Art All Over, the WCDC campaign dedicated to showcasing local artists and makers, kicked off its third season on Saturday, September 16 with an opening reception at the Lohr Gallery. Since Art All Over’s inception in 2021, the Lohr Gallery has hosted 13 shows for hundreds of attendees and sold dozens of art pieces from this initiative, providing an arts-focused space for the Wilkinsburg community, as well as a platform for local artists.
“CDCP has been thrilled to partner on Art All Over with the WCDC for the past two years,” says Casey Droege of Casey Droege Cultural Productions. “It’s a platform for artists that aligns with our own mission of building the arts economy. It not only pays artists to showcase their work but pays an amount that aligns with local and national standards, as set byWage for Work andVACE. It also invites visitors to the Lohr Gallery to see work from artists who are connected to the community of Wilkinsburg, in a comfortable and accessible space.”
The September 16 reception celebrated the first featured artist, Kelly Lanzendorfer, who owns and operates Eastern Standard Photo on South Avenue.
“[At Eastern Standard Photo], I develop film and act as a mini film lab,” says Lanzendorfer. “I do everything by hand but also do a lot of education. That’s kind of the core. I love teaching analog methods of taking photos, so I do a lot of workshops.”
Lanzendorfer calls her clients “the greatest mix,” including everyone from beginners to college students looking to expand their skills beyond what their school offers to tech and medical-oriented people who want to break away from their lifestyles.
The Point Park University photojournalism graduate credits a lot of her training to the now-shuttered Pittsburgh Filmmakers, where she learned techniques in analog processes and the fine arts. This craftsmanship is on display at her exhibit Pennies in the Wishing Well, available to view at the Lohr Gallery now through November 18.
“This presentation of work is something I’ve been shooting and keeping in the back of my mind since 2018. I’m always looking for sensitive quiet moments, and I’m taking these pictures and thinking, ‘Why am I gravitating towards this thing?’ The name of the show is Pennies in the Wishing Well, something I used to do as a kid. You throw a penny and make a wish. It’s this concept of trying to pay attention as an adult now to things that are actually happening to me and being grateful for a lot of these things I’ve always wanted. These photos are pretty simple and straightforward. Some might even be a little goofy. It’s these pauses that I’m taking to note, things that are meaningful.”
One of the reasons Lanzendorfer says she lives and works in Wilkinsburg is because of the area’s authenticity.
“There’s a lot of abandonment and room for improvement, but that’s a caveat of why I started my business here because, with that authenticity, I feel comfortable. I want to make sure the things I’m passionate about can happen here. Hopefully, with the WCDC and Casey Droege Productions, we’re able to show that this can happen more. I’m big on making sure I can offer enough events and opportunities that are accessible to everybody, trying to have more open house events so people can stumble in when they’re out on their evening walk. I really want this community to come together in ways that I’ve seen it do before.”
Lanzendorfer hopes Pennies in the Wishing Well and Art All Over inspire the community in more ways than one.
“I hope people can see that you can make art, too, and you’re going to be able to hopefully find more and more opportunities to do that right here. I hope people take a little bit of light-heartedness or joy away from this. Maybe people will reflect on their own childhood wishes and dreams and think a little deeper about how things come into fruition in our lives, and it can be sweet and magical.”
The Wilkinsburg community can look forward to more Art All Over exhibits for the 2023-24 season, including artists Jasmine Green and Lizzee Solomon.
Pennies in the Wishing Well is on display on Saturdays from now until Nov. 18th from 12 to 5 PM at the Lohr Gallery.