Artist pays tribute to historic women of the Northside

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Photo courtesy of Doris Short
Northside-based artist Doris Short stands with the first series of three silkscreen prints portraying three historic Northside women in gold and silver metallic ink.

By Victoria Stevans

A new project by an Allegheny West artist pays tribute the most influential women of Pittsburgh’s cultural past, starting with Northside matriarchs.

Last week, Doris Short, a Northside artist, designer, and educator, released three silkscreen prints that comprise the first series of her new project: “Notable Women of Pittsburgh and Vicinity.”

In gold and silver metallic ink, each of the three silkscreens celebrates a prominent woman from Pittsburgh’s history, allowing her to shine in this belated tribute.

Short’s inspiration for these pieces sprung from an early 20th century book, “Notable Men of Pittsburgh and Vicinity,” which only highlighted the city’s noteworthy men, and reached countrywide distribution. In turn, Short’s artwork aims to rewrite this history and focus on the artistic, literary, and cultural impacts of Pittsburgh’s notable women.

Short’s first series locates itself in Allegheny West and commemorates three Northside-born creative forces, which include:

Gertrude Stein, a novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector, who lived from 1874 to 1946, and hosted a Paris salon for the leading figures in modernist literature, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Henri Matisse.

Mary Roberts Rineheart, a mystery writer, who lived from 1876 to 1958 and is dubbed “the American Agatha Christie,” publishing her first mystery novel 14 years before Christie’s earliest novel was released in 1920.

Mary Cassatt, a painter and printmaker, who lived from 1844 to 1926, befriended Edgar Degas, and exhibited among the Impressionists.

“When I moved to Allegheny West in 2015,” Short muses, “I had no idea I was moving to the birthplace of some of the most influential and creative women in America.”

Short has stayed local not only through her artistic interests and silkscreens’ subjects, but also through her artwork’s production. By collaborating with Artists Image Resource, 518 Foreland St., an artist run, non-profit print and imaging organization established in 1996, Short printed all of her works in the Northside.

Short’s artwork has also been accepted to the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival’s Juried Visual Art Exhibition, a showcase featuring Pittsburgh’s most vibrant creators.

All are welcome to come and experience Short’s work first hand from June 2-11 in the Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue. The exhibition will also have a public opening in the same location from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, June 2 for the chance to meet Ms. Short and other talented Pittsburgh artists.

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