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Tue, Jan 16



The Ephemeral Edge Exhibition by Stefanie Zito

The Ephemeral Edge Exhibition by Stefanie Zito
The Ephemeral Edge Exhibition by Stefanie Zito

Time & Location

Jan 16, 2024, 8:30 AM – Mar 08, 2024, 8:30 AM

Pittsburgh, 1815 Metropolitan St, Pittsburgh, PA 15233, USA

About the event

One of the longstanding cornerstones of MCG Youth has been the “Visiting Artists & Exhibitions” program. Our upcoming exhibition, opening in January, is with fiber artist Stefanie Zito. The show, entitled “The Ephemeral Edge” will introduce a distinctive world of art, craft, and unique materials and processes. But Zito’s work will also allow for new dialogues within the diverse programs of Manchester Bidwell Corporation more broadly.

A weaver, sculptor, painter, and certified permaculture designer, Zito’s creations go beyond mere aesthetics. Her artistic process involves the interplay of fibers and an intentional cultivation of materials. Permaculture is the the concept of “permanent agriculture,” a way of using the natural resiliency of the ecosystem alongside more subtle direction through human intervention for production and cultivation.

“The first principle of permaculture is to ‘observe and interact,’” says Zito. “In viewing land or life alike, there is an awareness of and an appreciation for what is already happening in a space. You take stock, and enter in as a means of generative cultivation as opposed to asserting a particular vision and insistence of will. As I think about the space I make from, I consider my own material ecosystem.”

To create natural dyes for her yarns and fabrics, Zito uses kitchen scraps or other items that may otherwise be discarded, or she’ll grow blooms that first service local pollinators before eventually landing in her dye pots. Some of these plants are cultivated at her home and others at her dye garden at the Garfield Community Farm. This rhythm of saving, collecting, and cultivating becomes a harmonious intertwining of family life with artistic practice.

This year, ”The Ephemeral Edge” will also become a meeting ground for the varied programs of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. Zito’s work spans the spectrum from creative to practical, professional to playful. This is particularly important as MBC looks to leverage its resources and experience across affiliates. Work with flowering plants, with leftovers like avocado and onion skins, and engaging in chemical processes to extract dye and infusing natural fibers with bold color offers tremendous opportunity for BTC’s Horticulture Technology, Culinary Arts, and Chemical Laboratory Technician students. In addition to her work with MCG Youth’s students in workshops at the end of February, she will be engaging BTC’s students as well to enrich our adult career training students in the morning and the youth in the afternoon. This exhibition and her time here will itself be a canvas on which the intersections of MCG Youth and Bidwell Training Center can find expression.

“The Ephemeral Edge” will be on display in MCG’s Kerr Gallery January 16th through March 8th. The closing reception will be held on March 7, 2024 from 5:30 to 8:30, which will provide a unique opportunity for the public to engage directly with Stefanie Zito. Attendees can glean insights from the artist, gaining a deeper understanding of the processes and philosophies that underpin her work. As yet another testament to the interconnected nature of Manchester Bidwell Corporation’s affiliates, the reception will offer refreshments catered by Bidwell Training Center, offering a taste of the diverse skills across MBC.

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