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Rivers of Steel Presents Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective

By September 29, 2021December 13th, 2021Press Room
A painting of the U.S. Steel Homestead Works

US Steel, Homestead, PA by Kathleen Ferri, collection of the artist.

Rivers of Steel Presents Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective

Exhibition Highlights the Painting Career of the Mon Valley Artist

Homestead, PA (September 29, 2021)—On October 8, Rivers of Steel will unveil a collection of works by artist Kathleen Ferri, whose “memory scene” paintings preserve the small-town streets of her childhood with an intuitive sense of history and warmth of sentiment.

In this solo show, 57 of Ferri’s paintings are on view as a collection for the first time—including many that are receiving their public debut. They radiate with color and burst with joy as expressive figures make their way through downtown Turtle Creek, riverside mills, Kennywood heritage days, and more.

The exhibition will be on view at the Bost Building in Homestead, October 8, 2021 through February 27, 2022.  It is presented by Rivers of Steel and augmented with archival artifacts from the organization’s collections. The show is curated by Barbara L. Jones, chief curator of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and Ron Baraff, director of historic resources and facilities for Rivers of Steel.

The opening reception on October 8 welcomes drop-in visitors from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in conjunction with the Homestead Live Fridays event happening that evening. The artist will join the reception from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., when a limited amount of timed tickets will be offered. Both parts of the reception are free.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Rivers of Steel is offering Memory Sketches: A Drawing Workshop on Tuesday, October 26 and Tuesday, November 16. Two Curator-Led Gallery Talks are offered on Saturday, November 6 and Saturday, November 20, 2021.

Kathleen Orgill Ferri was born in 1926 and raised in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. In 1946, Kathleen married James Ferri, co-owner of the Ferri Brothers Market, after he returned from war. They raised their four children together on Oxford Street, near the Turtle Creek High School. After her husband’s death, Kathleen began painting in community art classes during her late 50s. She primarily paints from memory, recreating scenes from the Mon Valley towns of her youth.  She is now 95.

View details and the full schedule of programs in conjunction with this exhibition.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.


Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120