TD Projects — a platform for local artists to collaborate, experiment, learn, and network — is now seeking applications for its monthly artist-in-residence salon series, the Bloomfield Garden Club.
Artists living in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, or in one of the surrounding counties who work in the areas of visual/performance, sound/music, dance/movement, writing, or theater with a focus on comedy are encouraged to apply. A press release says that preference will be given to artists who “identify as female, mother, queer, or other than white.”
BGC will run from June to September 2021, with every salon event occurring in a different neighborhood around Pittsburgh. Each selected artist will receive a stipend for participation and materials, and will work with curator and BGC co-creator Tina Dillman in producing new work for the salon. The finished works will be presented at a monthly salon that each artist is expected to attend and discuss their work. (Please note that people working in pairs or a team will have to share one stipend.)
Dillman says the first BGC launched in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and she wanted to expand it this year. The scheduling format will change, with three events taking place over the course of one week each month, instead of two events taking place each month over the course of one weekend. She says in addition to hosting salons in different neighborhoods each time, the salons will also take place in outdoor spaces, such as community gardens.
“Last year, I developed a really good working format for the BGC that I am just expanding on this year,” says Dillman. “I'm planning on running it identical by taking the proper precautions, keeping attendance low, outdoors, social distancing, wearing masks, and having lots of antibacterial spray and wipes. My goals are the same — to keep people safe while producing a live cultural event that is nourishing and rejuvenating for the soul and mind. I view the BGC as a safe space where everyone can let themselves be comfortable while either experiencing live art or creating it.”
The first BGC featured artists working in a wide range of disciplines, including musicians, dancers, visual artists, and more. This year, Dillman says she wanted to do an open call that focuses more on outreach to local theater and comedy communities, as a way to be more representative of the city's artistic landscape.
“I know there is a comedy scene here in Pittsburgh, and with the number of clubs and venues dwindling, I wanted to provide an outlet for those that consider themselves funny,” says Dillman. “Life has also been way too super serious and threatening, and I have felt over the last year that I have not laughed as much as I should, and it's so healthy and good for you. I personally would love to see more smiles in the world.”
Also new to BGC is the series' first visiting artist, Rachel Rampleman. The New York City-based multimedia artist will document the Pittsburgh drag scene through video portraiture as an extension of her current project "Life is Drag.” The videos — which will be shot in spaces like Blue Moon, a Lawrenceville LGBTQ bar and drag performance space — will premiere during the June BGC with live performances by queens featured in Rampleman's collection.
As for potential performance sites, Dilman says she has a site in Highland Park, and is in conversation with other sites in Wilkinsburg, Braddock, and Garfield.
“I'm open to speaking with other organizations, community garden sites, or outdoor parks in places I didn't mention, as I'm planning for the BGC to be in a different neighborhood every month,” says Dillman, a New York native who adds that she's “still relatively new” to the city. “There's so much for me to still learn about this place. I have lived here now for two years, but one of those years has been spent mostly in quarantine, which makes it challenging to meet new people and see new spaces.”
Interested artists should email Dillman at email@example.com with links to their work.