Patterns of Meaning: A new approach to preservation.
Chip Barletto acquired an enormous collection of late 1800 - early 1900’s wood casting patterns and corresponding blue prints. So far, ten 26’ trucks worth have been moved to Bonnet’s studio at the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. This is one of the largest and most complete collection of patterns and prints from this era.
Patterns of Meaning is dedicated to the preservation/restoration and continued exhibition of these artifacts, paintings and sculptures. In doing so we honor the sacrifices made by the workers and innovators that built the U.S. and the world. It is our mission to rekindle a sense of gratitude for the infrastructure, prosperity and relative comfort they created so many take for granted today.
Our next event is scheduled for May 15-18. This show corresponds with AISTech 2022, the largest steel industry conference in the world. Held at the David L Lawrence Convention Center, this event will bring thousands of steel industry leaders to Pittsburgh. Patterns of Meaning is grateful for this opportunity to introduce the collection to an international audience. We have already partnered with Pittsburgh International Airport and Pittsburgh Brewing Co. and are looking for more sponsors/partners to make this an unforgettable week. In addition to a welcome display at the airport, Patterns of Meaning has a double exhibit booth at the conference and will be holding daily tours of the entire collection at Bonnet’s studio in the EIC with a public reception Monday, May 16th.
Since our introductory show in October, we have raised over $30,000. Our goal for 2022 is to raise at least an additional $150,000 to take Patterns of Meaning into the future. We are not asking something for nothing. In addition to all contributions being tax deductible, there are incredible “Thank You” gifts/services available for contributing including; original artwork, wine, private events at the Energy Innovation Center and site specific custom displays. There is a gift for every level of contribution.
These funds will allow us to restore, preserve and exhibit the patterns and prints, as well as take on the numerous tasks to make this project self-sustaining. We’re excited about honoring the craftsmanship and heritage of the patterns by utilizing them along with new technologies to create original artworks for sale to the public.
Selected patterns will be replicated as porcelain and glass vessels, installations, and lighting. Other patterns will serve as panels for Bonnet’s paintings and sculptures that give a sense of what the workers were experiencing in the steel mills. And still others will be remade from durable lightweight materials, for use in development projects where architects seek to recreate an authentic industrial feel.
Perhaps most essential to the project, to share our awe and appreciation for these works, we are creating a cohesive Patterns of Meaning exhibit that will be available to travel to steel industry headquarters, institutions, museums, and galleries. The exhibit will use the patterns and artwork as touchstones to tell the story of the workers and innovators that built the foundations of our modern world – all accomplished with a fraction of the technology we enjoy today.