number one fan today.) On a sheet of paper, as you make your way into the gallery is an explanation of the art. Kathryn Carr does paper cut art, which focuses on storytelling, mostly children's tales, puppetry and opera, which are presented in a silhouette form. The paper also said that she began this kind of art in 2008 and that it has remained her only medium because she loves the bold effects of the silhouette and straightforwardness of the creative process. Seriously, Kathryn must have been that one kid in the second grade who was making these bomb paper snowflakes while everyone else was just trying not to cut their fingers off. This exhibit was amazing! Not only was I filled with so much joy going through and actually remembering some of the fables, but it was so cool to see something so unique. Maybe this is a huge medium somewhere, but I've never seen something this beautiful and as simple paper cut-outs. And of course, since the gallery was selling prints of some pieces and cards with some other pieces on them, I had to buy something! And if you know me, you know that I spend far too much time being in love with stationary and the card aisle of every store...even if I don't actually need to buy a card for someone, so I bought a few the cards. Probably the best purchase of the year and it's only February.

Staged Identity
Since I loved Kathryn's exhibit so much, I'll just let her pieces speak for themselves. I'm currently using Mother Earth as the background on my phone and really had to pull myself away from buying it. But the cards are so beautiful as well. I'm not posting them, because I want the people who I plan on sending them to, to be surprised, but I will say that two are very "teacher-like" and two are about love and Pittsburgh. In other news: both of the exhibits mentioned are going on until Sunday the 19th, so if you're in the area, be sure to check them out! You cannot get the full experience simply through reading my blog - get out there and support the artists, Pittsburgh! You'll be glad you did!

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