Visual Art: 252 Artists Collaborate on Exhibition for John Riegert, SPACE





One of the Largest Group Exhibitions to be Displayed Downtown in Pittsburgh’s History

June 24 – September 4, 2016 | SPACE | Liberty Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA―The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of John Riegert, curated by Brett Yasko. The 252 portraits of John Riegert have been developed through sessions spanning over nearly two years and hosted at studios, coffee shops, parks, museums, riverbanks, universities, cemeteries, artists’ homes and John’s own home as well. The work in the exhibit ranges from paintings to sculptures to conceptual pieces to performances to photographs to films and videos.

The unprecedented exhibit will be on display Friday, June 24 through September 4, 2016. Additionally, the exhibit opening will be part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s free quarterly Gallery Crawl taking place on Friday, July 8 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Yasko explains how the concept for the exhibition developed: “I was at the last Carnegie International and discovered the work of Joseph Yoakum. He was self-taught and considered to be an ‘outsider’ artist but here was his work as part of one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions in the world. That night we went to a birthday party for my son’s friend and his grandmother gave him the first painting she had ever done. I was struck by how much it reminded me of Yoakum’s work and I started thinking about what makes art ‘art’ and what makes artists ‘artists.’ Why is it that one painting is seen by thousands while a similar painting sits in a child’s bedroom only to be seen by a few? Which artist is more important? Which painting is better? I wanted to see what would happen if a large number of different artists—well-known and little-known—each painted the same subject. And I immediately thought that the subject should be John.”

Riegert has been Yasko’s friend for over 20 years. He is an artist and writer who began struggling with mental illness fifteen years ago. Riegert lost his job and his marriage. A suicide attempt put him in a coma for four days. Yasko chose Riegert as his subject to help inspire him and because he knew Riegert would relate well to the hundreds of participating artists. “John has always been one of the most engaging and thoughtful people I know and I wanted others to see this,” says Yasko. “Throughout the process, he’s reconnected with old friends and made new ones. And he’s given himself completely to the project—enthusiastically embracing any idea an artist has had for him.”

While the project started out being for and about Riegert, it has also become (in the words of Dan Byers, senior curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston) “a portrait of Pittsburgh, its artists and what it means to be a creative individual within a small community.”

Riegert will be present for the entire run of the exhibition and will act as its “docent”—telling stories of each artist and their work as well as stories of his own.

A Tumblr of the project’s process to date (in reverse chronological order) is here:

An extensive catalogue will also be produced. It will feature an essay by Eric Lidji, each of the 252 portraits, photos of the process, and a contribution by Riegert. Yasko is scheduled to have the book printed and ready by the exhibition’s closing party on Saturday, September 3.

