By Maggie McCauley
Meet three artists who use their creativity and talents to send a bigger message to the community.
Pittsburgh artist Bob Freyer, also known as “Durty,” paints images that seem to be from an alternate world — a world where people walk around in gas masks to preserve the memories they once knew and where the youth gets to act their age instead of spending all of their time in front of technology. His bold images show that there is a darker lining in his mind, as he adds gas masks to childhood figures — from Mickey Mouse to The Cat in the Hat. When he takes the gas masks off, you will immediately see the deep connection to hip-hop culture. His work with spray paint brings a welcoming, urban feel, and has attracted KRS One, Rakim, Brother Ali, and other hip-hop stars. Named 2016’s “Best Visual Artist in Pittsburgh,” Durty stays busy with everything from paintings and prints, to a coloring book, a tabletop book, and shirts. Still, he continues to be an artist who uses art as an escape. “He isn’t an artist that paints for the people, he paints for himself.” durtyart.com.
Artur Bordalo grew up in Lisbon, Portugal, watching his grandfather — Real Bordalo, a well-known watercolor painter — and living the experiences brought by illegal graffiti to those who dedicate their time to it. When he started creating art on his own, as “Bordalo II,” his main focus became his concerns and passion for ecological conscience. Bordalo II uses pieces of garbage, waste, and pollution itself to build larger-than-life sculptures of animals and scenes of corruption to call attention to the negative effect disposable habits have on the world. From July 16-20, Bordalo II will be creating a piece on-site at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh, using materials 100 percent sourced from scrap metal yards and recycling plants. The project is a collaboration with Scrap the Trap Pittsburgh, a campaign to stop the unjustified killing of wildlife by City Animal Control. bordaloii.com. scrapthetrappgh.org.
Springdale, Pa., native Janet Carlisle focuses her creative energy on mixed-media collage. She has developed her unique style using fabric, pictures, paint, collected mementos, and stitching. Carlisle has works in diverse places including homes in Pittsburgh and England, and Rainbow Babies Hospital of Cleveland. She recently authored and illustrated her first children’s book, “Birds of A Feather,” published by Word Association Publishers. She studied at Cleveland Institute of Art and Carnegie Mellon University, and has a Bachelor of Arts in visual art from what is now Chatham University and a Master’s in art therapy from Seton Hill University. As an Art Therapist Registered – Board Certified (ATR-BC), Carlisle is also a member of the American Art Therapy Association, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Society of Artists, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. At her church, she founded the Open Art Studio where she leads three art expression groups for children, youth, and adults during the week. She exhibits and sells her art around Pittsburgh, and makes her home in Verona with her husband, David, and cat, Frida. @jancarlisleart