COVID and CLAY Brought to you by PAEA Region 1

Walter O’Neill, Educational Alliance

September 17, 2018

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Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media: Executive Director Kyle Houser at the Helm

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With a 75-year history as one of Pittsburgh’s major arts organizations, Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M) has weathered many changes.  Founded as a conglomeration of individual art groups in 1945 as The Arts and Crafts Center, it grew to become a nexus for art education and exhibition with a unified vision and strong leadership.  When the center’s current Executive Director, Kyle Houser joined the organization in 2013, a decade of uncertainty had left the group in financial difficulty and organizational turmoil.  Houser’s dedication to rebuilding the center’s strengths contributed to a major reorganization in late 2019.  Houser says, “2020 was the year to turn the ship around.  Unfortunately, in March, we hit an iceberg.”

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Neil Estrick Gallery: Transformation Through Change

November 11, 2020

One of 2020s irritating catch words has been pivot.”  Restaurants have pivoted to carry-out, then to outdoor dining. Schools have pivoted to remote instruction.  Arts organizations have pivoted to online concerts and shows.  For Neil Estrick, pivoting has been an integral part of his artistic life, beginning with a realization that Mathematics was a boring college major.  This prominent Chicago-area potter and owner of Neil Estrick Gallery in Grayslake has always employed a practical analytic sense, softened by the nudges of his heart, to make adaptations to his work, never fearful of going in a different direction. 

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BRKLYN CLAY Adapts to Changing Culture

November 02, 2020

For every full-time studio artist, there are probably a dozen artists trying to incorporate a creative component into a working life.  For years, artist Jennifer Waverek worked for big New York graphic corporations while raising her two children.  Frustrated by always working on other peoples’ ideas, she envisioned a day when she could be part of a community of artists, sharing ideas and resources, and developing her own creative voice.  Two years ago, her hope became a reality with the opening of her studio, BKLYN CLAY.  In a short time, the group of ceramic artists and students grew into the vibrant community she imagined, a community that has weathered a global pandemic and adapted to address new sensibilities about race and justice.

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