Hemispheric Conversations: Urban Art Program (HCUAP) organized by Dr. Caitlin Bruce

Hemispheric Conversations: Urban Art Program (HCUAP) is an education and art program organized by Caitlin Bruce, Oreen Cohen, and Shane Pilster in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and Rivers of Steel Arts. This program seeks to create platforms for conversation and education about aerosol art production, and to explore aesthetic and historical connections in the post-industrial cities of Pittsburgh, Chicago, and León Guanajuato Mexico. Our Fall programming is focused on graffiti post industrial history and education. Our Spring programming is focused on graffiti, social change, and hip hop culture, and we will also offer workshops. All events are free and open to the public. Any questions can be sent to: hcuap.PGH@gmail.com


Event 1: Public Debate: Should the City of Pittsburgh Have Legal Graffiti Walls?
Thursday, October 6, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Building, 130 DeSoto Street, Room G23, 6:30pm-8:30pm, Reception to follow.

In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s William Pitt Debate Union HCUAP has invited a panel that represents the city’s Graffiti Squad, local graffiti and street artists, neighborhood council and graffiti watch members, and criminology and communication scholars to offer reflections on the possibility of creating legal graffiti walls. This serves as an opportunity to put the public, government officials, artists, and scholars in conversation in public in ways they often are not to reflect collaboratively on ways to build Pittsburgh’s capacity as a space of diversity, creative expression, and vibrant dialogue.


Event 2: Symposium: Symposium: Urban Art in the Post Industrial Landscape
Saturday, October 8, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh 9:00am-5:00pm

This symposium explores the history of graffiti art in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and León Guanajuato, Mexico charting its post-industrial past and evolving present. From illicit subcultural act to permission-based and city-sanctioned artistic practice, graffiti illustrates the evolution of industrial surfaces into sprawling urban canvases. Participants include scholars and practitioners, and audience members will invited to dialogue about potential educational uses for graffiti history in diverse settings. This event is free and open to the public. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please see our Facebook page for more detailed information and registration.


Speakers include:
Caitlin Bruce and Oreen Cohen, co-organizers of Hemispheric Conversations
Shane Pilster, Graphic Designer and Rivers of Steel Urban Arts Educator, Pittsburgh
Ron Baraff, Director of Historic Resources and Facilities, Rivers of Steel
Chris McGinnis, Assistant Professor of Art, Indiana University Pennsylvania, Rivers of Steel Arts
Joe Austin, Associate Professor of History, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee  
Miguel Aguilar, Artist and Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Fernando Quiroga Talamantes, Documentary Filmmaker, León Guanajuato, Mexico
Brainstorming session led by Paulette Ruz Vincent and Oscar Medina, University of Pittsburgh
Presentations from participants

Thank you to our partners: Rivers of Steel; the American Studies Association; Provost's Year of Diversity Initiative; Department of Communication; Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program; Cultural Studies Program; History of Art and Architecture Department; William Pitt Debate Union; Center for Latin American Studies; Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh