The Darrell Kinsel Interview

Published On March 2, 2012 | By Kymbo Slice | Interviews

The monthly installment of Unblurred is tonight and as usual features a ton of art from a variety of local talent. This Unblurred is extra special for local artist Darrell Kinsel, who has a piece in the Public Allies Alumni exhibit taking place at the Mr. Roboto Project. We had a chance to ask Darrell a few questions regarding his career as an artist here in Pittsburgh and what the future has in store for the talented chap. Be sure to check out this exhibit, as well as all the fantastic art during tonight’s Unblurred in the Penn Avenue arts district.

Drawing inspiration from Pittsburgh’s burgeoning creative community, Darrell has been creating art since an early age. “Even if I wasn’t particularly good at a certain art form (singing for instance) I would always give it a honest try if it was related to the arts. Places like Manchesters Craftmans Guild and the various Carnegie Museums were key in helping to cultivate my appreciation for the arts. Pittsburgh has a extremely supportive arts community, so when I made the decision to begin sharing the work that I was creating, various people, curators, and galleries all gave me opportunities.”

Another source of inspiration are his personal experiences and interactions. “There is a quote that says ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal’ and I try to incorporate other artists’ styles and ideas when expressing my own. My history has been utilizing Pittsburgh’s art scene and resources as a way to enjoy life, as well as surrounding myself with great people.” Darrell frequents gallery openings and crawls, swapping art with colleagues to build his collection. “As I’ve had the opportunity to be more involved in the local arts scene through exhibiting its been a blessing to have places to explore new arts-based opportunities, experiences, and disciplines. I spent time with a small artists collective called Art Dimension and got the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with some of the best artists in the city. It’s been awesome for me to learn how to screen print at Artist Image Resource, work with non-traditional art space by collaborating with Future Tenant, and find affordable and high quality art supplies at places like Creative ReUse Pittsburgh.”

Darrell cites the past two years of his career as being especially invigorating. Highlights include:
– FAB 40 nomination by the Pittsburgh Courier
– Solo installation at Artist Image Resource
– Two window and bathroom installations at Future Tenant
– Solo exhibition at Image Box Gallery
– Featured visual community artist for the Hill House Association’s “Juneteenth” celebration
– Provided live/performance art at the 2011 Three Rivers Arts Festival
– Two installations at “Not So Fu*king Serious” at Unsmoked Art Space in Braddock
– Featured artist for the debut of Urban Canvas
– Provided pieces to numerous fundraisers and auctions for organizations such as PghCommunity Human Services Corp., Pittsburgh Human Rights Network/Duquesne University Amnesty International, ArtDimensions, Union Project, and FE Gallery
– Featured artist for Black Excellence
– And his favorite, jammed on stage with Rusted Root during the First Night Press Conference while dressed as a giant giraffe puppet

Jeez Louise, what a resume! As for tonight’s event, “Public Allies’ current recruitment manager Laura Pollanen wanted to provide an event that showcased the program’s benefits. Mrs. Pollanen wanted to present this information in a creative way and invited all of the artistic alumni to share their experiences while serving the community with the program (and their creative experiences). I will be participating as a visual artist by showcasing some of my creations and live painting.” After this, a majority of Darrell’s focus will be directed towards a “high-quality” exhibit during the May Unblurred at Image Box Gallery. He is also collaborating with Future Tenant on their 10th Anniversary Party and is donating pieces to support Heritage Community Initiatives and Phasion Lab to benefit RAINN.

We wish Darrell the best of luck as he pursues his dreams and proves to be a vital asset to the vibrant arts scene here in Pittsburgh.

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