Pittsburgh public art project received national recognition at the Americans for the Arts National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2007. Tony Tassets Magnolias for Pittsburgh, was selected by the Public Art Network of Americans for the Arts to be in the 2007 Year In Review. The national recognition comes at a momentous time in Pittsburghs history after Mayor Ravenstahl's recent decision to eliminate the amusement tax on nonprofit arts groups. The tax cut outlined the Mayor's commitment to the arts placing him to win the Pittsburgh Arts Council's Chairmans Award for his considerable contributions to the art community.
"America's most livable city is a place with a talented and optimistic arts community, winning national recognition and making all Pittsburghers proud," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "Cutting the amusement tax will allow artists to dedicated people like Tony to stay in Pittsburgh, be successful in Pittsburgh and ultimately make Pittsburgh America's most livable city for years to come."
Magnolias for Pittsburgh is an installation that includes two bronze magnolia trees, five live magnolia trees, and a landscape design by the artist Tony Tasset. The artwork was commissioned by the Sports and Exhibition Authority (SEA). Through a partnership between the SEA and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the artwork has been sited across from Agnes Katz Plaza on the corner of Penn Avenue and Seventh Street.
"The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust congratulates Tony Tasset on being recognized nationally by the Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts. Magnolias for Pittsburgh stands in the heart of the Cultural District enriching our community with its beauty and wonder. The piece is emblematic of our ongoing efforts to make the region a premier arts and entertainment destination," said J. Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The Year in Review is an initiative of the Public Art Network (PAN), a program of Americans for the Arts. Each year, public art programs and artists are invited to submit works of public art completed the previous year. This year, submissions were sent of projects completed between April 2006 and April 2007. The works selected represent the most successful public art projects in the country. The curators of this years selection were Larry Kirkland, an artist from Washington, DC and Miwon Kwon, a writer from California.
More than 240 projects were submitted for the 2007 Public Art Year In Review and only 40 were selected by the session curators. Magnolias for Pittsburgh was the only project selected in Pittsburgh, as well as in Pennsylvania.
This is the third year in a row Pittsburgh has been recognized. In past years, Pittsburgh projects that have been recognized include Jenny Holzers For Pittsburgh at the convention center (2006), Two Girls Workings Trappings: Pittsburgh public bus installation (2006), Ned Kahns Articulated Cloud at the Childrens Museum (2005) and the Freight and Barrell by Steven Siegel commissioned by the Three River Arts Festival (2005).
Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With 45 years of service, they are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. The Year In Review is an initiative of the Public Art Network, a program of Americans for the Arts.
About the Artist
Tony Tasset: Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tony Tasset now lives in Chicago where he is a professor at the University of Illinois, School of Art and Design. A 2006 recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, Mr. Tasset has recently exhibited in group shows at the Istanbul Modern in Turkey, the Renaissance Society in Chicago, and Neue Galerie Graz in Austria. Selected solo exhibitions include Illinois State University, Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati.
About the Curators
Larry Kirkland: Larry Kirkland is an accomplished public artist whose most recent works have been installed at Federal Courthouse, Sacramento; Pennsylvania Station, New York City; Central Station, Hong Kong; the California Museum of Science, Los Angeles; and the American Red Cross Headquarters and the National Academies of Science both in Washington, D.C. Kirkland has received a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, served on the Peer Review Panel for the U.S. General Services Administration, Design Excellence, Art-in- Architecture Program and honored as a Distinguished Alumni. He completed an undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and an M.F.A. from the University of Kansas.
Miwon Kwon: Miwon Kwon received an undergraduate degree in architecture, her M.A. in photography from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in architectural history and theory from Princeton University in 1998. She is currently a professor of contemporary art history at UCLA. She has curated several exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; is a founding editor and publisher of Documents, a journal of art, culture, and criticism; and is author of several books and essays. She received a Scholars Fellowship from the Getty Research Institute in 2003 and is currently working on two new book-length projects.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
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