Our current gallery show at The GRID features the photography and essays of students who traveled to Amsterdam for a study abroad program with BridgeValley. The GRID is open to the public on Saturdays from 10-4 and by appointment. Please call 304-734-6700 to schedule a visit.
The January Art Show at the GRID featured the photography of David Pittenger and the pottery of Regina Swim.
David Pittenger - "Mr. Coffindaffer's Crosses: A Study of Public Art"
Dr. Pittenger is an experimental psychologist by training and an academic administrator at Marshall University, in Huntington, West Virginia. Several years ago he resolved to study and create fine art photography. He explores the landscapes of West Virginia and also finds opportunities for expression through macro photography, interpretations of objects following the aesthetic of Japanese wood block prints, and abstract expression inspired by Mark Rothko and other artists working in the mid-20th century. Central to his work is the impression of human presence or agency.
The Coffindaffer Crosses series began in 2015 while he was driving in a remote part of West Virginia. He had for many years seen the crosses as a common roadside fixture and gave them little thought. On this occasion, however, he took time to look at one of the Calvary sites located in a large, well-maintained paddock, surrounded by a white fence with an open gate. As he began to "read the scene," he asked why people would volunteer to have the crosses raised on their land and what the crosses meant to them. As he traveled through the state, he noticed that, although the Crosses were nearly identical, their placement was unique and brought attention to a place that might otherwise be ignored.
He now sees the crosses as a form of public art that draws attention to place and to the families who lived for generations in the same place. Although many people put religious icons in their yards, the Coffindaffer Crosses - three large crucifixes built from utility polls - are unique to Appalachia. As such, the Crosses give us the opportunity to examine those who live in the region. As with all art, he asks that you look at the crosses to learn more about others and what they value while you look at the crosses to learn more about yourself.