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Shaunda Miles, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Diana Roth, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Images available: http://TrustArts.org/press
Search: Proud to be an American 2013
PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBIT EXPLORES
CULTURAL INFLUENCES AND PATRIOTISM, PAST AND PRESENT
Proud to be an American?
by Bea Chiappelli
September 13-November 3, 2013
709 Penn Gallery
709 Penn Avenue, downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District
Opening Reception: Friday, September 13, 6:00 to 8:00pm
Pittsburgh, PA: "Patriotism has always been the most abstract of American virtues, which may be why we fight so ferociously over the symbols that help us define it. Too often those symbols: flags, anthems, and slogans, which are meant to unite us, end up dividing us." - Richard Stengel, Managing Editor, TIME Magazine
|Photo Credit: Bea Chiappelli|
In her new exhibit at 709 Penn Gallery, Proud to be an American?, Pittsburgh photographer Rebecca Chiappelli explores the meaning of patriotism from diverse perspectives. "If a universal form of patriotism ever existed, it is not present in today's culture," says Chiappelli. Proud to be an American? is a simple question with a complex answer. Over the past century, many key events such as world wars, technological advancements, and shifts in the economy have influenced our definition of patriotism. Even today, our definition is expanding due to challenges from external sources like the media and globalization.
"I began this project with a close-minded view of what it meant to be patriotic," says Chiappelli. "Interviews and personal testimonies challenged me on the various ways people express their passions about living in America. As a nation, it is important to understand that there isn't a universal definition; we might all be patriotic and love our country, but just show it in different ways. We need to understand those differences in order to still be unified. After all, United We Stand, Divided We Fall."
Bea Chiappelli (b.1981) was born and raised in small town America and currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. Chiapelli earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Mercyhurst College, with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising and Associate’s Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. After working in the retail industry for several years, Chiappelli decided to leave that field and purse her passion for photography. She earned her MFA in 2012 from the Academy of Art University, with a concentration in Photography.
ABOUT 709 PENN GALLERY
709 Penn Gallery is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The gallery is located at 709 Penn Avenue, in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. Gallery Hours: Wed. & Thurs. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun.11 a.m.–5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public. For more information about all gallery exhibits featured in the Cultural District, please visit: www.TrustArts.org
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.