Pollan-inspired artist dresses up Hillman Center for author's visit
When Stacey M. Schultze learned the Hillman Center would be hosting Michael Pollan, she offered to display a series of her paintings inspired by the his classic book “A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams.”
“She sent me a link to look at her art, which is phenomenal, and I jumped at the chance,” says Sarah York Rubin, the center's executive director. “Stacey drove up from Virginia with her husband (a career Marine), two children (whom she home-schools) and dog last weekend to hang the show in our lower lobby.”
Schultze has never met or spoken to Pollan, but is looking forward to that changing May 10.
“I am thrilled to hear him speak,” she says. “I certainly hope he sees my work as a wonderful tribute.”
The 12 works of mixed media on paper, which she calls “Tiny Houses,” reflect the themes and concepts in Pollan's book, in which he recounts building, without any training, his writing studio — the “tiny house” — and his reflections on the power of place to shape our lives, what constitutes “real work” in a technological society and other subjects.
“Michael has a respect for his environment, humanity and the other-worldly that inspires me to keep it real,” Schultze says. “My pieces are layered. I try to capture more than what lies on the surface.”
She employs a direct, gestural approach that is counterbalanced by an underlying delicate intimacy. It is, she says, a modern form of expressionism, primarily abstract in nature.
Nearly all of her titles are direct quotes from the book or ideas presented in it. Through line, color, texture and form, she attempted to capture the weighty concepts addressed and also “the concrete rawness” of dirt under fingernails and physical labor in creating a structure with character.
The artist says the concepts explored in the book and her exhibit each fill a space, creating a conceptual “tiny house” in her mind, which she has tried to convey in visual terms.
“It is very thought-provoking,” Rubin says. Each piece is based on a known figure who struggled to create a space of freedom within the existing social structure, such as Henry David Thoreau, who classically retreated to Walden Pond to find his own space.
Schultze says there was a sense of nostalgia that swept over her as she read the book.
“It brought me back to my childhood when I would accompany my father to his job sites, where he constructed not just houses, but spaces in which we live,” she says.
She hopes people who see the free showcase — from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 9, and during “A Conversation With Michael Pollan” — will contemplate the limitations and freedoms drawn from the places we fill, acknowledge the influence the structures impose on our lives, “and value the gift of those who create the spaces we inhabit.”
“We take for granted the impact we have on our environment and underestimate the influence our environment has on us,” she says, “both inside and outside the places we dwell.”
Schultze will be available for questions before and after the program. Details: 412-968-3045 or www.StaceyMSchultze.com
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Stocks slide in busy week of quarterly earnings reports
- NFL Draft preview: Sizing up the specialists
- Former soccer goalie Lambo chasing NFL dream
- Most talent in NFL Draft play at Steelers’ positions of need
- Former Tennessee DE Hendrix announces transfer to Pitt
- Vikings running back Peterson absent but wanted
- Teacher called hero in Wash. school shooting
- Riot erupts in Baltimore after funeral for man hurt in police custody
- Steelers receiver Brown attends workouts despite previous comments
- Experts high on Pitt tackle Clemmings entering NFL Draft
- Greensburg high school roundup: Hempfield takes down rival P-T