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Office of Public Art Presents New Winter Training Series for Artists

By January 19, 2021No Comments

Winter Intensive: Demystifying the Public Art Application Process will be held online

Pittsburgh, PA – The Office of Public Art (OPA) is pleased to announce a new series of artist training sessions, focused on the application process for commissions in the public realm. Winter Intensive: Demystifying the Public Art Application Process is a three-part series that provides an in-depth look at the different steps in applying for public art commissions. Artists at any stage of their practice will gain a better understanding of the process and learn how to prepare stronger applications.

The series features speakers from OPA as well as arts professionals from the field. Starting Thursday, January 28, each session will be held from 4:00 – 5:30 PM, every other Thursday. This series builds on the material that was presented during the Public Art Training Camp series that was held in the fall of 2020, although prior participation in Public Art Training Camp is not required.

“Based on the success of our Public Art Training Camp, we wanted to develop a short series that could further explore a critical topic within the scope of the public art process,” said OPA Program Manager, Rachel Klipa. “Helping artists to create a better application for a public art project or another endeavor is an imperative skill, and we hope that these three sessions will provide a new perspective for how to approach the application process.”

OPA works to broaden access to public art opportunities for artists. Holding periodic training sessions gives artists the opportunity to learn directly from experts in the field. In this Winter Intensive series artists will learn what selection panels may be looking for in an application, how to use different written materials in an application to reflect their artistic styles, and where to find local, national, and international opportunities.

Speakers and Topics

Thursday, January 28, 2021 – Finding Opportunities with Sallyann Kluz

There are more and more opportunities for artists to create work in public space, from requests for qualifications, to requests for proposals, to direct commissions. But, what is the difference between each type of opportunity, and how does an artist new to public art find them? In this session, OPA director Sallyann Kluz will introduce the different types of public art opportunities, where to find them, and what to expect from an application. Kluz will also share current and upcoming opportunities that are available through OPA, and discuss the selection process from the point of view of the selection panel. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021 – Work Samples that Work with Derek Reese

When applying for an artist opportunity, an artist has only one chance to make a powerful first impression with their work samples. In this session, artist and OPA project Manager, Derek Reese will help to provide insight into the application review process to demystify the work sample submission portion of artist calls. Participants will review the fundamentals of documenting their work effectively and efficiently; learn how to identify the right work samples for a given opportunity; gain insight into what selection panel members look for in good work samples; and learn how to write work sample descriptions that are clear, concise, and descriptive. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021 – Presentation as Practice with Jessica Gaynelle Moss and Alberto Aguilar. 

How do you write about yourself and your artistic practice? Do you approach writing as something separate from your practice? In this session, Jessica Gaynelle Moss and Alberto Aguilar will frame writing for applications as something that is a part of your practice and how written elements can be used as a preview to your artistic style. Participants will learn how to let their writing be a reflection of their art, creating stronger letters of interest, artist statements, and bios. Aguilar will be presenting his own artwork as an example of how his style is reflected in his writing. Moss and Aguilar will also discuss how to self-edit and work with an editor. 

About the Speakers

Sallyann Kluz headshotAbout Sallyann Kluz
Sallyann Kluz is a Pittsburgh-based arts administrator, architect, and urban designer whose practice is situated at the intersection of art and community development. With over 20 years of practice in the Pittsburgh region, her work is focused on the public realm and the people who inhabit it. Her practice includes public art programs and strategies, community engagement, design education, public space design, and neighborhood development strategies.

Prior to joining OPA, she was an associate and project architect with Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects (1998–2013), and served as an urban design, planning, and facilitation consultant in the Pittsburgh region.

Sallyann earned her Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Art from Carnegie Mellon University, where she has also taught urban design and architecture. A registered architect in Pennsylvania, she serves on the Board of Directors and Investment Advisory Committee of Neighborhood Allies, and on the Board of Directors of Riverlife. She previously sat on the Board of Directors of East Liberty Development, Inc., the City of Pittsburgh’s Contextual Design Advisory Panel, Community Design Center of Pittsburgh’s RenPlan Steering Committee, and the Board of Directors of the East End Food Co-op Federal Credit Union.

Derek Reese headshotAbout Derek Reese
Derek Reese is an artist, educator, and arts administrator living and working in Pittsburgh, PA since 2011. He believes in the transformative power of the arts and is passionate about fostering authentic creative experiences for others and making art accessible to all.

Jessica Gaynelle MossAbout Jessica Gaynelle Moss
Jessica Gaynelle Moss is an artist, independent curator and arts worker. She has an extensive background in production and fabrication, nonprofit leadership, and the advancement of equitable development. Moss reimagines new frameworks and strategizes ways to build, maintain and sustain Black autonomous spaces devoted to the survival, resistance, and healing of Black people. Her artwork is in the collections of The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Baltimore, The Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection (JFABC) and The University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). She is the recipient of grants from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (2017), Foundation For The Carolinas (2019, 2020), The Arts & Science Council (2018, 2019, 2020), and The Heinz Endowments (2020).

Artist Alberto Aguilar headshotAbout Alberto Aguilar
I will write this biography using 133 words but I won’t discover this number until I’m finished writing it. From this point forward he will speak in third person. Alberto Aguilar is a Chicago-based aartist that uses whatever materials are at hand in order to exchange and interact with others. Aguilar’s work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Mexican AArt, Museum of Contemporary AArt Chicago, Crystal Bridges Museum of American AArt, the Queens Museum, Minneapolis Institute of AArt, the AArt Institute of Chicago,The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and El Centro de Desarrollo de las AArtes Visuales, Havana, Cuba. He currently teaches at The School of the AArt Institute of Chicago. In order to create slight confusion, he added an extra “A” wherever the word aart appears in this bio.




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