Rivers of Steel Arts is excited to launch the 2020 Mon Valley Featured Artist Series. Showcasing some of the exciting creative professionals working across the Mon Valley Creative Corridor, this weekly blog highlights multiple artists each month—from a variety of boroughs—to provide a snapshot of the region’s growing cultural vitality.
About Lindsey Peck Scherloum
For the next couple artist profiles, we chose to highlight two Mon Valley artists working very closely with one another, from the neighboring boroughs of North Braddock and Swissvale, Pennsylvania. Artists Katy Dement and Lindsey Scherloum maintain individual practices, but often work collaboratively on projects throughout the Mon Valley Creative Corridor. Their artworks share common threads of inquiry that include concerns over local environmental health and sustainability, social justice, and a creative philosophy that governs both their professional and personal lives. This week we take a look at the quiet and contemplative work of North Braddock artist Lindsey Scherloum.
A Message from Lindsey
I’m based in 2nd ward of North Braddock. I moved to the area because I wanted to live in the relative isolation and abandoned nature of my neighborhood, and within a year the cost of my house was less than I would have paid renting in Pittsburgh. I love that the money to time ratio is slow here, that relationships are the most important part of life (as I think they become in a lot of small and poor communities). My overhead is low and it allows me the time to be responsive to my environment—gardening, painting the abandoned house across from mine… I have time to know my neighbors, seek out the stories behind the abandoned houses, the mysteries of the grouch on the block, and ultimately feel part of a supportive family. I like having relationships with the kids in my neighborhood and demonstrating ways we can reimagine objects and spaces, being one more, maybe radically different, example of a grown up.
I love the view from my porch—the Edgar Thompson Mill pumping clouds out of its stacks, the green Monongahela, the long strings of roads and train tracks. It makes me feel connected to history and unable to ignore that our consumer culture demands people live without the right to clean air.
So I value the challenges this place presents by exposing me to a lot of different life experiences, showing me my bubble and asking me how my privileges can be of real service to others—people renting from slumlords, people deeply attached to the traumatic past of a place that is easy for someone like me to see only for its current material value. My practice has come to be rooted in the belief that there are ghosts in everything we look at and it takes time and patience and care to understand how to interact with them and one another respectfully.