About the exhibition
I selected these works of art due to their whimsical and joyful nature. Each piece of work has a touch of yellow, a color known for happiness and evoking joy. Raw with expression, these works communicate vibrancy, hope, and confidence. Mireya Betances’ Untitled P1076 focuses on a floating hand sprung upward. The use of color makes the work feel alive, like a heatmap of its motion. Deatra Colbert uses familiar shapes with indiscernible words forming an intricate environment that tells a story of its own. Shantae Robinson's work, lush with color, creates a deep well with a brilliant glimmer shining through. Each piece in this exhibition provides a small glimpse and entry into the vast worlds where these works of art are representing. Speculative, inspiring, and fun, it’s time for joy.
About the selector
Julie Mallis is a multimedia artist, VJ and educator working with digital media, paint, installation, performance, sound and audience interaction. Their work focuses on building community, audio-visual experiences, speaking truth, and imagining new landscapes.
Mallis has exhibited, performed and curated work across the United States including at The Andy Warhol Museum, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Coaxial Arts Foundation, PhilaMOCA, MOCA Cleveland, Baby's All Right, The Silent Barn, Fringe Arts and more. Mallis has a joint degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Electronic Time-Based Media and in Cultural Anthropology from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mallis helped develop and carry out artist exhibitions and programming of creative hub BOOM Concepts, from 2014 through 2018 as the founding Creative Director. They were recognized as Creator of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council in 2016, alongside longtime collaborator and BOOM Concepts co-founder DS Kinsel. In 2018, they were commissioned to paint a 1000+ feet mural on the ground of Strawberry Way in Downtown Pittsburgh. It features colorful imagery interlaced within an interactive game asking bold questions about equity and justice to the audience.
In addition to their work as an artist, they have built up and led the Positive Spin youth cycling program over the last decade. Across two different organizations in Pittsburgh (Bike Pittsburgh and MGR Youth Empowerment) they worked tirelessly with Pittsburgh public schools and area charter schools to ensure students in grades 4-12 had enriching and engaging after school and summer activities related to bike safety. Engaging with all people about bike safety became central to their work with Bike Pittsburgh for many years, resulting in them organizing and hosting Bike Pittsburgh’s 6th annual women and non-binary biking forum. This forum sought to add elements of solidarity, community, and understanding amongst women and non-binary people through the lens of biking and transportation accessibility.
These same themes of community, solidarity, personal enrichment, and accessibility run through all endeavors Mallis is involved with. Currently, Mallis is the Program Director at social justice based service organization, Repair The World. Whether at work or in the artist’s studio, their vision is constantly aimed towards how to better the future for themselves and other people, one day at a time.
The entire exhibition