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Astria Suparak: New Show At Carnegie Mellon

By Mike Everleth ⋅ August 30, 2008

Syracuse’s loss is now Pittsburgh’s gain. Nearly eleven months to the day that she was unceremoniously canned from Syracuse University’s Warehouse Gallery, superstar curator Astria Suparak will have her first show open at her new gig as director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery.

This isn’t a film related show, but I like to post about what Suparak is up to after getting acquainted with her special tastes at the New York Underground Film Festival years ago. Also, what happened to her at Syracuse sucked big time, but it was probably for the best and in this glowing Pittsburgh City Paper article, Suparak sounds super-enthused and re-energized about her new position. I predict great things will happen for her, for CMU and for all of Pittsburgh as a result of this pairing.

Suparak’s first show is called Your Town, Inc. and it’s an exhibit of photographs by Julia Christensen, who has been documenting how abandoned “big box” stores have been transformed into community centers, including churches, schools and museums. Sounds like an interesting show. (And actually sounds like it could serve as a good premise for a fascinating documentary.) The show began on Aug. 29 and will run through Nov. 23. On Sept. 19, Suparak will be hosting a Hometown BBQ in conjunction with the show as well as a lecture and book signing by Christensen on Nov. 13.

There’s also more cool stuff already planned in the Miller Gallery’s future, including Keep It Slick, which features the work of corporate pranksters the Yes Men and will begin running on Nov. 14. Then there is Signs of Change, which will be guest curated by Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee and will spotlight different social movements from the ’60s to the present. That one starts running on Jan. 23.

Very exciting stuff from a great, one-of-a-kind curator. Visit the gallery’s website for more info.