Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight: Birds of a Feather

A cross-pollination between BoxHeart Expressions and Phipps Conservatory blooms into “Emergent Patterns,” a nature-centered hat trick of a show featuring three female artists.



Photos Courtesy phipps and boxheart 

There’s no partridge in a pear tree. And forget the turtledoves, French hens, geese and swans that made the cut for the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”

But if you’re game for augmenting and re-energizing that traditional (and oh-so-repetitious) holiday song, how about kingfishers, grey falcons or hummingbirds? Perhaps that’s what the artists in “Emergent Patterns” — a twofer venture hatched by BoxHeart Expressions and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — had in mind. It’s unlikely, but this being the holiday season, it easily could be imagined (at least by me).

At the show, you’ll see those aforementioned avian species and many more manifestations of nature — dragonflies, moths, flowers, even stellar constellations — presented in vibrant, colorful and insightful paintings. The work of three artists appears: Ashley Cecil, Augustina Droze and Deirdre Murphy.

This project boasts a pair of trios, because in addition to the artists, another threesome brought it to fruition: BoxHeart owner/director Nicole Capozzi with the collaboration of BoxHeart co-owner Joshua Hogan and Phipps exhibit coordinator Jordyn Melino.

“My inspiration always comes from the artists,” Capozzi says. “I pay attention to them, to the stories they tell with their art and build exhibitions around exactly that.”

In 2015, Capozzi juried art for a publication and discovered Deirdre Murphy (and her talents). Through a circuitous yet serendipitous path, with connections leading to Phipps Conservatory along the way, she came upon the work of the other two artists.

All had noteworthy resumes and backgrounds with connections to Earth-friendly organizations and efforts. Each had a unique vision through which to explore our relationship to nature, yet an underlying synchronicity emerged. When bringing them together as a group for the first time, Capozzi detected a pattern: “A special meaning is derived from the artists’ combined efforts,” she says. “The process of bringing them together for this exhibition unfolded organically.”
 

Pittsburgh-based Cecil (born in 1981) juxtaposes detailed examples of flora and fauna with graphic patterns recalling Victorian textiles.
Among her sources of inspiration, Philadelphia-based Murphy (born in 1967) has been fascinated by the collective intelligence of bird flocks. That can be translated into abstract shapes.

Op-art and mandalas reverberate in the paintings of Buffalo-based Droze (born in 1981) with arrangements and magnification of birds, fish and insects. Her work also confronts the spectacle of death and our desire to control nature.

The question arises whether the choice of three female artists is coincidental or an emergent pattern itself.

“I have an intentional bias in an attempt to level the playing field for women artists exhibiting with my gallery,” Capozzi says. “In the context of this exhibition, I wanted to spotlight how these artists are using their field and their form of expression to address diverse views of our world.”

In addition to being a salute to Mother Nature, an examination of our relationship to her and a call for conservation, “Emergent Patterns” also has been positioned to coincide with the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

This visionary legislative effort made it illegal for anyone to possess or sell a migratory bird without the proper permit. Spearheaded by the United States, it remains a testament to international cooperation. It also laid a foundation for avian conservation and management and acknowledged the ecological and social importance of birds. (Anyone see a dodo or passenger pigeon lately?)

The curators of “Emergent Pattern” emphasize how bonding with nature and also enriching and giving back with beauty and color always have been a mission of the visual arts. In a statement, the curatorial trio declares that to be not only a part of the past and present but also the future:

“Artists collect data and interpret the information in order to depict their vision of a future world. Any particular political issue does not necessarily motivate them, but rather an artistic exploration into how modernization has shaped how we think about and experience our environment — both personally and commonly.”

As conservationist, “Silent Spring” author and Springdale native Rachel Carson once observed: “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”

With “Emergent Patterns,” she might see her emergent vision take flight again.

Speaking of nature: While visiting the Phipps component of the show, in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, don’t miss the annual Winter Flower Show and Light Garden, which runs through Jan. 8.  

Emergent Patterns
Through Jan. 6: BoxHeart Expressions, 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield; 412/687-8858, boxheartgallery.com;
Through Jan. 8: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Drive, Oakland; 412/622-6914, phipps.conservatory.org
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

New Doc Unearths the Secrets of Moundsville

The West Virginia town's varied history and uncertain future are the subject of "Moundsville," which will be screened this week at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Pop Culture Touches Made These Weddings Extra Special

Whether you love all things Disney, “Game of Thrones” or “Star Wars,” there are lots of ways to add some personal — and fun — details into your wedding day.

Pittsburgh Chef Moves: Csilla Thackray Headed to Legume Bistro

Thackray's departure from The Vandal will result in a new menu at that Lawrenceville restaurant.

Now You Can See What City Snow Plows Are Up To in a Storm

The City of Pittsburgh will soon relaunch its Snow Plow Tracker website and app — with a few improvements.

