The University Museum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania presents Six in an Open Field, a celebration of artistic trust and communal growth.

The first exhibition of the 2023–24 season features the remarkable work of several Pittsburgh-based artists. The exhibition officially opened its doors on Saturday, September 9, and will continue to be on display until October 20, 2023.

Six in an Open Field is a dynamic showcase of artistry and collaboration, embodying the courage and vulnerability that artists experience in their creative pursuits. The exhibition unveils the outcomes of a unique initiative undertaken by a collective of six Pittsburgh-based artists: Carolina Alamilla, Centa Schumacher, Paul Peng, Peter Barbor, A. W. Allison, and Sidney Mullis. Through ongoing dialogues, critiques, studio visits, and mutual support, these artists have forged a strong connection that empowers their individual and collective artistic journeys.

Artmaking is a courageous, vulnerable act, but often a solitary one. The day-to-day lived experience of an artist can be challenging, and the effort it takes to sustain a creative life has little support in the larger world, be it financial, institutional, or social. However, artists are adept at finding form within emptiness. Six in an Open Field showcases the work of six Pittsburgh-based artists who came together to create for themselves the space they needed to sustain their practice.

Founded in 2022, the collective meets regularly against a rotating backdrop of basement studios, living rooms, and public park pavilions, each a site of vulnerability and dialogue meant to encourage the growth of art and artist. This group has centered on an investment in each other’s work, grounded not in a reproduction of institutional models of support but instead as a return to a fundamental trust in art, art-making, and one another. This trust is key to the cohesion of the community and provides the backbone of each gathering. With it in place, there is space for openness and growth as artists and people.

Six in an Open Field is the first exhibition of the collective’s work and provides a snapshot of each artist’s practice, which varies greatly from one creator to another. The museum contains imposing large-scale sculptures by Sidney Mullis, Paul Peng’s sensitive graphite and ink drawings, intimate installation pieces by Andrew Allison, Centa Schumacher’s explosive photographs, haunting figures by Peter Barbor, and Carolina Alamilla’s vivid wallpapered scenery, all of which demonstrate the range of work coming from the greater Pittsburgh region.

The show is unified not through prescribed themes but through the sustained engagement and mutual celebration of each other’s endeavors. Six in an Open Field demonstrates how one’s work, individually and communally, can thrive with the regular act of coming together. It serves as a reminder that if the space does not yet exist, it can be created using trust and openness.

The University Museum at IUP is located in John Sutton Hall, a beautifully restored and nationally registered historic landmark built in 1875. The mission of the museum is to bring the material history and arts of the region together in an environment that encourages exploration, dialogue, and enjoyment. This mandate is based on the belief that art and history are unbounded and essential to our understanding of who we were, who we are, and who we want to be. The museum is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 2:00–6:30 p.m.; Thursday noon–7:30 p.m.; Saturday noon–4:00 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday, and university holidays. Admission is free. Phone: 724-357-2424,