A local gallery with a global reach, the Carlow University Art Gallery is the only art space in the Pittsburgh region dedicated to art and social justice. Our project is to embody the unique mission of Carlow through professionally curated exhibitions, to bridge campus and community, and to extend the teaching space through innovative public programming and experiential learning.

Through the gallery, Carlow students have the opportunity to work with professional artists, curators, and museum professionals (assist with installation, collection management, research and development of digital curation strategies).

The gallery, a Google Arts and Culture partner and part of Google’s Pittsburgh Project, serves as a center for dialogue and creativity for both the Carlow community and the greater Pittsburgh community.

Ryan Laib installs a photograph by Thomas Locke Hobbes from the series “Wonder of the World,” Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, at the Carlow University Art Gallery. The show, “Everything That Sounds in the Forest: Contemporary Art of the Peruvian Amazon,” featuring 11 artists and curated by Gabriela Germana and Christian Bendayan, runs January 17- May 15. Adrian Portugal’s photo from the series “Miss Cantagallo” sits in the foreground; “The Virgin of the Animals” by Graciela Arias is at left. (Rebecca Droke/Carlow University)

Exhibitions

CURRENT EXHIBITION

The Kingdom of This World, Reimagined
October 2023 – March 2024

Staged across two venues, this exhibition responds to Alejo Carpentier’s magical realist novel The Kingdom of This World, imagining how the extraordinary events of the Haitian Revolution globally resonate into the present day. At the Carlow University Art Gallery, artists respond with multimedia installations that collapse past into present. At the University of Pittsburgh Art Galleries, contemporary artists reimagine the mytho-historical figures and events from the novel. Together, these two sites link contemporary artwork, modern literature, and colonial history to reexamine the ties and tensions between Caribbean heritage and freedom.

The installation at the Carlow University Art Gallery includes artwork by Chesley Antoinette, Leah Gordon, Edouard Duval-Carrié, José García Cordero, William Vazquez, Scherezade Garcia, and Simryn Gill. It will be on view from October 2023 to March 2024.

The Kingdom of This World, Reimagined originally opened in 2019 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center Satellite Gallery in Miami, Florida, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Carpentier’s novel. It was also featured at the Pensacola Museum of Art at the the University of West Florida from September 2021 to January 2022.

This exhibition was curated by Lesley A. Wolff, Assistant Professor, Art & Design, University of Tampa.

Read more about the installation at the University of Pittsburgh Art Galleries by visiting the UAG website.

Additionally, a Digital Resources site has been created to exist alongside the physical exhibition. The site includes information on the exhibition and participating artists, as well as essays, recorded interviews, and a list of external resources. Learn more about the exhibition by visiting the site at KOTWexhibition.com.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Permissible Dose

Erin Mallea

April 2024 – October 2024

Caroline Yoo & Lena Chen

October 2024 – March 2025

Radical Pedagogies

April 2025 – October 2025

Upcoming Public Programming

April 18, 5:30pm: Opening Receiption – Permissible Dance

Permissible Dose (2023) combines video, sculpture and custom fragrances to investigate visual, auditory, and olfactory experiences of living in proximity to industrial pollution. Referencing the common “rotten egg” smell of hydrogen sulfide emissions in Pittsburgh, a custom scent will be diffused intermittently in the gallery based on live, regional air-quality data.

The Pittsburgh metropolitan area is consistently ranked among the top 10 most-polluted regions in the United States based on measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. Corporate polluters regularly pay millions of dollars in fines rather than meet air quality regulations or modernize old facilities. The region’s recently constructed Shell ethylene cracker plant, now the state’s second-biggest emitter of VOCs, released 95% of its annual emissions allowances in a single month before it began official operations in 2022. Fence-line communities have long been treated as an acceptable sacrifice and experience disproportionately high rates of asthma, cancer, and heart disease. Polluters instrumentalize feelings of hope and nostalgia to buy the support of declining industry towns, making promises of investment into local communities that are often exaggerated, broken or short lived. Facilities are run into the ground and abandoned while industry executives invest in “right-to-work” states downriver.

Permissible Dose was developed from conversations with grassroots activists and watchdogs monitoring Pittsburgh-area industrial sites. Obscuring Power (2023, 32:25 runtime), a short film in the exhibition, follows community “smoke readers” in Pittsburgh, PA. Smoke readers are concerned residents trained in the EPA’s Method 9 to monitor visual pollution emissions from industrial sites and report violations. Method 9 is a policy for regulating emissions with the human eye. Despite the proliferation of camera recording technology, it is still widely used to regulate visible emissions. Obscuring Power is a slow meditation on vision, certainty, and doubt. It combines footage and soundscapes of Pittsburgh industrial sites with glimpses of community monitoring efforts to consider contemporary compulsory risk and systems of power. Together, the film and installation explore the body as a porous sensor, alarm, and site of chemical and environmental entanglements.

More information:

Installation

Film

Link to watch film

Permissible Dose, installation view, photos by Jacob Koestler
at the Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH, 2023

Hours of operation

The gallery is open to students, faculty, and staff as well as class visits. Visitors to campus can schedule a timed visit or tour by appointment.

Day of the weekTime
SundayClosed
Monday9 a.m.-4 p.m. & 7-9 p.m.
Tuesday11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Thursday11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday9 a.m.-Noon
Saturday6-8 p.m.
Gallery hours may change, contact us prior to your visit.

View images and interactive stories of our past exhibitions through Google Arts & Culture.

Art Gallery Staff

Kiera Moyler, Gallery Assistant
Meghan Vance, Communication Intern

Grants received

Carlow University Art Gallery has been the recipient of the following grants:

2023

  • CIC Humanities for the Public Good Sustaining Grant

2021

  • Opportunity Fund: Recipient for the Culture of Care speaker and workshop series in partnership with Anthropology of Motherhood
  • The William Talbot Hilllman Foundation: Recipient for the project “Center for Art and Social Justice Pilot Program” in partnership with The Documentary Works and Carlow’s Social Justice Institutes
  • McAuley Ministries Foundation: Recipient for the project “Social Justice Justice Training Institutes Fellowship Program, Justice-Oriented Art Gallery Exhibitions and Intergroup Dialogue”

2020

  • CIC Grant: Humanities for the Public Good: Recipient for the archival project and exhibition: International Poetry Form: The Power of Voice, Spring 2021

Contact Art Gallery

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