Pittsburgh photographer and printmaker Sergey Zlotnikov guest artist at Artworks Hop

February’s visitors to Artworks Around Town in historic Centre Market  will be treated to a stunning collection of  work by Pittsburgh based photographer and printmaker, Sergey Zlotnikov.  Artworks is honored to welcome this internationally renowned artist on Friday, February 2, in the Studio Gallery at Artworks Around Town with a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m..

Mr. Zlotnikov graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute in 1988.  He has been involved in architectural design, 3D modeling, desk top publishing and video production.  Mr Zlotnikov’s copper plate photogravures and his Platinum Palladium prints have won awards and international acclaim. In 2012 he took third prize at BIMPE  VII- Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition.  Some other venues include the 9th International Biennial of Gravure in Leige Belgium, SMTG International Print Triennial Krakow, Boston Printmakers 2013 Biennial and many more. He is an active member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh through which he is able to display many of his works nationally and internationally.  He won Best Craftsmanship at Pittsburgh’s recent Fair In The Park, which is a national artists venue.

His comprehensive study and documentation of Wheeling’s La Belle ironworks covered a period of three years from 2005-2008, while it was still in operation,  Mr. Zlotnikov was a member of a team of people who were committed to document La Belle by way of photos, interviews and videos of individuals at work, coming back on his own many times to create a meaningful body of work devoted to this unique place.  In its heyday, it was the largest Cut Nail Factory in the U.S..

According to Mr Zlotnikov, “Until its last day, the Wheeling plant was using the original cut-nail machines, designed and built in the 1850’s and 60’s.  Even though these machines were reconfigured to be run by electrical motors instead of by steam engine, all the main parts remained the same and the position of a blacksmith was essential in order to keep them running. … Despite great efforts by the owners and the workforce, it had to close its doors in 2010 and even though La Belle was on the National Register of Historic Places,…we lost the entire complex in late 2016”.

Traditional print making techniques such as copperplate photogravure and Platinum Palladium  date back to the 1850’ and 60’s.  Mr Zlotnikov comments,

“It feels entirely appropriate that such a classic, handmade time-proven technique as Platinum Palladium would be chosen as a way to show and preserve the beauty and uniqueness of the La Belle plant.”  Every print is handmade by the artist, is part of a small numbered edition and is done using precious metals.  This technique is recognized in the industry as the most archival method of printmaking. Each image is embedded in 100% handmade cotton paper with small crystals of pure Palladium metal.

His website (sergeyzlotnikovphotogravure.com) contains images of his work as well as an overview in which he states “As the subject constantly eludes us, how much time do we really have to contemplate and appreciate the surroundings?  What are the products of our observations?  How does the interaction process unfolding?  In practicing the classic copper plate photogravure, I am looking for answers.  For me, the uniqueness of the process, starting as nonintrusive photography, continues as the most artist-involving.  The image has to be literally re-created, step-by-step, by hand.  The transformation is far enough from the straight photography to be liberating, yet precise in detail and spirit to allow the contemplation at observer’s own pace.”

In the North Gallery the exhibit will feature select  artwork in acrylic, watercolor, charcoal and pencil by Tim Midget, a member of the Independent Artists and an artist friend of many of us.  Tim died on June 17, 2016.

Tim was a graduate of Weirton High School, attended West Liberty State College, and was honorably discharged from the United States Army.  For 30 years he was a roller in the production plant at Weirton Steel.  On retiring, he renewed his interest in art, beginning with drawing classes at West Virginia Northern Community College.

Tim is well known in the tri-state area as an artist.  His African roots and love of jazz influenced his work.  He was also an avid reader, researcher, and “seeker of knowledge”.  He traveled to Egypt and Jamaica and participated in yoga and philosophy groups.

Tim Midget – “African Masks: Talking”

Tim Midget – “African Masks”

Artworks Around Town, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that operates a Gallery and Art Center for the benefit of the artists and general public of the region.  Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Fridays when it closes at six p.m.

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