Free exhibit will showcase local pros, students
Westmoreland Cultural Trust’s Incubator for the Arts is approaching its one-year anniversary and will mark the occasion with a free exhibit of works by artists who have benefitted from the program.
Established in January 2016, the program provides a place for creative collaboration among local professional and student artists. The program offers subsidized rent, including short-term lease options, utilities, Wi-Fi and 24-hour building access in the Union Trust Building on Main Street in Greensburg.
“We are extremely proud of the artists, their accomplishments and the exposure that the Incubator program has provided them this past year,” says Kelli Brisbane, assistant to the president and special events coordinator for Westmoreland Cultural Trust.
The exhibit will be from Jan. 4 to 31 at Greensburg Garden & Civic Center on Old Salem Road. Those participating include photographers Sean Blair, whose latest project “Bark” focuses on dog portraits, and Carey Busatto, who captures images of children and families. Moira Richardson is a writer-turned-artist whose current art series is a juxtaposition of her love of stargazing and astrology, and the Rev. Daisher Rocket is self-described as an “artist, cult leader, self-help author and a pretty nice guy.” Nicholas Silvis is a sculptor and installation artist.
The incubator program sounded great and there wasn’t anything like it in the area, says Richardson of Mt. Pleasant, who starting painting portraits when she had writer’s block.
She paints portraits combining mystical abstract symbolism, U-V reactive paint and glow-in-the-dark elements.
“The incubator has helped make a studio space affordable,” says Richardson, whose solo exhibit at the garden center is scheduled for October. “It is wonderful to have 24-hour access and to be in a community with other artists. I love art, and I love seeing everyone’s studio and how different they are because all of us have our own distinct style.” She is also holding open studio classes on the second Saturday of each month at the incubator.
Being able to be surrounded by other artists who might critique his work is one facet of being part of this program, says Rocket of Greensburg, whose work includes his center for Daisheretics and his monthly “paint with me” nights.
“The incubator allows people to see artists who contribute to society,” Rocket says. “We can give back through such art shows at places like the community (civic) center which gives people an opportunity to look at art not in a gallery setting. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s a way for us to connect with the community.”
The artists all support each other, says Busatto of Southwest Greensburg. “We are always learning from each other,” Busatto says.
Silvis of Greensburg says his work has been recognized because of the incubator ,which allows him to do what he wants when he wants to do it. He’s created sculptures 8½ feet tall by 5½ feet wide.
“The incubator has really opened a lot of doors for me — where people can see my work,” says Silvis, who is a junior studying fine arts at Seton Hill University. “We are looking to raise awareness of all the lovely art in Greensburg — to let people know there are really talented artists working locally.”
The trust has provided a good opportunity to get the word out about local artists, says Blair, because the space is accessible and affordable. It gives him space to capture the personality of the subject through his lens. When his dog, Koda, a Siberian husky, passed away, the photographer went back looking for good photos, which he had a few. But not everyone does.
“Dogs are members of our family, and I treat them that way when I am photographing them,” Blair says. “It provides the owners with something that is a little more than just a photo. We are saturated with images but we might not see a lot of good images. For me, it’s more important to have one good professional photo that can last for a long time. A picture is something you take and a photograph is something you create.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-853-5062 or [email protected].