Alloy Pittsburgh is a unique visual and performing arts project co-founded by Pittsburgh artists Sean Derry and Chris McGinnis. The project was developed in collaboration with the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Alloy Pittsburgh offers 15 artists from the greater Pittsburgh region the opportunity to develop temporary site-based artworks for the Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Thanks to Alex Oliver and the UNLISTED: Second Steel project for such a great interview!  UNLISTED is a site-specific performance series that moves from city to city.  This September they will present live performances in various parts of Pittsburgh on September 25-28th.  For more information about Unlisted and their interview with Alloy Pittsburgh visit the link below.  Thanks Alex!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rethinking the Carrie...

Many debates on the value of places like the Carrie Furnaces have surfaced in recent years. Are they becoming irrelevant to our contemporary times? Do they serve as a monument to our local and national history? Can they be rethought and reused in a new way?

Carrie Furnaces, Rankin, PA

Photographer and landscape architect Rick Darke suggests that monuments like the Carrie are not separate from the nature spouting throughout it, but rather it is part of nature. He reminds us that we, as humans, are in fact part of nature and our built landscape is as much a part of nature as any anthill or beaver dam. Our ability to manufacture synthetics and construct vast steel empires is within our specific skill set, and plays a part in our global ecologies. 

Reading Viaduct, Philadelphia, PA

Darke suggests approaching the Carrie with subtlety. He reflects on places such as the High Line Park in New York City, and the Reading Viaduct in Philadelphia. 

High Line Park, NYC

High Line Park, NYC

Darke holds wild gardens such as these, where plants are left to reclaim the space without human planning, in high reverence. Here, as observers, we can watch the wild, local ecology reclaim our landscape in a unique way. 

In Germany, the Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord has reinvented an industrial setting reminiscent of the Carrie.

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

"At the center stands a disused ironworks whose old industrial facilities have today been put to a wide variety of uses. The huge buildings of the former ironworks have been equipped to cater for cultural and corporate functions; in an old gasometer Europe’s biggest man-made diving center has been created; alpine climbing gardens have been created in ore storage bunkers; in a former casting house a high ropes course has been set up; and an extinguished blast furnace has been modified to provide a viewing tower.
Entry to the Landscape Park is free."
 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

 Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany

learn more about Landschaftspark, Duisburg-Nord, Germany at:

After looking through some of the ways other industrial centers are reinventing and redefining their landscapes, and imagining merging our astounding past with contemporary arts and entertainment, it seems the possibilities are endless. 

What's your take on the Carrie Furnaces? How would you like to see them used? Education? Art? Entertainment? Wild Garden? Or something completely different?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Carrie Furnaces: Contemporary Views

                                                                                   Ryan Keene

Silver Eye Center for Photography is hosting a photography exhibition on the Carrie Furnaces. The show opens this Friday, August 2nd. Ron Baraff will discuss the exhibition and history of the Carrie Furnaces at Silver Eye on Thursday, August 22nd. More information can be found at Silver Eye Center for Photography.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mark your calendars for these exciting events at SCC.  Sean and Chris will present the ALLOY Pittsburgh project on August 25th from 11am-1pm.  

Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 8, 2013

PPG Article on Darke's recent visit to the Carrie

Great article written by Kevin Kirkland about Rick Darke's recent visit to the Carrie Furnaces.  ALLOY Pittsburgh directors Derry and McGinnis spent the day with him on site for a fantastic discussion regarding ecology and urban gardening.

PPG Article

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rick Darke at the Earth Perfect conference

ALLOY Pittsburgh was grateful to have Rick Darke speak at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on June 10th.  Here is some recent footage of Rick at the University of Delaware speaking for the Earth Perfect conference this month.  He gives a very insightful talk sharing much of the material he presented for ALLOY PGH on the 10th.

Advanced Labor and Cultural Studies on ALLOY Pittsburgh

Visit the link below for a look at Chuck Lanigan's response to his ALLOY PGH site visit.  Thanks Chuck it was great to have you by!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


                                                            Heather Tabacchi

Alloy Pittsburgh artists conclude their individualized site research.

