Robert Raczka

The Takeaway: Made With Love, an artist/curator project of "found" artworks




"The Takeaway: Made With Love"

937 Gallery, 937 Liberty Avenue - 2nd floor, Pittsburgh

July 11 – August 1, 2014

Opening during the Gallery Crawl, Friday, July 11, 5:30-9 p.m.

Gallery hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays, July 12, 19, 26; noon-5 p.m., Sundays, July 13, 20, 27

Closing Party: Friday, August 1, 5:30-9 p.m. (additional pick-up Saturday, August 2, 1-5 p.m.)



The exhibit consists of approximately 100 items, mostly thrift store pictures but also including hand-knitted Afghans, handmade ceramics, and objects crafted in wood, all of which are "made with love” by amateurs. These objects were chosen for their aesthetic appeal and all-around interest though they are artworks not generally presented in a fine art context..

At the conclusion of the exhibit, all works will be given to the audience through a free lottery. Visitors to the exhibit can fill out a ballot indicating their choices. Winners will be selected at random and notified in time to pick up the art at the closing party on August 1.

This is the 4th in my series of exhibitions of thrift store art, the first of which was held at Future Tenant in 2008. The exhibits combine my roles as artist and curator--I was a gallery director for 20 years and have curated many shows. For these exhibits, I’ve also been incorporating ideas artists have been working with in “relational aesthetics,” such as projects by Rirkit Tiravanija cooking and serving food in the Carnegie International or Tino Sehgal’s “This Progress” at the Guggenheim. As with those projects, the lottery/giveaway is designed to reconsider and make use of art’s social and institutional context (partly, by using the exhibit’s budget in an unconventional way as described below) and to create a nontraditional social interaction between the artist-curator, the gallery, and the audience.

The idea for these exhibits is based on using the exhibit's budget (which is usually used for shipping, materials, or other expenses) to buy the art in thrift stores while exercising my curatorial eye, present the artwork in a gallery, and then give it to the audience--in effect, a gift from the gallery as well as myself. I have a genuine appreciation for amateur art at its unselfconscious best, and I wanted to share that with the audience. I had noticed that when someone is in an art gallery contemplating a purchase, they really look closely and think about the art. I have found that if the audience feel that they might end up taking the art home, they consider it more deeply. These exhibits have really captured people’s imagination.


sample works from the exhibit: