Silver Eye Center for Photography Launches The Bigger Picture Initiative

The Silver Eye Center for Photography is pleased to announce The Bigger Picture, a new initiative that provides photographers with the relevant and necessary skills, knowledge and resources to build, advance and sustain their professional careers. While developed specifically for fine art and other photographers, these workshops are open and applicable to any visual artist who wishes to better define their strategic vision or attain their creative and entrepreneurial goals.

The Bigger Picture is made possible, in part, through a Seed Award from
The Sprout Fund and the support of The Fine Foundation.

“Adapting from school life to ‘real life’ is a difficult transition for anyone, but for artists and those in the creative fields, this shift can be especially challenging,” remarked Ellen Fleurov, Silver Eye’s Executive Director. “The Bigger Picture is designed, in part, to help make that transition easier and to give artists at every level — both emerging and established — the career-expanding tools and experiences they need not just to survive but to prosper here in Pittsburgh and beyond.”

The Bigger Picture’s curriculum is built around three complementary tracks — acquiring new business and communication skills; optimizing digital technologies and social media to build and retain audiences, patrons and clients; and finding new, innovative ways to stretch creative vision and practice. Instructors represent some of the region and country’s most accomplished and innovative practitioners, who will offer expert guidance and inside perspectives on the field.

Classes are offered at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels and include half-day and one-day sessions, multi-part courses, lectures, peer and professional critiques. Programs take place at the Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 East Carson Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side and at other venues throughout the city. Registration forms and further information are available at

“Ongoing, affordable and inclusive professional opportunities for artists are fairly scarce in the region and yet acutely needed,” said Aaron Blum, Silver Eye’s Education Coordinator. “The Bigger Picture fills this gap and thanks to the support of our funders, we are able to offer tuition assistance and full scholarships to selected individuals from the 10-county Pittsburgh region over our first six months of programming.” While priority is given to photographers, any visual artist who meets the eligibility requirements may apply. The application form and additional information on scholarships and other discounts can be found at

The Bigger Picture kicks off with five workshops covering a wide range of topics.

Highlights include:
Digital Fine Art Printing with John Mannion, Digital Lab Manager, Light Work and Adjunct Professor, School of Visual & Performing Arts, Syracuse University
Saturday, February 12, 2011, 10 am-3 pm

This is a unique opportunity to learn about the intricacies of digital printing from John Mannion, one of the country’s leading fine art printers. Topics include proper calibration using color profiles, utilization of the printer dialogue output panel, running proofs and color samples, and making minor adjustments to ensure the best final print possible.

Writing for Artists with Sarah Schmerler, Contributing Art Critic,
The New York Times
Sunday, February 27, 2011, 1-5pm

Many artists get tangled up in knots trying to find a way, within the art of writing, to express what they are already saying in their visual art. This workshop is aimed at untangling those knots in an enjoyable and methodical manner. Hands-on writing exercises will teach students to begin to translate visual thoughts into words and to render their ideas with greater clarity and coherence. By the end of the workshop, participants will leave with a short artist statement, and they’ll also gain a far more positive approach towards writing all those grant, residency and exhibition proposals, press releases, and thesis projects — in the future.

Sarah Schmerler is an arts journalist and critic, regularly published in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Art in America, and photograph. She has taught Writing for Artists at The New School and art history at Pratt Institute’s School of Professional Studies and Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn. She is currently the curator of a virtual exhibition space called 45Projects, and has also curated at a number of non-profit art sites in New York City.

Self-Publishing Your Photography or Art Book with Christine Holtz, Associate Professor of Media Arts, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, March 19, 2011, 1-4 pm
A published collection of your work can be a powerful marketing tool in attracting the interest of galleries, museums, collectors and editors. Christine Holtz, a self-publishing expert, guides students through the steps needed to create a book using Blurb’s online software. Learn about developing and refining book project ideas, editing and sequencing, photo selection, text and image combinations, and page and cover design.

About Silver Eye Center for Photography
Silver Eye Center for Photography is the only non-profit organization in Pittsburgh and the region devoted exclusively to contemporary photography and related visual media. Founded in 1979, Silver Eye presents wide-ranging exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists and has been a catalyst and advocate for new ideas, discourse and trends in the field.

Silver Eye Center for Photography is generously supported by our members and individual donors and by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation.

Broadcast media sponsorship is kindly provided by WYEP/91.3 FM.

Silver Eye Center for Photography | 1015 East Carson Street | Pittsburgh, PA 15203 | 412-431-1810

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