                                                                                                Dan Wilcox

On Saturday, June 15, Americans for the Arts conference participants toured the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark and met with the Alloy Pittsburgh artists. The tour was led by Ron Baraff. Thank you Ron for an amazing week!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


                                                                      Dan Wilcox
                                                                             Heather Tabacchi

On the fifth day of the residency period, Advisory Committee member Alison Brand Oehler met with Alloy Pittsburgh artists at the Furnaces. Lunch was catered by East End Cafe and followed by an individual research period for the artists.

                                                                                       Ben Filio
In the evening "Prelude" opened at Unsmoke Systems in Braddock, PA. "Prelude" exhibited previous work from Alloy Pittsburgh artists. Thank you to everyone that stopped by the opening!

                                                                                         Ben Filio


                                     Heather Tabacchi

Alloy Pittsburgh Advisory Committee member, Delanie Jenkins, met with artists on site. Lunch was catered by Tin Front Cafe, Homestead, PA.

                                                   Heather Tabacchi

Artists engaged with their selected sites, and reflected on the historical, social and aesthetic attributes of the Carrie Furnaces.

Alloy artists give Ann Hamilton a tour of the facility and receive advice on working in former places of production. 

                                                                    Heather Tabacchi

In the evening, Concept Art Gallery hosted sculptor Tim Kaulen who spoke about his collaborative work at the Carrie Furnaces, and other industrial sites. Thanks to everyone who attended Tim's talk tonight at Concept Art Gallery.  It was a great conversation and a big thanks to everyone at Concept Art Galley for hosting the event.  A special thanks to Alison Brand Oehler and Dan McCusker for their hard work.  Thank you Tim Kaulen for such a fantastic discussion to end our public lecture series.  Please join all of the artists tomorrow evening from 6 -8pm at Unsmoke Systems in Braddock PA for the opening of "Prelude" which features previous work by Alloy Pittsburgh Artists. 

Friday, June 14, 2013


                                                                                Anna Mikolay

On Day 3 of the artist research residency at the Carrie Furnaces, retired steelworkers Bob Miletic and Jim Kapusta discussed their time at the furnaces. Thank you Bob and Jim! Your first-hand experiences provided all of us with valuable insights into the history of the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark.

                                                              Heather Tabacchi

The artists spent the remainder of the afternoon on individualized research.

                                                                         Heather Tabacchi

In the evening, internationally recognized installation artist Ann Hamilton presented at the Braddock Community Center. Hamilton discussed components of her previous work created for spaces carrying some historical relevance to the Carrie Furnace site and labor industries. The lecture was catered by chef Kevin Sousa of Salt of the Earth: Delicious! Please join us tomorrow at Concept Art Gallery in Regent Square for a curator's Q & A with local sculptor Tim Kaulen. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


                                                                            Heather Tabacchi

Ron Baraff, Director of Museum Collections and Archives at the Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp leads the artists in residence through the Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark site. 

                                                                        Heather Tabacchi

Dr. Tedd Muller from the University of Pittsburgh History Department discusses preservation initiatives over a delicious lunch catered by SMOKE barbeque taqueria.

                                   Heather Tabacchi
Artists return to the furnaces for individualized research

                                                               Heather Tabacchi
Historian and spoken-work artist Chuck Lanigan lectures at the historic Pump House in Homestead, PA. Thanks for all of you that made it out for Chuck's talk tonight. Always an interesting and lively experience.  Great singing Chuck!  Please don't forget that Ann Hamilton will be speaking at the Braddock Community Center tomorrow evening at 7:00pm!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 1

                                                                                      Dan Wilcox

Thank you to everyone who attended Rick Darke's lecture at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. It was a great talk and an ideal way to kick off the Alloy PGH research residency. Chuck Lanigan will present tomorrow evening at the Pump House in Homestead PA at 7pm. See you there!

                                                                              Heather Tabacchi

Friday, June 7, 2013

Connecting Via Social Media

Alloy Pittsburgh has its own Facebook page

Alloy Pittsburgh also has an Instagram account! 
follow alloy_pittsburgh for real-time pictures of events. 

Friday, May 31, 2013


Tim Kaulen
Artist and Industrial Arts Cooperative president Tim Kaulen will be speaking on Thursday, June 13, at 7:00 p.m. The presentation will take place at Concept Art Gallery, 1021 S. Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15218.

