newsworthySummer 2011

Beth Lewis' Kaleidoscope Wall, photographed in the slot canyons of Lake Powell, Utah.

Capturing the art of science

Some 260 amateur shutterbugs submitted more than 400 photographs for Carnegie Science Center’s first-ever photography contest, The Art of Science. Challenged with capturing the essence and aesthetic beauty of a scientific concept, the grand-prize winners range in age from 67 to 5 years old, and winning subjects include a water balloon mid-burst, a pollinator, and a professional BMX biker defying gravity.

 Beth Lewis of Cranberry won $500 in the 18 and over age category for her photograph Kaleidoscope Wall; Barrett Adams of Shadyside, in the age category 13 through 17, won $250 for Water Balloon; and in the age 12 and under category, Edward Monaco IV, at just 5 years old, won $100 for his photograph Queen of Capillary Color. According to Edward’s mother, he’s been snapping images since last year when his grandmother gave him her old digital camera.

Winning photographs were chosen by a panel of judges from Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Trib Total Media, the contest sponsor. Judges were encouraged to evaluate photographs based on how well they represented STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts, as well as the photographer’s technical skills and creativity.

People’s Choice award winners Andrew Sutter, Rita Palese, and Domenic Pascucci were selected by public online voting and received one-year family memberships to Carnegie Museums.

A much-anticipated encore

As a stunning follow-up to the reimagining of the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries at Carnegie Museum of Art, the newly renovated Balcony Gallery showcases even more of the museum’s rich and diverse collection of decorative arts objects, with an emphasis on Modernist and contemporary design and craft. Formerly known as the Treasure Room, this newly designed exhibition space, located along the Hall of Sculpture balcony, opened this past April. Reconfigured with large floor-to-ceiling, built-in wall cases, with enhanced lighting, climate control, and adjustable shelving, the space allows more objects to be enjoyed by museum visitors. Its inaugural exhibition, Hand Made: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood, focuses on the materials, forms, and techniques used in the 20th and 21st centuries to create stunning handmade objects inspired by functional traditions. Many of the works on display reflect the strength of the museum’s permanent collection of American craft. Also debuting in the Balcony Gallery, and simultaneously in nearby galleries, are more than 30 recent acquisitions in contemporary craft and nearly two dozen major gifts from the collection of Deena and Jerome Kaplan.

A glimpse into post-revolutionary Tunisia

A pair of Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists—head of anthropology Sandra Olsen and head of vertebrate paleontology Chris Beard—traveled to Tunisia in May as part of an educational mission. The researchers accepted an invitation to join a delegation of select representatives from American museums, universities, foundations, business, and the media in a visit designed to explore possible partnerships between the academic and museum communities in both countries. Sandwiched between Algeria and Libya on the Mediterranean coast, Tunisia is a fledgling democracy in a region currently in turmoil, and the world is watching the country with a hopeful eye. Delegation organizer Jerry Sorkin, owner of TunisUSA, a respected travel agency, has devoted his life to educating Americans about Tunisia’s culture and history. With support from the Tunisian government and private donors, Sorkin coordinated the 10-day trip so that its members might further enlighten the American public on the country’s current conditions, fascinating history, and unique environment. The group’s cross-country journey provided many opportunities to get acquainted with individual Tunisians and witness both rural and urban life, including visits with members of the transitional government, a United States Embassy representative, NGO administrators in remote villages, and local people benefiting from their aid. “The trip’s broad geographic coverage also reveals Tunisia’s environmental diversity: its beautiful coastline, Mediterranean forests, and North Saharan steppe and woodlands,” says Olsen, who was still in Tunisia at press time. “We look forward to recounting our experiences upon our return.” 


Join The Labor Party

How do you define labor? Show us, and your work could be featured at Carnegie Museum of Art! For its second annual Two-Minute Film Festival, the museum invites artists to submit their finest—and shortest—videos to be considered for screening at “The Labor Party,” an evening of food, drink, and film on July 21 in the museum’s outdoor Sculpture Court. Last year’s event drew a crowd of 300. The theme of the festival, “The Labor Party,” plays off of the museum’s participation in this year’s Pittsburgh Biennial, an exhibition of work by Pittsburgh-nurtured artists. The museum is challenging amateur and professional filmmakers alike to submit videos that, like the artworks in the Biennial, explore concepts of work, industry, or labor in a variety of interpretations. Submissions should respond in some way to this widely interpretable prompt. And videos must be two minutes or less in length—whether live-action or animated, documentary, mockumentary, fictional, or non-narrative. There’s no fee to enter, and the festival is open to anyone over the age of 18. For submission guidelines, visit


Home is where the art is

HOME, a large-scale installation unveiled in April at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum in Homewood, is the debut project of the Homewood Artist Residency, an initiative of The Andy Warhol Museum and the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood. Blending the memories and voices of Homewood’s residents into a 10-foot installation, local artists Tina Brewer and Vanessa German incorporated found objects from the neighborhood, such as items from demolished homes, flattened aluminum, donated shoes, and past and present photographs of the community. The exhibition will be on view from 2-4 p.m. Saturdays through October. “We want artists of color to inspire hope and for youth to see and have access to contemporary art in the neighborhood,” says Ingrid LaFleur, the residency project director. The ultimate vision of the program, says Warhol acting director and Milton Fine Curator of Art Eric Shiner, is to use art as a vehicle to bring new life to the community. The goal is to rehabilitate abandoned homes by splitting the spaces into living and studio/exhibition space for contemporary artists, encouraging artists to not only work but live and show in Homewood. It’s an innovative idea funded by a $10,000 Sprout Fund Seed Award. Shiner came up with the idea after taking a walking tour of Homewood with Leadership Pittsburgh participants last year. “Over the course of the day, we saw a lot of empty and abandoned buildings,” he says. “I started to think about how we could stop tearing down houses and use art as a community outlook. This exhibition is a first small step.”






Also in this issue:

Spacewalker  ·  Pittsburgh Bred  ·  Tracking the Origins of Humans  ·  The Ragnar Kjartansson Experience  ·  Special Section: A Tribute to Our Donors  ·  Directors' Note  ·  Face Time: John Wetenhall  ·  About Town: Show-stopping Science  ·  Science & Nature: Remembering Brad  ·  Artistic License: Mixed Signals  ·  The Big Picture