Collaborative art exhibit, “Interplay” celebrates 100 years for Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

With several friends the other evening I attended a tantilizing art exhibition celebrating the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh’s 100th birthday.  The catalog described the challenge to the visual artists: “to create a work inspired by ‘interplay’ …to distill meaning from dichotomy and juxtaposition.”   Titled Interplay, the show was juried by Eric C. Shiner, the Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh. This diverse group of artists; video, digital photography, sculpture, painting, fiber, printmaking, and mixed media, presented themes of having money and not, what makes an artist – drawing a straight line? Where do art materials come from, and are we wearing them? There are urban forests and colorful words, kaleidoscopes and symmetry.

Strolling through the galleries, I felt a call and a longing to organize a response. For here I am, a practicing InterPlayer for 18+ years and director of InterPlay® Pittsburgh. I began to imagine what might happen if we could bring the system of InterPlay,® created by Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter twenty-five years ago, into connection with this exhibit.  The InterPlay® of which I speak is a kind of folk art, practiced in over 50 cities in the U.S and on four continents. This InterPlay® is “an active creative approach to unlocking the wisdom of the body.” On the spot and in the moment we use movement, music, story telling, and stillness to respond to a theme, and collaboratively create art pieces together. 

I’m looking forward to playing with my troupe, Wing & a Prayer Pittsburgh Players, using the images and themes from this exhibit. We will allow ourselves to be challenged and moved by the messages we receive from the artists’ handiwork. And using the performing art forms of InterPlay,® we will connect our own stories to theirs. And who knows, I’ve made a few calls and generated some interest, so if the organizational gods and goddesses create an opening, we might be able to play in the actual galleries at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts this summer while the show is in residence, allowing the artists and others to view our responses.

4 thoughts on “Collaborative art exhibit, “Interplay” celebrates 100 years for Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

  1. Sheila, this is a very exciting collaborative opportunity! Has a date been set for the event? And will your InterPlay troupe be the performers? What kind of performance do you imagine for the event?
    p.s. Thanks for your creativity and getting your great energy out into cyberspace!

  2. We are looking at Friday Aug 13th at 6 pm. I’ll follow up with more details as they develop but meanwhile, save the date. Sheila

  3. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if
    you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you
    center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Cheers!

  4. Seth, You mention one of the most difficult tasks for any writer. Just getting started. I try different things but most often I try to move first. I take a zumba class or take a walk or even just dancing around in my kitchen seems to get my creative juices going.

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