Silver Eye Center for Photography, which offers classes and exhibits artists with national and international reputations, is moving to a new building on Penn Avenue in Bloomfield.
David Oresick, executive director since the summer of 2014, said the move places the photography center in Penn Avenue’s vibrant arts district, which hosts a monthly gallery crawl called Unblurred on the first Friday evening of each month. The next Unblurred is Nov. 4 from 6 to 11 p.m.
“The dream has always been to be part of a gallery crawl,” Mr. Oresick said.
Other organizations that participate in the monthly gallery crawl are the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Bunker Projects, Assemble and Most Wanted Fine Art. The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater uses its space at Alloy Studios to display visual art.
“We felt it was the right community for us,” Mr. Oresick said, adding that Silver Eye will lease space in the building at 4808 Penn Ave. from the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.
The community development organization has worked to attract distinctive tenants to the building, including Assemble, a community space where people learn about art and technology, and LevelUp Studios, which makes video games. ACTION-Housing developed the apartment building along with the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Silver Eye also has a partnership with Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar, two photographers who run the Spaces Corners bookstore in Troy Hill. The couple specialize in unusual books about contemporary photography, some of which will be for sale at Silver Eye’s new Bloomfield location. Spaces Corners also sells books at the International Center of Photography in Lower Manhattan’s Bowery neighborhood.
Mr. Oresick, 32, said the new building offers high ceilings and lots of natural light.
For the next six months, he and marketing and membership manager Juliana Zipay will plan exhibitions and raise money. By Nov. 1, they will be working out of a 900-square-foot space in the new building that will become Silver Eye’s photography instruction lab. It will contain state-of-the art printers, computers and software for use by Silver Eye members, artists and workshops.
Silver Eye members “make a donation, and we give them opportunities for professional development and perks,” Mr. Oresick said.
Over this weekend, Silver Eye closed its exhibition at the South Side location. The annual fellows exhibition will be hung at the Melwood Gallery of Pittsburgh Filmmakers on Melwood Avenue in Oakland and is slated to open in February. The deadline for applications for that show is Oct. 31.
“We will not have an exhibition at the new space until spring of 2017,” Mr. Oresick said.
Silver Eye began in 1979 as an artist-run cooperative for local and regional photographers but has become a place for curated exhibitions. In the spring of 2015, Silver Eye showed the work of London artist Mark Neville.
The two-story 120-year-old building at 1015 Carson St. is for sale for $285,000.
Marylynne Pitz: mpitz@ post-gazette.com, 412-263-1648 or on Twitter: @mpitzpg.