This Q&A series focuses on artists contributing to the #ArtisticVisionPgh project cosponsored by Most Wanted Fine Art and Penn Avenue Eyewear. Today, we are talking with Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery which is curating the show.
Organization: Most Wanted Fine Art
Organization Website: www.mostwantedfineart.com
General Overview of the Project History: In 2013 we worked with Penn Ave Eyewear and they sponsored our Art Car project. As we worked together we developed the idea of giving artists glasses in exchange for art. We did a small exhibit which was half the size of this one. This year we wanted to help more artists and Penn Ave Eyewear are so generous and caring about community and giving back.
Why is vision health something so important to MWFA? We were artists who needed glasses and didn’t have health insurance. It was important for us to figure out a way to take care of that problem. We approached Penn Ave Eyewear about working together and it was right in line with their mission and goals.
Do you have any sense of how many of your artist friends and colleagues have vision insurance? Or need it? There are around 5 artists that I know don’t have vision insurance. There may be more.
What sort of impact do you think the Affordable Care Act has had on artists? I know at least 3 of the artists didn’t sign up at all for it. There was a lot of misunderstanding about it and a big stigma that they would all qualify for the free insurance but that basically, in their minds, meant they were signing up for welfare. They were all men. I don’t know if that had something to do with that.
What would a healthy arts community look like to you, in terms of vision health and more?
Most artist live hand to mouth, so unforeseen health issues hit hard, just like anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck. I think that puts people in a mind-set that they will only deal with health issues when they have gotten so bad that they can’t be ignored. Glasses fall into this as well. People will keep their glasses and wear them long after they need updated.
How did you select the participating artists? We approached artists that we knew and had worked with previously that either needed glasses or whose work would go well with the project. We wanted to give back to the artists who needed it most and had helped out with community project. Give back to the people who give all the time.
What sorts of creations did you auction off in 2013? There was a wide variety of art. There were 12 pairs of sunglasses and 13 pieces of art, which ranged from sculptural pieces to photography. Penn Ave Eyewear did a good blog round-up with lots of photos. http://pennavenueeyewear.com/blog/art (Editor’s note: I picked a few that caught my eye to share)
Tell us what will happen at the Silent Auction. There will be bid sheets for each item. People can place bids from 6pm-9pm at which time we will announce the winning bids. Any winning bid will be called and have 2 days to pay and pick up or it will move on to the next highest bid.
The Silent Auction is set for the (new) Waterfront gallery of Most Wanted Fine Art on Friday, September 12 from 6-10 PM with lots of entertainment and free drinks and food. Please note that MWFA has recently moved to the former Pittsburgh Burger space, next to Mitchell’s Seafood.