Participating Artists include: Edith Abeyta, Cate Rassman Afrooz, Andrew W. Allison, John Altdorfer, Scott Andrew, David Armbruster, Stephanie Armbruster, David Aschkenas, Genevieve E.T. Barbee-Turner, Patricia Barefoot, Jennifer Baron & Greg Langel, Mark Baskinger, Mary Bates, Kim Beck, Robert Beckman, Pat, Bellan-Gillen, Gavin Benjamin, David Bernabo, Aaron Blum, Brandon Boan, Cory Bonnet, Paul Bowden, Robert Bowden, Terry Boyd, Jeremy Boyle, Danny Bracken, Lauren Braun, Dee Briggs, Jeff Brunner, Edgar Um Bucholtz, David Burke, M. Callen, John Carson, Nick Caruso, Tony Cavalline, Ashley Cecil, Kim Chestney, Angelo Ciotti, Kevin Clancy, Richard Claraval, Seth Clark, Lenka Clayton, Brian Cohen, John Colaric, Matthew Conboy, Sandra Conley, Lisa Considine, Lex Covato, Chris Craychee, dadpranks, Doug Dean, Kathleen DePasse, Sean Derry, Dave D’Incau Jr., Amy DiPlacido, Christiane Dolores, Laura Domencic, Ron Donoughe, Tracey Donoughe, James Duesing, Jim Dugas, Cecilia Ebitz, Ian Finch, Matt Forrest, Kim Fox, Toby Atticus Fraley, Mark Franchino, Abby Franzen-Sheehan, Craig Freeman, April Friges, Jon Funari, Paul Leroy Gehres, Fabrizio Gerbino, Bonnie Gloris, Scott Goldsmith, Jenn Gooch, Sarika Goulatia, Elizabeth Raymer Griffin, Jamie Gruzska, Steve Gurysh, Peggi Habets, David Hahn, Kate Hansen, Adrienne Heinrich, Aaron Henderson, Ryder Henry, Lori Hepner, Ben Hernstrom, Al Hoff, Deborah Kiss Holtschlag, Christine Holtz, Mundania Horvath, Deborah Hosking, Jennifer Howison, Leo Hsu, Robert Huckestein, Tate Hudson, Andi Irwin, Lisa Marie Jakab, Natiq Jalil, Delanie Jenkins, Tom M. Johnson, Rob Katkowski, D.S. Kinsel, Paula Garrick Klein, Kristen Letts Kovak, Yelena Lamm, Ryan Lammie, Rick Landesberg, Jill Larson, Judith Lauso, Zack John Lee, Eric Lidji, Tom Little, Cara Livorio, Michael Lotenero, Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Dale Luce, Duncan MacDiarmid with Scott Hunter & Terry Young, Julie Mallis, Peter Mandradjieff, Maria Mangano, Ross Mantle, Penny Mateer, Anni Matsick, Christopher McGinnis, Jeannie McGuire, Dale McNutt with Mike McQuaide, Clayton Merrell, Constance Merriman, Kyle Milne, Travis Mitzel, David Montano, Heather Mull, Julie Mull, Jennifer Nagle Myers, Risë Nagin, Stephanie Neary, James Nesbitt, Celeste Neuhaus, Matthew Newton, Leslie Nutting, Meghan Olson, Annie O’Neill, Chris Pacione, Mark Panza, Leah Patgorski, Donna Penoyer, Terri Perpich, Kurt Pfaff, William Pfahl, Greg Pierce, Debra Platt, David Pohl, Susan Laansma Pollins, Linda Price-Sneddon, Dylan Priest, Deborah McLaren Priore, Jack Puglisi, Heather Joy Puskarich, Robert Qualters, Shawn Quinlan, Robert Raczka, Caroline Record & Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson, Jake Reinhart, Martha Ressler, Fiona Riegert, Larry Rippel, John Ritter, Rachel Rodkey, Steve Root, Elizabeth Claire Rose, Paul Rosenblatt, Renee Rosensteel, Ann T. Rosenthal, Philip Rostek, Christopher Ruane, Jon Rubin, Jim Rugg, Benjamin Saks, Diane Samuels, Tom Sarver, Jason Sauer, Paul Schifino, Elana Schlenker, Janice Schuler, Travis K. Schwab, Kurt Shaw, Phiris Kathryn Sickels, Blaine Siegel, Rabecca Signoriello, Louise & Sarah Silk, Carol Skinger, Kara Skylling, Susanne Slavick, Becky Slemmons, Shaun Slifer, Sarah Smith, Jason Snyder, Richard R. Snyder, Julie Sokolow, Lizzee Solomon, Joshua Space, Ivette Spradlin, Emilie Stark-Menneg, Julie Stunden, Andy Sujdak, Mia Tarducci, Benjamin Thomas, Lenore Thomas, Sam Thorp, Mark Threefortyseven, Anne Trimble, Laurie Trok, John Tronsor, Judy Tulley, Kristin Turcsanyi, Scott Turri, Jude Vachon, Laura Vinchesi, Justin Visnesky, Dylan Vitone, Andy Vogt, Lorraine Vullo, Susan Wagner, David Wallace, Kent Wallisch, Norene Walworth & Rob Capaldi, Mary Weidner, Barbara Weissberger, Hannah Welsh, Carolyn Wenning, Susanna Weyandt & Ian Brill, Diane White, Lauren Wilcox, Debra Williams, Sharon Wilson-Wilcox, Teresa DallaPiccola Wood, Alisha B. Wormsley, Bec Young, Paul Zelevansky, Bob Ziller and Kathleen Zimbicki.

SPACE is located at 812 Liberty Avenue. Gallery Hours: Wed & Thurs: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public. SPACE is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Cultural Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.  For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit

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