There are a lot of talented artists in Pittsburgh. When I worked at CMU people would strategically watch the dumpster outside the College of Fine Arts and unabashedly dumpster dive when the students threw out their unwanted masterpieces. This was mainly due to sheer volume and space issues. Those art students produced a lot of work and a dorm room can only hold so much. Plus, those large canvasses are not that easy to haul around. I’m sure that someone has an early Andy Warhol or Burton Morris treasure squirreled away from this sought after quest. I was never able to time it right to find anything since the artwork disappeared within minutes and I don’t doubt that people staked out spots in sleeping bags to get to the best pieces first.
The main thing is that art is subjective. A student’s rejected failure may be the best piece of art you’ve ever seen. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure literally. I think that is the reason that the annual Shaw Gallery bad art sale has become such a wildly popular event. It will take place on Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25 from from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. These are pieces that gallery owner Kurt Shaw has secretly procured and hidden away over the past eleven years. He is adding to the booty this year by including used art books, art supplies, mats and frames. I think he may be a bit of an obsessive compulsive buyer. You can find him and his bounty at 805 Liberty Avenue in the heart of the cultural district. In fact, there is a gallery crawl this weekend where you can check out lots of great places in this artistically restored downtown section.
So warm up with a bottle of wine and gaze at the new painting of the Côte d’Azur you just picked up for a steal at the bad art sale. Build a fire and bundle up. Great art soothes the soul.