I love the Warhol. I love the pop-art craziness. I love the collections of stuff. I love the room full of circulating mylar shapes. I love that it’s a Carnegie museum, so if you’re a member, you get free admission to pop-art craziness and circulating mylar along with your dead dinosaurs.
But now there’s a new reason to love the Warhol (officially The Andy Warhol Museum) for the ‘Burgh Diaspora. The new position of Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Warhol has been filled by a worldly, well-educated, young boomerang Western Pennsylvanian – Eric Shiner of New Castle. Via Pitt, via Osaka University, via Yale, via NYC. Mr. Shiner has been out to the wide world, and now he’s back. Enthusiastically.
Shiner’s commitment to community has already been put into practice. He’s only been here since October but has two exhibitions opening Feb. 7, one of work by Bridget Berlin, which will bring Warhol’s confidant here for a performance and time capsule opening. The other, titled “The End” (inspired by the “tanking economy”), will include among its 32 global artists Pittsburghers Susanne Slavick and Diane Samuels.
“There’s a huge pool of talent here. And it’s exciting that young university graduates are trying to stay here,” says Shiner, who resides in Lawrenceville.
Perhaps even more important than Mr. Shiner’s direct contribution to keeping young talent in the region by involving local artists in the Warhol is his influence. Folks sometimes need a little role modeling to see how glad they’d be to live and work in Pittsburgh, and it’s hard to ignore a young star who can write his own ticket – and came home.