Series by Carol Skinger
Juror’s Award from Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
My series of 6 paintings of mobile homes, trailers and manufactured homes were accepted for exhibit at a Pittsburgh Society of Artists juried art show titled “Intr(au)spective” at the 56th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival (TRAF) in Pittsburgh.
Juror Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art awarded 3 Jurors awards and my series is to receive one of them.
Opening Reception Friday, June 5, 2015 5:30pm – 7:30pm. The exhibit runs from June 5- June 14.
937 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15222
Of course I am personally happy about my artwork getting an important award. I am pleased as well that this puts a spotlight on a population of people living on a precarious economic margin. If you think about it the term “trailer trash” has not gone out of use in the same way many other phrases and labels have. Phrases we have collectively agreed are abusive and serve to keep people as “others” slowly go out of use, or are instantly known for what they are. We collectively turn our heads and avoid the gaze at trailers and mobile homes, not seeing them, or casting them as ugly and unfortunate. Most of all not thinking about them at all is the norm. Disregard itself is one of the most damaging things. In fact the plan view I painted, the upper left picture, illustrates that you often cannot see them at all. That mobile home park is a few miles away and I drive by it all the time but never knew of its existence until creating my pieces for the show.
Responding to the unique Festival theme UNSEEN/UNHEARD artists were asked to draw inspiration from social justice issues, auditory/visual subjects, or history not seen or told. I found myself in the period leading up to the deadline for submission thinking long and hard about what to do. There are times I feel like everything has been said and done before. But that is what art does, it seeks out the new, or the previously not thought about before as a subject of artistic exploration. Finally it came to me that I cannot think of an art concerned with living in mobile homes, trailers, and manufactured homes. Perhaps it has been done in art, literature, music, theater, film, poetry, or dance but I cannot think of it. So that was my subject. While working I realized it is the quiet but historic twin to the Tiny House Movement, which is very popular and does get plenty of exposure.
For this exhibit 92 artists submitted 160 pieces of artwork. Spira selected 34 pieces by 30 artists to be shown. My second submission was also accepted titled “Trailer Toile”.
Serving as juror for PSA’s Intr[au]spective is Freyda Spira, Associate Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and specializes in Early Modern German art and works on paper. Spira has curated exhibitions including, Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012); and Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings (2012). Presently, she is curating an exhibition entitled Prints & People: The Building of a Metropolitan Collection, 1916-1966, which will be accompanied by a catalogue (2016). She has also curated numerous smaller exhibitions on nineteenth and twentieth century visual culture, including Legends of the Dead Ball Era, Century Posters, Life Magazine and Pop Art, and A Sport for Every Girl.