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Venerable Art Exhibit Takes Over Former Clothing Store, Complete With Dressing Room Installations

Arts groups are known for managing with limited resources, and then making something special out of them. The 2018 Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual Exhibition, for instance, is being staged not in an art gallery, but in a former clothing store in the South Side Works shopping district.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 106th Annual Exhibition opening reception will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 14. at 2708 Sidney St. on the South Side.

For good measure, the 106th Annual is turning spaces some might see as superfluous – an old BCBG MAXAZRIA’s six dressing rooms – into the sites of six original works of installation art.

On Friday, during the big group show’s opening reception, one of the dressing rooms will even double as a pocket-sized professional tattoo parlor, for visitors who want to get inked.

The staging is thanks to AAP Executive Director Madeline Gent and the show’s juror, Taras Matla, who is acting director of the University of Maryland Art Gallery.

Matla chose the show’s nearly 50 works from among more than 400 submitted by AAP members, all of whom live in the Pittsburgh region. The exhibit includes painting, sculpture and more from artists including Crystala Armagost, Sarika Goulatia, Chris McGinnis, Clayton Merrell and Mia Tarducci.

Matla noted that the corner store, with its white walls, track lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows to admit natural light, already looks quite like a contemporary art gallery.

The five artists who’ll be making over the dressing rooms are Terry Boyd, Nathan Hufford, Linda Price-Sneddon, Dafna Rehavia and Sophia Sobers. Boyd’s “Remembering a Moment Until I Die (IV)” will house Boyd and a local tattoo artist, who will mark interested patrons.

“So one of the artists [Boyd] will draw a work on a visitor, and then a professional tattoo artist will actually draw a tattoo onto that person’s skin,” said Matla. (Matla plans to get his own tattoo, though three days before the opening he hadn’t yet decided what it would be.)

The AAP is the oldest continuously exhibiting artist-member organization in the country.

The space is located at 2708 Sidney St. The free opening reception is 6:30-9 p.m. Fri., Sept. 14. The exhibit will remain open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturday, through October.

For more information, see the AAP website.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: bodriscoll@wesa.fm