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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Participating Artist: Lenore Thomas

We are excited to be working with such a talented group of regional artists. Check back often to learn more about our participating artists for the 2015 season! First up, artist Lenore Thomas! 

Name: Lenore Thomas
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Current Location/ Neighborhood: Edgewood, PA

Influential Regional Artists: I am influenced by the amazing women artists and curators that surround me in Pittsburgh. Some of them but by no means all of them are Natalie Settles, Ivette Spradlin, Vicky Clark, Delanie Jenkins, Barbara Weissberger, Stephanie Armbruster, Becky Slemmons, Anika Hirt, JoAnna Commandaros, Anna Divinsky, Elise Rugolo, Staycee Pear
l, Casey Droege. I could go on and on. Pittsburgh is full of incredible women doing amazing things.

Artist Statement: Perception and personal observation provide the foundation for my most recent “landscape series,” which consists of mixed-media prints and paintings based on recreating the observed landscape through layers of overlapping abstract shapes. Grounded in pastoral midwestern topography, the series has grown to include rural sites of Western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, and West Virginia. As I travel from one location to another I photograph the landscapes that capture my interest. In general I am intrigued by landscapes that have an ambiguous sense of space, scale, distance and depth. Through my sketches, Photoshop experimentation, and color choices, I translate the landscapes into basic shapes and forms creating a flat, geometric interpretation of the original photograph. The flexibility of printmaking fosters this investigation; through multiple plate etchings and screenprinting I can build an image with a dozen or more layers in one piece. I am interested in the tension between the flat colors I choose and the sense of space and perspective created by the abstracted forms.

Two other elements also come into play - the background pattern and the choice of a title of each series. The backgrounds have evolved from the first series in 2011 which were based on either aesthetic preferences or patterns extracted or documented at actual locations (a grate in Pittsburgh, fragments from Missouri and Oklahoma). For the most recent backgrounds I am interested in the mathematical diagram of a hepteract, which represents three-dimensional images of a seven cube. For some, this pattern may be seen as purely decorative, but to others (especially mathematicians) the patterns reveal complex geometric representations of volume and space. Upon seeing the hepteract and other hypercubes, it became clear to me that these diagrams added another layer of perception to my landscapes. The carefully selected titles for this series have become an essential part of my process, as I want the text to have some specific, if non-literal, reference to the locations I am depicting. Recalling the comment of a friend on a particular sunrise he saw in Wisconsin - “This sunrise is like being in love” – I use his poetic response as an evocative title in combination with the specific to create an entry point for the abstracted images.

To see images of Lenore's work visit her website here:

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