The 400-Word Review: The Upside

Despite the best efforts of its stars, there's no good reason this tired formula needed another movie.

My New Neighborhood Bar is The Birmingham Bridge Tavern

After settling into a new neighborhood, PM nightlife editor Sean Collier sings the praises of his go-to corner bar.

Children's Visited by a True Dungeon Master — Joe Manganiello

The Pittsburgh native turned Hollywood actor showed off his nerd cred at Children's Hospital this week.

Watch: This Will Make You Miss Mister Rogers Even More

An Austin, Texas ad agency releases a powerful neighborly PSA with the help of Mister Rogers & Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Nied’s Hotel: Forever a Pittsburgh Classic

We look back on our coverage of the now-closed Lawrenceville bar and music venue.

How I Reconnected with My Home Kitchen

After hitting a culinary bottom eating unseasoned steamed broccoli for three nights in a row, PM food writer Celine Roberts knew she needed to light a new fire.

Pitt Dominates the Competition – at Lacrosse

After years of success at the club level, the University of Pittsburgh will soon field a varsity women’s lacrosse team.

The 400-Word Review: On the Basis of Sex

Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserves better treatment than this by-the-numbers biopic.

Doors Open on a Black History Tour of Pittsburgh

“Ride With the King: Black History Tour” will give visitors an inside look at some of the area’s historic, and a few modern, African-American churches.

PM on KD: Heather Abraham's Favorite Room

Pittsburgh Magazine HOME editor Jessica Sinichak appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our winter cover story — host Heather Abraham's kitchen renovation.

New Chef at Scratch Food & Beverage

Look for a new bar menu and a continued focus on vegetables in the main dining room.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


New Doc Unearths the Secrets of Moundsville

New Doc Unearths the Secrets of Moundsville

The West Virginia town's varied history and uncertain future are the subject of "Moundsville," which will be screened this week at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Comments

Now You Can See What City Snow Plows Are Up To in a Storm

Now You Can See What City Snow Plows Are Up To in a Storm

The City of Pittsburgh will soon relaunch its Snow Plow Tracker website and app — with a few improvements.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Pittsburgh Chef Moves: Csilla Thackray Headed to Legume Bistro

Pittsburgh Chef Moves: Csilla Thackray Headed to Legume Bistro

Thackray's departure from The Vandal will result in a new menu at that Lawrenceville restaurant.

Comments

How I Reconnected with My Home Kitchen

How I Reconnected with My Home Kitchen

After hitting a culinary bottom eating unseasoned steamed broccoli for three nights in a row, PM food writer Celine Roberts knew she needed to light a new fire.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

We dove into the local artisan bread scene to find the best places that bake naturally leavened bread in Pittsburgh.

Comments


My New Neighborhood Bar is The Birmingham Bridge Tavern

My New Neighborhood Bar is The Birmingham Bridge Tavern

After settling into a new neighborhood, PM nightlife editor Sean Collier sings the praises of his go-to corner bar.

Comments

Five Essential January Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential January Events in Pittsburgh

Insulting Indy, investigating ink and more January happenings.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' Organization Shares Blame for Brown Debacle

Steelers' Organization Shares Blame for Brown Debacle

For years now, the Steelers have been working around Brown’s maladaptive tendencies from Monday through Saturday and throwing him the ball on Sunday and hoping for the best.

Comments

Getting to Ovechkin Reveals Pens’ Potential When Invested

Getting to Ovechkin Reveals Pens’ Potential When Invested

The Penguins, inconsistent at times, remain a dangerous opponent for the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Upside

The 400-Word Review: The Upside

Despite the best efforts of its stars, there's no good reason this tired formula needed another movie.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: On the Basis of Sex

The 400-Word Review: On the Basis of Sex

Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserves better treatment than this by-the-numbers biopic.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Pop Culture Touches Made These Weddings Extra Special

Pop Culture Touches Made These Weddings Extra Special

Whether you love all things Disney, “Game of Thrones” or “Star Wars,” there are lots of ways to add some personal — and fun — details into your wedding day.

Comments

It’s a Hockey Wedding in Pittsburgh

It’s a Hockey Wedding in Pittsburgh

This Pittsburgh couple was brought together by their love of hockey — and what better way to celebrate their New Year’s Eve wedding than with an outdoor game?

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Up for Auction: Luxury 200-Acre Ligonier Estate Owned by Former EDMC Exec

Up for Auction: Luxury 200-Acre Ligonier Estate Owned by Former EDMC Exec

Woodmere is one of four high-end properties owned by Robert Knutson scheduled to hit the auction block this week.

Comments

The Top Five HOME Stories of 2018

The Top Five HOME Stories of 2018

Take a look back at the biggest stories to come out of Pittsburgh’s home and design industry.

Comments