WPG member artist Martha Oatway and her continuing exploration of her new city: As part of my exploration of Pittsburgh I am visiting different areas of the city. As in Washington, DC, the city of Pittsburgh has areas which have their own local flavor. Located northeast of downtown, Lawrenceville is a section of the city which is undergoing revitalization with galleries, shops and restaurants. I had heard about Borelli-Edwards Galleries and decided that a visit to the gallery would be my initial foray into Lawrenceville.
The original Borelli-Edwards Gallery was established in 1978, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where it evolved into an exhibition space for regional artists and Japanese prints and paintings. The gallery moved to Lawrenceville in 2007, expanding into three galleries, two primarily for regional art and one for Japanese prints. Owner Joy Borelli-Edwards also offers the services of fine art appraisals, estate sales, general and archival framing, installations and print and painting restoration.
Ms. Borelli-Edwards introduced me to the prints of Jacqueline Will, an artist who divides her time between the West Coast and Pittsburgh. A native of Portland, Oregon, Will moved to Pittsburgh in 2008. The move to Pennsylvania presented opportunities to explore unknown territory, vastly different from the expansive western landscape.
Will’s prints are a rich tapestry of printed ink, embossing, and hand drawing. Complex images, they work well from a distance as well as at close range. The larger areas of color and line zing from afar while closer scrutiny reveals the delicate lines of the hand drawn elements contrasting with lively color and embossing of collagraph elements on the monotypes.
Will states, ‘”The Rose Theory’ series begun in’08 – about 14 pieces now – came about after reflection on an individual described as ‘having gone through life planting roses’ in the face of hardship and adversity. Roses and thorns fit the idea perfectly”.
As Borelli-Edwards Galleries highlights Western Pennsylvania artists I will be visiting it regularly to expand my knowledge of this region’s artists and their work.