Carrie Furnaces: Contemporary Views opening on August 2 at the Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 East Carson Street, is a collaborative exhibition curated from an open call for entries of images taken at the historic blast furnace site located in Rankin, PA.
“The Carrie Furnaces have functioned as an urban playground and aesthetic wonder” since they were taken off line in 1978, said Ron Baraff. “They have attained National Historical Landmark status, have been honored for their industrial might and successes, and are a beacon of tourism, hope, and economic revitalization for the Monongahela Valley and beyond. Their scope and majesty define the strength and character of our region as we move into the future.”
Today, the Carrie Furnaces lend themselves perfectly to photography with their various textures, constantly changing colors, hidden crevices, and a nostalgic feel of history frozen in time. Graffiti and rusted steel run rampant through the site, adding to the splendor and agedness of this otherwise desolate place.
This exhibition of both digital and analog work consists of 51 photographs from 32 artists. The images were accepted from an open call for entries held from June - July 2013 where a total of 332 photographs from 77 artists were submitted.
The artists included are: Chuck Beard; Charlene Bidula; Nyna Bryant; Ohad Cadji; Jill Dittmer; Alexis Dillon; Brad Fetchin; Scott Goldsmith; Howard Grill; Jeremy Guttman; Ellen Bjerklie Hanna; Douglas Harper; David Issod; Jessica Kalmar; Jay Kapadia; Ryan Keene; Mandy Kendall; David Kissell; George Kollar; Robert Kormos; Dale Lazar; Robert G. Myers; Michael Novara; Adam Piscitelli; Neal Ryan; John H. Schurman; Rob Schwerdt; Ivette Spradlin; Kevin N. Tomasic; Hyla Urbany; Dan Wetmore; and Becky Zahn.
The exhibition›s curators are Jen Rokoski, Silver Eye Center for Photography; Lori Hepner, associate professor of Integrative Arts, Penn State University, Greater Allegheny Campus; and Ron Baraff, director of Museum Collections and Archives, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. The exhibition is co-presented with Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday, Aug. 2, 6-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public
Past to Present: An Evening with Ron Baraff will take place on Thursday, Aug. 22, 6-8 p.m. The event is free but RSVP required by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Ron Baraff, director of Museum Collections and Archives, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, as he discusses the history of the Carrie Furnaces, including the revitalization of the Monongahela Valley, and what the Carrie Furnaces stand for now, despite being taken off line in 1978. Steelworkers from the heart of the furnaces join Mr. Baraff to discuss their experiences working in the immense complex, and what life was like for a steelworker outside of the furnaces.
Silver Eye Center for Photography gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.