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Have I ever told you how absolutely in love with Pittsburgh I am?  You may remember my move here last fall; sparked by a yearning for a more vibrant and affordable city.  The cost of living in Pittsburgh is low enough that creative people can actually afford to be creative!  It may sound silly, but the proof is in the pudding.  I am surrounded by inspiring movers-and-shakers all doing amazing projects, many of which center around the creation, promotion, and/or appreciation of art and design.  It’s like heaven for me.

Soon after arriving, I met Christine and Melissa of Treading Art.  Transplants from California, they too recognized something special in Pittsburgh.  Just like me, they jumped ship and arrived in the Steel City with ambitions to make their idea for Treading Art a reality.

Here’s Christine and Melissa…

Treading Art is Pittsburgh’s premier cultural resource and public programming developer. We host regular content on the website that highlights Pittsburgh’s creative community and the city’s urban resurgence. Additionally, Treading Art is hired to assist organizations develop their public programming and exposure needs. 

Our collection for curate 1k is made up of many talents found within this rust belt city. We attend their openings, shop their racks, befriend their owners, and support the artists by spreading the good word. Treading Art is lucky to be in this great city during it’s cultural renaissance.   

See their “1k” collection here.  Enjoy!

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Wow, you guys, this week marks my 100th collection on curate1k! In honor of this special milestone, I’ll be bringing you exactly $100 worth of beautiful prints over the next five days. Celebrate with me and buy something pretty for your home!

| The thumbnails above are from the curate1k Tumblr archive… I figure there must be approximately 500 pieces of affordable art over there.  Go scroll through and get inspired! |

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Laura Heaney’s still life drawings make me smile.  Why not use your cupboard for inspiration?  I’m in awe of how beautifully she renders the metallic crinkles of the Cheetos bag and how faithfully she reproduces the stickers on her tomatoes.  

While I love the pieces above, my favorite work from her “Food” series is the lemon.  You’ll find it featured in this week’s "1k" collection in good, citrus-y company.  Enjoy!

| Limited edition prints of Laura’s work can be found in her Etsy shop. |

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Hey!  There’s my super cute husband playing guitar in our old apartment.  And that painting above him?  We made it using a $24 canvas, a $8 pack of gold leaf, and a random, crusty tube of acrylic paint I had leftover from our wedding.  Hidden behind the canvas?  An unsightly hole for the air conditioning unit during the summer months.  We needed affordable camouflage that we weren’t afraid to bump and bruise during the process of multiple installations.  It worked for us.

The funny thing?  We have received so many compliments on this piece over the years!  My artistic skills are scant, so I give all of the credit to the allure and luster of the gold leaf.  It really does something magical to a room.

This week’s "1k" collection is all about the transformative powers and warmth of gold.  Enjoy!

| Photo by the lovely Lisa Rigby. |

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I’ve been feeling like this frazzled little guy lately.  Work, projects, and blogging have been a little overwhelming.  I’m taking a bit of a breather this week and offering up a short, but very sweet, "1k" collection featuring lovely teals and pinks.  Enjoy!

| My little friend above is by Malaysian artist Comet P. |

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I am totally in love with collage artist Naomi Vona.  So much so that I’ve built an entire “1k” collection around one of her pieces.  Head over to curate 1k for an entire week of glorious original assemblage.  Enjoy!

| Dozens of Naomi’s collages, including the ones above, are available here. |

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I’m always going on and on about all of the marvelous things that happen in the online art world… and I’ve just thought of another!  A recent meeting with Pittsburgh blogger and graphic designer, Mundania Horvath of Steeltown Anthem, got me thinking about custom artwork.  Mundania introduced me to PGH Digs, a project in which she’s recording the city’s awesome residential architecture through a collection of illustrations.  The super cool part?  You can commission her to illustrate your very own house for $125!

Thanks to sites like Esty and Big Cartel, commissioned artwork is accesible to all of us.  A quick web search turned up talented artists creating everything from annotated marriage proposal maps to portraits of your child’s favorite stuffed toy.  This week’s "1k" collection features some of my favorite custom artwork possibilities.  Enjoy!

| The work above can be found on PGH Digs. And be sure to head to Mundania’s Etsy shop for information on commissioning an illustration of your own home sweet home. |

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Over the weekend, curate1k reached a very exciting milestone - 100,000 tumblr followers!  If you’ve just stumbled upon the site, welcome and I hope you’ll stay awhile.  If you’ve been with me from the beginning, THANK YOU!

Take a moment to look back at 93 weeks of affordable art… and see the 94th here.

xoxo, 
Norah

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One of the things I love most about the ever-evolving online art world is the emergence of artist-owned and operated online galleries.  Darger HQ, founded in November of 2012, is a perfect example.  This month’s guest curator -  artist and director of Darger HQ - Launa Bacon  introduces her work and the concept behind her gallery:

Artist Launa Bacon ‘s work ranges from collage to video, sculpture, installation, and large-scale projections.  Not content to simply produce her own art (as though that weren’t enough!), Launa also actively supports the work of other artists, through the online artists’ community Darger HQ, a new platform for presenting international emerging artists’ work to new collectors. Owned and operated by artists for artists, Darger HQ showcases both editioned and unique works by about 15 early to mid-career international artists on a simple and easy to use website, making buying contemporary art an enjoyable and stress-free experience.  Darger HQ is an exciting new source to see some of the most interesting work being created today.

Watch Launa’s “1k” collection unfold here.  Enjoy!

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The theme of this week’s "1k" collection is something I can only call grotesque beauty… pieces that are a little disturbing, a little repulsive, but also completely intriguing and unforgettable.  Jennifer Yorke, a Chicago artist I recently discovered on the impeccable Cureeo, is a master of grotesque beauty in my book.  Her mixed media pieces above  are delicate, elegant, and revolting all at once… and I can’t stop looking.

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