The Shifting Showcase of 15 Minutes Art

Aspiring artists from Pittsburgh and beyond: it’s time for your fifteen minutes of fame. Literally.

15 Minutes Art is a dedicated nightly art show at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, where art submitted online is projected on the storefront window for 15 minutes at a time each. It was created by Bob Ziller, a Pittsburgh artist most well-known for his murals and the Animal Adventure Mosaic, which was a collaboration between him and Laura Jean McLaughlin and is located by The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The projection programming is done by Clear Story, a projection and lighting based design group. The show began in September.

Anyone can submit, regardless of location, provided they include a brief bio and format their art pieces (up to four) to match the square projection. So far, artists from 24 countries (at the time of this writing) have submitted to the show, ranging as far as Hong Kong, Iceland, and Bolivia. Naturally, quite a few Pittsburgh artists have also heard the call, such as Tim Fabian, Jason Sauer, and Kimberly Ryan.

Beyond the diversity in the artists themselves, there is the diversity in the work. Nearly every visual medium is allowed, from traditional paintings and ceramics to fashion, street art, and tattoos. The subsequent projection show is an eclectic mix, highlighting each content creators’ unique style and passion for the arts. Because of the relatively quick transition between works as well, it leaves the viewer with incentive to stay and see what sort of creativity is up next.

Ziller is incredibly pleased with the resulting turnout and excited for what this means for the artists themselves. “Collectors [interested in buying the art showcased] contact the artists directly- 15 Minutes Art does not take a commission.” Because submitting is free, Ziller explains, there’s no downside, and the artist gains nothing but profit.

“What are you looking at?” by Johann Vilhjalmsson of Iceland

Ziller says the project was the end result of brainstorming something that wouldn’t be competitive, something “where all artists could participate.” He describes it as a logical solution. Because of the somewhat self-sustaining nature of the showcase, it didn’t present too many challenges- aside from the website. Clear Story employee Pete Milo built it, since Ziller admits it was too far out of his wheelhouse. “I basically drew on a napkin and a few months later, there was a website.”

Of course, maintaining the project will be an obstacle in of itself. While the area is leased to keep 15 Minutes Art running for up to a full year, the shifting nature of the showcase means new art is constantly needed. They also accept monetary contributions through PayPal.

For now, though, keep your eyes on the screen. You never know what the spotlight will reveal.

“Bicycle Ride” by Laura Jean McLaughlin

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