Rising National Profile

Astria Suparak

Astria Suparak

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Pittsburgh Biennial installations in progress at the Miller Gallery: by Temporary Services (above), Justseeds (below), and Transformazium (bottom)

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The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University opens a new section of the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial, on view Sept. 17 – Dec. 11.

It will feature five new installations — including sculpture, printmaking, painting, video, publications and workshops.

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16 at the Miller Gallery, preceded by a tour of the exhibition with the curator and artists at 5 p.m.

"The collectives and collaborators exhibited here encourage us to reassess our assumptions and values, reveal the global in the local and the personal in the political, and imagine alternate realities and possible futures," said Miller Gallery Director Astria Suparak, who is curating the exhibit.

Suparak said the collaborative approach taken by the artists echoes the long labor and union histories of the Pittsburgh area, as well as the Biennial's new partnership among local art organizations.

The multigenerational selection of artists, who currently live in Pittsburgh or spent significant time here, also exhibit internationally, reflecting the connection Pittsburgh has to the global art world.

"The projects demonstrate the strength of collective voices in deciding the future of neighborhoods, cities, nations, and societies, and the importance of intimate conversations and compassionate listening," Suparak said.

Setting a new precedent for city-wide collaboration among major art institutions, the Pittsburgh Biennial is co-organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Miller Gallery at CMU, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Biennial founders Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Each of the five partner institutions will present a distinct exhibition of work by artists connected to the Pittsburgh region, reflecting each organization's curatorial focus.

Suparak says that being housed within a university enables The Miller Gallery to collaborate across disciplines on campus — as well as with organizations nationally — to produce work on a broad range of subjects and present exhibitions across the country and around the world.

Provoking discussions on everything from social justice, economics, labor and the environment, to fan culture and sports, the gallery has toured its exhibitions from Oregon to Texas and as far as away as Liverpool, England.

The Miller Gallery has been producing a lot of buzz in the last few years. In addition to gracing the covers of all the local newspapers, it has had feature articles and mentions in The New York Times, USA Today, Artforum, NPR and more.

In fact, The Miller Gallery received the City Paper's Best of Pittsburgh 2010 award, and along with CMU's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a prestigious Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Fellowship for Curatorial Research.

With four to eight exhibitions annually, the gallery offers internships and student positions year-round through which students can gain hands-on experience assisting curators, artists and gallery staff.

Admission to the Miller Gallery is free and open to the public. Class and group tours are available.

Hours are noon – 6 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday. For more information, including print-ready images and downloads, visit millergallery.cfa.cmu.edu.


Related Links: Read more | Pittsburgh Biennial 2011