A window of whispers. The alluring title comes courtesy of artist Escalator Harrison (neé Dan Ivec) whose solo show of small pen-and-ink drawings filled one of Pittsburgh’s smallest art galleries for the first half of April, 2022. The gallery itself—a mere two-and-half feet wide, not quite as tall, and fronted by a single pane of glass—is its own window of whispers, even when the Escalator’s not running.
The Silver Apple Gallery, located on residential Main Street in Lawrenceville, was installed right around New Year’s Day, 2022, and received its signage, lighting, and variable pedestal options in the coming weeks. We thought we’d celebrate that achievement with a look back at its first year.
Full disclosure: We at Pittsburgh Orbit are not impartial observers to this particular story. This has been a project between your author and Mrs. Orbit from the start and it’s been a joy to see how the little venture has taken on a life of its own. In that first calendar year we hosted 11 individual artist shows—two a month on the even months (we had one cancelation in December)—and offered the space as a free little art gallery/art swap on the odd months.
The shows have been tremendous with many of the artists creating site-specific installations that completely maximized the space to turn what is essentially a glass-fronted, street-facing, cupboard with pretensions into a magic oasis of creativity and surprise for determined visitors and random passers-by alike.
The single-artist shows have come with all the fixins. Openings, closings, and in one case “middling” receptions right there on the porch and spilling out onto the sidewalk. Attended by friends of the artist, gallery faithful, neighbors, and the curious, these have been great ways for people to see the artwork who mayn’t be in the neighborhood otherwise—and it’s just a good excuse to have folks hang out on a Sunday afternoon (or whenever).
And what of the pieces randomly arriving during free gallery months? To say that every day is a surprise would be a stretch—but it’s more often than not.
Right out of the gate, art hero Claudia McGill sent us a package from the other side of the state containing a family of “stick people” (photo above) and a gaggle of equally wonderful “vial people.” Serial contributors like collage artist Kim Breit, Dan Ivec, Mark347, and John “Clohn Art” Lee—all of whom have had/will have solo shows at the space—have dropped-off terrific small works.
Like a mini Art All Night, what walks in through our tiny glass door comes in all media—paintings, drawings, ceramics, assemblages, collage, papier mache, photographs, sculpture, lino prints—you name it. Some pieces stay for a little while, some are gone so fast we don’t even get to see them once. Like that proverbial tree falling in the forest, we don’t even know what we don’t know.
Enough tooting of one’s own horn! It was a great first year and we have an exciting slate of shows booked all the way through the end of the year. The current show—Dave English and Jennifer Ramsey’s “A Spirited Winter”—is terrific and well worthy of your eyeballs.
If you find yourself on Main Street in Lawrenceville, maybe pause to take in whatever’s happening in the gallery on that particular day. You can follow what we’re doing here or there and hopefully we’ll see you and/or your art around the gallery sometime soon.
Getting there: Silver Apple Gallery is located in front of 255 Main Street in Lawrenceville. It is always “open” (for viewing) but the lights aren’t always on when it’s dark. For happenings and show announcements, follow on Instagram at @silverapplegallery