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Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Opens DIGITAL HAND at 709 Penn Gallery Today

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Opens DIGITAL HAND at 709 Penn Gallery Today

Pittsburgh, PA -- The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of the visual art exhibition Digital Hand. On view today, April 25-May 25, 2014, at the Trust's 709 Penn Gallery, the exhibition features works created by students participating in a course exploring the sculptural possibilities of digital fabrication taught by Tom Lauerman, assistant professor of art at the Penn State School of Visual Arts (SoVA). The exhibition, which is made possible by The Penn State Center Pittsburgh, opens during the Trust's Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, tonight, April 25, 2014, 6-9 p.m.

A sculpture course offered annually, Digital Hand seeks to examine digital fabrication techniques and embed them within more established methods of producing and experiencing objects and installations. Digital fabrication processes open an imaginative space in which the full potential of digital design techniques can move from the screen into a physical state with mass, materiality, and presence. The creative space where the actual and the virtual meet is a continuously changing landscape in which artists must hybridize processes not seen before with techniques that have remained unchanged for millennia.

"Participants in the course represent a diverse mix of art and design disciplines including sculpture, painting, architecture, new media, ceramics, and photography," says Graeme Sullivan, director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts. "The artwork exhibited in Digital Hand takes us to this meeting place where questions are raised, ideas floated, and the imagination let loose."

The artists range in experience from first year freshmen to graduating MFA students. Works in the show might begin or end with digital processes, but more often move back and forth, onscreen and off, developing a layered complexity. Hand drawing informs 3D modeling and scanning before a myriad of fabrication tools strengthen what is onscreen. Data is then translated into form via 3D printing, laser cutting, pen plotting, and computer numerical control (CNC) milling. In many projects the materials resulting from this process then return to the studio to be embedded into the familiar patterns and textures of studio work.

Participating artists include: Timothy Annin, Kadijah Braddy, Christine Breuning, Olivia Calef, Ashley Chan, Katherine English, Christina Erives, Negar Fadaeidehkordi, Chia Yen Gan, Sharlin Guzman, Josselyn Hernandez De Leon, Patrick Hoban, Rosemary Hyp, Gabriel Ibias, Katherine Kinderwater, Margaret Kinkaede, Roberto Lugo, Tom Lauerman, Kevin Mercer, Brooks Oliver, Sarah Swist, Eric Thornton, William Waldron, Evan West, and Samuel Yeaton.

Tom Lauerman (born in Chicago, IL) works within the overlap of sculpture, craft, and design. His objects, drawings, and installations explore the emotional capacities of constructed spaces as a visual, tactile, and visceral experience. In the studio, Tom seeks to synthesize digital fabrication strategies and traditional craft techniques. Tom received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and a BFA from SMU Meadows School of Art, Dallas, TX. His work has been exhibited widely, including recent exhibitions in Berlin, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He has taken part in a number of artist residencies including the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, South Korea; the Kohler Arts/Industry residency, Sheboygan, WI; and Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, WA. He is a recipient of the Horizon Award from the American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design) in New York, and an Individual Artist Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Tom has taught at a number of institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and SMU Meadows School of Art. He is currently an assistant professor at Penn State University.

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