Tim Kaulen often utilizes found materials to create on-site artworks. In 1997 and 1998, he worked with the Industrial Arts Co-Op in Pittsburgh, PA to create the Rankin Deer at the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin, PA. By using recycled materials found on-site, Kaulen addresses social and historical remnants of the environments in which he works.

For more on Tim Kaulen, visit

One Decoy by Tim Kaulen ( 1994

Rankin Deer by Industrial Arts Co-Op ( 1997-1998

Oee Great Blue by Tim Kaulen ( 2005

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Ann Hamilton
Internationally known installation artist Ann Hamilton will be speaking at The Braddock Community Center on Wednesday, June 12, at 7:00 p.m.
The Braddock Community Center is located at 416 Library Street, Braddock, PA 15104.

Ann Hamilton assembles visual and auditory poetry to represent a place's architectural and social histories. Her work often focuses on the creation and context of language as it flows through the hands and mouth and interacts with a place. Among many other awards, Ann Hamilton has been the recipient of the Heinz Award, the MacArthur Fellowship, the United States Artists Fellowship, and the NEA Visual Arts Fellowship. 

To learn more, please visit

clapclap by Ann Hamilton ( 2010

corpus by Ann Hamilton ( 2003-2004

lineament - book/ball by Ann Hamilton ( 1994

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Chuck Lanigan
Writer and spoken-word artist Chuck Lanigan will be speaking at The Pump House on Tuesday, June 11, at 7:00 p.m. 
The Pump House is located at 880 E. Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120

"I present lectures and spoken-word performances on subjects ranging from labor and identity to the Irish famine. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review described me as having an "eye for hard-chiseled observation, who has made it his business to tackle weighty issues". Inspired by Studs Terkel and the late Spalding Gray, I have collaborated in Pittsburgh with CMU's Future Tenant gallery, Rivers of Steel, the Carnegie Library People's University and the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theater. I hold a BA in history from Allegheny College and an MA in educational communication. I have written for Western Pennsylvania History Magazine, the Pittsburgh City Paper and CIO Magazine. In 2010, I won the Eaton literary prize."  
 -Chuck Lanigan

from Wherever You Go, There You Are (Canoeing & Cycling on the Erie Canal) by Chuck Lanigan, 2011

from Wherever You Go, There You Are (Canoeing & Cycling on the Erie Canal) by Chuck Lanigan, 2011

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Rick Darke
Author, photographer, and landscape designer Rick Darke will be speaking at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium on Monday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium is located at 650 Schenely Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

Known for merging cultural geography and ecology with art, Rick Darke has focused his work on researching and designing "livable landscapes." Darke's work has been widely published in books such as Annik La Farge's On The High Line: Exploring America's Most Original Urban ParkThe New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening, and Fallingwater. Additionally, he has released his own book in recent years titled The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition. For more on Ricke Darke visit 

Reading Viaduct photo by Rick Darke (

The Wild Garden: What is Wild? And Why it Matters video by Rick Darke

Reading Viaduct Wild Garden video by Rick Darke

Monday, May 27, 2013


Alloy Pittsburgh will kick-off on June 10th with a free public lecture series. Presenters include internationally recognized installation artist Ann Hamilton, Philadelphia based author, photographer and landscape design consultant Rick Darke, local historian and spoken-word artist Chuck Lanigan, and sculptor and Industrial Arts Cooperative President Tim Kaulen. All lectures will begin at 7:00pm and are free and open to the public.

Monday, June 10                 Rick Darke, Author, Photographer and Landscape Design Consultant
                                               Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 7:00 pm
                                               650 Schenley Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Tuesday, June 11                 Chuck Lanigan, Historian and Spoken-word artist
                               The Pump House, 7:00 pm
                                               880 E Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120
Wednesday, June 12           Ann Hamilton, Artist
                                               Braddock Community Center, 7:00 pm
                                               416 Library Street, Braddock, PA 15104        
Thursday, June 13                Tim Kaulen, Sculptor & President Industrial Arts Cooperative
                                                Concept Art Gallery, 7:00 pm
                                                1031 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15218