'I've Been Out Walking' Opens Next Month at 709 Penn

'I've Been Out Walking' Opens Next Month at 709 Penn

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of I've Been Out Walking, an exhibition showcasing an appreciation for nature, by Ashley Jean Hickey. The show opens with a reception and artist talk at 709 Penn on Friday, July 10, from 6-8 p.m., and it is included in the Trust's quarterly Gallery Crawl. The show is on view through August 9, 2015.

Local artist Ashley Jean Hickey gains inspiration for her abstract and conceptual sculptures from her walks through the woods. Fascinated by the intricate bark patterns of the trees, the skeleton of a leaf, or the growth of fungus on a branch, Hickey applies aspects of these elements to her work in an unexpected manner. Employing preserved moss, lichen, and wood as her primary media, she takes natural materials and turns them into an unconventional art form. Stark-white hand castings present bits of trees and plants to the viewer, challenging the idea of our relationship with our natural environment.

Hickey grew up playing in the woods of her childhood home where she discovered her love for nature and considers this to be the most peaceful and reflective of places. Now as an adult and a mother, she still spends much of her time outdoors, witnessing the same fascination with nature through her daughter's eyes. Her sculptures and paintings allow the viewer to enjoy pure, though manipulated, nature within the confines of four walls. By bringing some of the outdoors in, Hickey encourages the connection between her work and her walks.

Ashley Jean Hickey
Ashley Jean Hickey received her Bachelor's degree in sculpture and drawing from California University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and has since participated in more than a dozen shows in the Pittsburgh area, including three solo exhibitions. Hickey's work was featured in 2013's RAW: Natural Born Artists: Semi-Final event, where she took home the title of RAW Pittsburgh's Visual Artist of the Year. She is a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and currently serves as the President of Pittsburgh's Society of Sculptors.

709 Penn Gallery
709 Penn Gallery is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The gallery is located at 709 Penn Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District. 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. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit TrustArts.org.

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 landmasses 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, visit TrustArts.org.