Aspinwall artist headlining 'Three Women' exhibit at Pitt's University Art Gallery - FoxChapel

Aspinwall artist headlining ‘Three Women’ exhibit at Pitt’s University Art Gallery

Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 11:01 PM

Aspinwall artist Fran Gialamas will headline the initial showcase at a University of Pittsburgh gallery that is devoting its major exhibitions to women and female-identifying artists through 2020.

Three Women” runs through March 28 at the University Art Gallery (UAG) and is free to the public.

“The truth is that women have been underrepresented in exhibitions and art history textbooks and museum representation throughout history,” said Gialamas, who has called her Aspinwall studio home since 1974.

She plans to show eight pieces at the Oakland show, including two large oil paintings — “Classical Appropriations,” which was shown at the Jewish Community Center decades ago, and “Eulogy for my Mother,” formerly on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s annual Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP) show.

Gialamas also will show six small photo assemblages that evoke local history with gritty images of steelworkers.

In “Black Madonnas,” Gialamas features hardworking women setting bricks in a Greek Orthodox church; “Pink Mill” illustrates a riverfront factory in light hues of gold and mauve, a contrast from the typical black and gray.

“I have always thought of myself as an artist, not a woman artist,” Gialamas said, adding that she is honored to be working alongside other females whom she considers to be working for equity in the art world.

Gialamas’ exhibit will stand alongside “Mary Ethel McAuley: Behind the German Lines,” which includes 10 paintings by the late Pittsburgh native.

McAuley was an inaugural member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh who created this collection around 1919 to capture her first-hand account of life in Germany during World War I.

There also will be work by quilter Tina Brewer and painter Sheila-Cuellar-Shaffer exploring themes of migration, family and history.

“The beauty of both of these exhibitions is that they speak to rich past, present and future of women artists working in this region,” says AAP Executive Director Madeline Gent. “Finding those common threads between their work is exciting, but even more so are the differences. And these four artists are just a tiny portion of the great range of art by women who call this area home.”

The UAG exhibit joins others across the country committed to highlighting the work of women, according to its website.

Started by the Feminist Art Coalition, the initiative “marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment and seeks to bring renewed attention to the continued inequities faced by women in the arts,” the group’s release said.

The public is invited to a conversation from 5 to 7 p.m. March 19 with Gialamas, Cuellar-Shaffer and Brewer.

The UAG is in the Frick Fine Arts Building, 650 Schenley Drive, in the city’s Oakland section.

For more, visit