Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey displays local Black artists’ work to celebrate Black History Month

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Mayor of Pittsburgh’s Edgainy office is adorned with artwork created by a local black artist to celebrate Black History Month.

This is the first exhibition of the Rotation Art Exhibition, which exhibits art that celebrates the diversity of the city. Every month, the mayor’s office is decorated with various themes to celebrate diversity. Next month we will feature a female artist.

Artwork for the mayor’s room, conference room, and staff room ranged from portraits of former President Barack Obama and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali to hand paintings with light bulbs and abstract works.

The artists who created the work are Thursday, with Gainey and his wife Michelle, who led the art initiative, the importance of art in their lives, the struggles faced by black Pittsburgh artists, and local governments to better support them. I talked about how.

“Art has grown me in so many ways,” said artist Ernest Bay. “Art brought me here.”

His freehand painting of a light bulb hangs on the wall opposite Gainy’s desk, along with artwork in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Obama. .. “

“When I see a light bulb, I remember that there is light,” said Ed Gainey. “I have to use it.”

For artist Baba Amir Rashid, part of the appeal of art is the ability to share messages with the people around him.

“I think creating art is a way to educate and mark for your community and yourself,” he said.

Ashante Josie said she denied her original plan to attend law school to pursue art, as it “healed my heart” and satisfied her. Oil painters focus on creating artwork that introduces black women.

Jamie Acy Sr. said he’s been portraying his life since he was a kid and has been portraying his life today, but that people have abandoned his artwork and favored white artists. I notice it repeatedly.

Marlon Gist said he sold everything he owned to pursue an art career. His father taught him to paint when he was a kid, and he often said he spends up to 100 hours working on a single piece.

Despite his dedication and passion for art, he complained that he didn’t feel he had the support he needed to succeed as a black artist in Pittsburgh.

“Black people are pretty underrated here,” Gist said. “I need more support. This is my life.”

Artist Douglas Webster said he continues to work towards his artistic and business goals, using the challenges faced by many black artists as inspiration.

He said he believes black artists need to form a community to support each other. He also urged Gainy to explore ways in which the city could teach black artists how to find grants and pay for services at print shops. He said artists need help to understand the business side of their work.

“I am grateful for the opportunity that Mayor Gainey and (the) First Lady have given us,” he said. “This is exactly the history here.”

Michelle Gainey said such ideas from black artists would help guide the administration in efforts to support the city’s black arts community. The mayor added that listening to the artist’s concerns is “powerful.” He said exhibiting their art in his office inspired him and opened the eyes of those who visited his office.

Gainy said he wants to use the art of diverse artists to help fill the city’s divisions.

“Art is healing people,” Gainy said.

Julia Felton is a staff writer for Tribune Review. You can contact Julia (724-226-7724, [email protected]) or Twitter. ..

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