Last weekend, the Fix hosted our first Juried Show: An Exploration of Conceptual Art, which was juried and curated by David Oresick, the Director of the Silver Eye Center, and Jessica Beck, the associate curator of the Andy Warhol Museum.
This exhibition, now slated to be an annual event, lived in my mind as this unrealistic dream just a few months ago. But thanks to the help of April Friges, one of Point Park University's dedicated professors, the staff of the Fix, and Point Park University, we were able to create an exhibition that showcased some of the best conceptual work that this photo program has created. It was my last significant contribution to the Fix before I bid my farewell, handing over the prolific organization to Sean Eaton and the new staff.
There were 47 pieces from 16 artists, selected and carefully curated by Oresick and Beck. These pieces ranged from a Kaylin Herzer's rephotographic essay exploring loss to my own collaged pornography (sorry, Mom) to Neil Curran's silver gelation abstractions. We awarded 'Best of Show' scholarship awards - scholarships!! - to three artists, one of which was considered the winner while the other two recieved 'honorable mentions'. All three received scholarship money for their inspiring work.
Emily Bennet, a reporter for Point Park's weekly newspaper, The Globe, wrote a wonderful article detailing the experience of the artists and the exhibition in an article that was published this week. Read the full article here. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. But here's a small excerpt from her story, which involved an immense amount of interviews:
“I put it together. The students came to me and said they wanted to do a juried show, and I told them, ‘Okay!’ [Harley] did a great job of getting it all together and sequencing the work,” Friges said. “I’m mainly the students’ puppet. They have a vision, and all I do is try to support them and help them get experience. This experience is something they can’t learn in the classroom.”
I can't begin to thank the individuals who came to the show, who supported each artist, who helped us each step of the way. I was overwhelmed with the amount of love that poured out of my friends and family.. It was incredible. I think I spent the entire three hours hugging people and I still wasn't able to give out nearly enough gratitude. My friends, my loving, loving friends, braved snowy conditions and a long line for a shuttle to trek out to this exhibition. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by these individuals, who are constantly encouraging me and loving me.
Words continue to fail me to begin to thank everyone who came to the exhibition... There is just so much love in this world, and I can't believe how much of it I get to experience. All thanks to these folks.
And the hundreds of people who I didn't get pictures with.. The people who have loved me and helped me all along this journey.. I am so grateful for you. Sorry I was too busy hugging you to get a picture. As per usual..
In just a few short months, I'll be (probably) leaving Point Park, saying goodbye to a university and a program that have encouraged me in a multitude of ways. It's nice to know that even when I've left, there will be something to help encourage the future students of this photography program. It's not yet time for goodbye, but it'll be a long transition out of this spectacular place I call home.
Thankful for a university that lets me indulge my craziest ideas.. Here's to wild ideas that turn into reality!