A common deterrent for aspiring art goers is the attitude set by most galleries, where openings take place in stark white boxes looked after by snooty gallery attendants.
One of my favorite Pittsburgh art spaces is James Gallery in the West End. The West End neighborhood quaintly sits right outside the downtown metropolitan area. This gallery is the antithesis to stark and cold. Director Paul Cicozi makes it a point to introduce himself to everyone in the room at an opening. He draws you into the chicly designed space with elaborate and intriguing conversations about each artist. He is usually followed-up by Art Apprentice, Sydney Shoff, who gives in-depth descriptions of the different pieces and processes. They are quite the team.
James Frederick, Owner and Founder along with Visionary Gayle Irwin, are often found offering warm and inviting tales of the space, its renovation and the gallery’s history. The atmosphere is more like a family gathering than an opening. Frankly, that is how it should be.
I recently was there to attend the opening of their exhibition, Breakup. The show featured seven different artists. Click here to learn more.
It is a perfect example of what the folks behind James Gallery do so well. They bring together artists working in many different mediums to produce dynamic, open and aesthetically beautiful exhibitions.
The first thing you see as you enter the gallery is artist Scott Draves digital work. His video is programed to play for 6 months without a single repetition. Here’s a peek at some of his earlier work.
To speak to the diversity of mediums, artist Tim Harding is working in textiles in this piece. The work is meticulously planned and executed.
On the other hand, California artist Andrew Myers, coyly introduces industrial elements to the mix.
All the pieces in the show demonstrate a mastery of detail and fluidity. In art and for most artists that combination of aesthetic and experience is difficult to capture, especially in conjunction with one another yet- these artists and the curation of their works pulls it off seamlessly.
Here's a slide show of images from the opening, please feel free to contact the gallery for more information on the artists and to learn about future openings.