🗣 Locals should know: Meet Dana Bishop-Ruth, Museum Educator

Ours Local Favorites: The 2022 Arts and Culture Guide here! See you on the list, from your favorite museum on the North Shore to your favorite concert venue in Homestead. From the Pittsburgh Glass Center to Unblurred, your picks represent Pittsburgh’s bold, diverse, and constantly innovative art scene.

By the way, this week Local to know works at one of your favorite museums, where she develops programs to help visitors interpret and understand the ambitious works that will be on display this September at the 58th Carnegie International Exhibition. Get to know each other Dana Bishop-RuthDirector of Education and Community Programs, Carnegie Museum of Art (Full disclosure: I used to work for an organization affiliated with CMOA that Dana helped oversee).

Hi Dana! Tell our readers who you are and what you do.

I am the director of education and community programs at the Carnegie Museum of Art. I also work for the council Opportunity Fund, Associated Artists of Pittsburghand advisory boards Art tours without restrictions and Health team. I am a lover of long busy days of art, people, difference, opportunity, growing plants and ideas, learning and justice.

Think for a second and tell us: What excites you the most about this city?

People. How we find ourselves in relation to each other; creating collective visions and actions, intertwining history, place and difference. Learning becomes the foundation upon which we can all grow. I also really like the hills in this town – I love running on hills!

If you could only eat one meal at a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I like to be at any such party Kitchen black radish serves; they do locally sourced vegetables right.

Besides the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations where you would go on your perfect day in Pittsburgh.

I would start my morning at Frick Park, in Biddle, at the entrance to my favorite two-mile loop under the big trees, then head to the Carnegie Museum of Art. After experiencing all the art, I would like to take a break to recover Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryHall of precious stones and minerals. Then I would end my day by talking with my favorite people about the community and the books at Braddock Carnegie Library.

Installation view of Raphael Domenech’s Separation of Edge from Age (Pavilion for Sarduy) at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

What is your favorite social media account (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) that you want to follow and why?

Kelly Strayhorn Theatre: They are fed incredible. They present their artistic program and many dynamic artists in the region and cover various events in the surrounding area. They also ask tough questions of all of us, sharing history and calling for action in support of black arts, queer arts, and housing justice in Pittsburgh.

How does Pittsburgh help you do what you do/influence your work?

The differences between neighborhoods and people’s lived experiences open up space for how we can create mutually supportive resources across organizations, communities, and each other.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Do you still have a morning? 58thousand Carnegie International Organization! The curatorial team, Sohrab Mohebi, Ryan Inoue, and Talia Hayman, along with a curatorial board and advisors located around the world, brought together artists whose lives, practices, and places have been influenced by the geopolitical footprint of the United States. This exhibition makes palpable the ways in which art exists outside of social and political constructs, being in direct conversation with them.

Being in the museum every day, I get to know the new orders at the exhibition. Artist Thu Van Tran and a team of installers and artist assistants spent two weeks transforming the balcony walls in the museum’s sculpture hall with dense color fields superimposed on each other to create magical and multidimensional surfaces where memory and feelings are evoked from each of us. It’s breathtaking, and it’s just one of more than 100 artists participating in the 58thousand Carnegie International!

This exhibit has been over two years in the making and involved every person who works at the museum – it was a huge team effort and I hope all of Pittsburgh will join us for the exhibit! See here for a full list of events, programs and learning resources

Know a person or organization we should feature? Send us an email at [email protected] with the theme “Inclining Locals to Know” and you may see their name in a future newsletter!

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