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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Candy Chang with Local Artists John Peña and Edith Abeyta

May 10, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


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We are thrilled to welcome internationally renowned artist Candy Chang for a discussion at the intersection of public space, emotional health, and community. A leader in participatory public art, Chang engages residents in a reflective process to physically create the fabric of their cities. Her Before I Die piece has captivated citizens in more than 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and South Africa, with other works featured in the Tate Modern and the Renwick Galleries.  The evening’s MC Majestic Lane will also moderate an interactive discussion with local artists John Peña and Edith Abeyta.

About Our Presenters:

Candy Chang  activates public spaces around the world through playful, contemplative, and often profound art installations. A leader in participatory public art, she is interested in the dynamics between shared spaces and emotional health, the threshold between isolation and community, and the role of the commons in individual and collective well-being. After studying architecture, design, and urban planning, Chang worked with communities in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Johannesburg, where she created low-barrier public experiments to pursue more inclusive forms of democracy. Her recent work, The Atlas of Tomorrow, draws upon Carl Jung and the I Ching to transform a building into a device for philosophical reflection to promote emotional health as a critical component of thriving communities. She was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub, a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She is an international speaker on community, creativity, and emotional health, and her TED talk has been viewed over five million times.


Edith Abeyta is a visual artist whose current practice is centered around people, identity and negotiating relationships with the built environment, which manifests as temporary installations, sculptures and experiential life events, frequently in collaboration with other visual artists, poets, scholars, and the public. Abeyta has been working as an artist in residence with the Office of Public Art at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Hazelwood since June 2014, which has directly resulted in a multi-year project, Arts Excursions Unlimited, a free monthly arts excursions program, an art studio and temporary public art. Other residencies include the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, the University of Burapha, Thailand, Pilgrim School, Los Angeles, and Windward School, Los Angeles. She has received public art commissions from Uber ATG, the Arts Council for Long Beach and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Her work has been exhibited at the Lakenhal Museum Lieden, the Netherlands, Burapha University Gallery, Thailand, Long Beach Museum of Art, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.


John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and educator from the desert of Washington State. He makes art as a way of exploring the natural world and his daily interactions. A few of John’s projects include: racing with clouds, sending a letter to the Pacific Ocean every day for the last twelve years, making daily drawings about his life and constructing large-scale plaster word balloons that are precariously balanced on two by fours. John has attended a number of residencies including The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art & The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. He currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.


Majestic Lane is the Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Empowerment in the office of Mayor William Peduto. In that capacity, Majestic’s work includes leading the Peduto administration’s neighborhood equity efforts through community driven development, affordable housing, and engaging with Community Development Corporations, neighborhood groups, and other stakeholders. Prior to his time in the Mayor’s office, he was the Director of External Affairs & Membership Engagement at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a membership organization for Community Development Corporations, Community-Based Organizations, and related nonprofits that represent low- and moderate- income communities throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Lane also served as the Director of Community Engagement & Strategy at A+ Schools, an education advocacy organization dedicated to improving outcomes for Black & Brown children in Pittsburgh Public Schools, and a legislative aide to Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo focusing on community development, education & sustainability issues.



4:30-5:30 p.m. – Food, Drinks, and Networking
Please note: We will close the food and bar during the presentations, and re-open at the conclusion of the program.

5:30-6:45 p.m. – Presentations by Candy Chang, Edith Abeyta, and John Peña

6:45-7:00 p.m. – Question & Answer Time

7:00-7:30 p.m. – Continued Food, and Drinks, and Networking


Register Now


May 10, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Jenna Cramer


Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center
1825 Centre Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219 United States
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