Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center Celebrates Inaugural Anniversary

Published On July 31, 2015 | By Megan Tomasic | The Arts
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Photo Creds: Neu Kirche

On Saturday, August 29, the Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center will celebrate their inaugural anniversary in East Deutschtown. For the past year, the nonprofit organization has maintained a focus within the local art community, while acting as a social, cultural, and economic asset for the advancement of the Northside. The organizers involve community members by proposing new ways to think about art-making, while supporting contemporary artists.

Prior to the anniversary celebration, Pittsburgh artist Nathan Lorenzo will be featured in the organization’s very first exhibition, which is currently running until August 14.

His exhibit is titled Verklären, a German term for “transformation” and acknowledgment of Neu Kirche’s historic German roots. The show will “reveal an expansion of ideas articulated through various media.” The project explores projected imagery based on architectural features from the Art Center, allowing Lorenzo to focus on cyclical and rhythmic patterns with projected graphics, while created an immersive sensory experience.

The August 29 celebration will then consist of several exhibits. The event will kick off with the Art Walking Tour at noon, featuring exhibits from the “Fallow Grounds for Sculptures” and “Neu City” Summer Exhibitions.Moon

“Fallow Grounds for Sculptures” is a creative urban initiative that activates vacant sites in East Deutschtown through site-specific artworks to create awareness for the social, psychological and environmental impacts that abandoned spaces have on the urban-scape. “Neu City” acts as a pub­lic forum and cre­ative lab­o­ra­tory for contemporary art and sus­tain­abil­ity prac­tices. The initiative collaborates with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and their Food City community garden to merge urban farming with contemporary art practices and promote a hands-on approach to neighborhood evolution.

Artists Anika Hirt (Neu City) and Scott Bye (Fallow Grounds for Sculptures) are among several artists featured along the tour:

Hirt’s “Glow vs. Glare” is a solar nocturnal root moon sculpture that uses an inverted hydroponic system – a method of growing plants without soil – in mineral nutrient solutions and water to grow Rainbow Chard plants around the sculpture. The goal is to have the Rainbow Chard grow into a “woven blanket” around the sculpture, which contains solar lights. The work will be shown at night, illuminating the garden, and teaching youth about solar power and hydroponics.

SpareChange Bye’s sculpture, “Spare Change,” focuses on East Deutschtown by representing the neighborhood’s verge of positive change while continuing the artists’ use of process-based materials and site-specific artwork with locally salvaged materials. During the beginning of his stay, Bye collected 130 wooden wheels from Scott Electric, where he began assembling the sculpture with the help of neighbors who added input to make the sculpture come to life.

Other events taking place during the day and evening will include Hannah Thompson’s wearable art performance, and Tom Sarver’s Art Olympics, among several live music performances. The schedule of events is listed below:

12-2PM: Art Walking Tour – “Fallow Grounds” & “Neu City Projects” – led by Colonel Eagerburger’s High Stepping Good Time Band (Food City and Vacant Lots in East Deutschtown)
2-3PM: Artist Hannah Thompson’s wearable art performance (Food City Garden, Tripoli Street)
4-7PM: Artist Tom Sarver’s Art Olympics (Grass field between Concord & Spring Garden Ave)
7-9 PM: Neu Kirche Summer Exhibition (Neu Kirche, 1000 Madison Avenue)
· Art works by all “Fallow Grounds”/”Neu City” artists
· Documentary Film Screening
· Music Performance by New Zealand artist Alex Hanna Raquel
· Food and drinks

A full, detailed list of featured exhibits and performances taking place during the celebration as well as other events taking place next month can be found online.

The anniversary celebration will take place from 12-9:30PM on August 29. It is free and open to all ages. Come out and celebrate local artists in the Deutschtown community.

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