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The Biennial Returns to the Pittsburgh Glass Center

The Pittsburgh Biennial has begun at the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) with a local artist showcasing his two-and three-dimensional works, and the Pittsburgh Glass Center is about to join in on the Biennial with a wide array of glass ideas.

The Pittsburgh Biennial is held roughly every other year, 2011 was the last one, and gives local Pittsburgh artists a chance to be featured by the galleries around the city.

“The Biennial is really celebrating local and regional artists here in Pittsburgh by showcasing them in some of our wonderful organizations around town,” said Executive Director of the Glass Center, Heather McElwee.

For this year the Glass Center invited seven artists who do not traditionally work with glass to be paired with five artists from the center to create original glass works.

The Glass Center is teaming with seven other organizations including: The Mattress Factory, The Pittsburgh Filmmakers, The Andy Warhol Museum, and CMOA, to showcase the work of regional artists as part of the Biennial. The organizations will open their exhibitions throughout the summer until September when all seven will have local artists featured.

“The artists who have been working … towards the biennial have been working together for about the past six months so it’s been a long process of dialogue, collaboration, trial and error and experimentation to get to the point of these finished pieces that we are now seeing exhibited in the biennial,” said McElwee.

One of the projects by artist Vanessa German, who typically makes found object sculptures, includes more than 300 individual glass pieces, like dreadlocks, beads and bottles. Visitors can also listen to the sound of glass through glass circuit boards by Jeremy Boyle.  

“It was a really exciting project getting to see their ideas come to fruition, and seeing the interaction that took place between the glass artists, and the invited artists in the exhibition,” said McElwee.

The exhibition opens at the Glass Center August 1st at 6pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.