If you haven’t picked up on it by now, we love telling stories through visuals. That’s why for our 2017 Spring Design feature, we turned to locally based artists for inspiration. These artists’ work influenced us, be it their color palette, technique, medium or message. Peep their work below then check out our take in print.
Clayton Merrell’s paintings evoke a calm surreal, two words that aren’t often used together in context. By coupling foggy, forest vistas with graphic, illustrative lines and color, the viewer is transported to a place devoid of humanity. Whether that place is in the past, the future or another reality altogether, Merrell’s work is just the escape we need given the state of the world today.
Merrell teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, was named by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts “Artist of the Year” in 2005 and currently has a dual exhibition with Peter Mandradjieff, Incremental Shift at Concept Gallery in Regent Square.
Adorned with butterflies, serpents, pedals, glitter and fervent color, Devan Shimoyana’s mixed media self portraits reveal a personal mythology that converge at the intersection of queerness and blackness. Shimoyana’s work is bright, pretty and graphic, like a favorite pop song but upon closer listening, a darker, meaningful message is revealed.
Shimoyana will be showing with Danny Ferrell as part of the Pittsburgh Center for the Art’s annual 2017 Solo & Collaborative Exhibitions opening Friday March 31st and running through July 23rd.
Collage, earthenware and concrete aren’t the first materials that come to mind when one thinks of water. Alas, Maybe Jairan Sadehi can capture a true blue world regardless of medium. We love her minimal design approach especially in Sinai: 2004 which draws a likeness to the water’s surface while Flux reminds us of mysterious creatures that roam the ocean’s floor.
Jairan Sadehi is a 2017 artist-in-residence at the Union Project’s Artist in Residence program.
Edge of Decline
Seth LeDonne’s career is hardly on the edge of decline. With multiple solo shows under LeDonne’ belt and only more to come, his work acts as a silver lining to reality’s dark cloud over our head. With his witty, tongue-in-cheek text based work, LeDonne subverts the everyday with just the thing we never knew we needed to read.
LeDonne is the current featured artist in Mattress Factory’s gift shop and has had solo exhibitions at Bunker Projects in Bloomfield and The Mine Factory in Wilkinsburg within the last six months.
Hannah Epstein is dropping F-bombs left and right on Pittsburgh with her fiber works. Funny, funky, folky, Epstein’s work hits hard whether it be through imagery of punching Nazis to fuzzy babes giving the finger. By reclaiming grandma’s art of rug-hooking, Epstien *literally* weaves a new way of storytelling through her work.
Epstein will graduate this spring from Carnegie Mellon University with a graduate degree from the School of Arts and is currently showing at The Miller Gallery as part of FAM, CMU 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition, up until April 16th.