Sweetwater Center for the Arts to host ‘Trigger Warning’ exhibit in-person

Gwen Waite - "Play With Me"

The Sweetwater Center for the Arts will host its first in-person art exhibition since canceling all shows about a year ago.

“Trigger Warning,” a gallery that includes artwork focused on gun violence in America, will have an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 19. The exhibition will continue at the gallery along Broad Street in Sewickley through April 24.

“This is the first one since opening back up,” said Alexandra Watrous, the center’s curator and event manager, adding the exhibition has been postponed twice after originally scheduled for May last year.

Several of Sweetwater’s events, including its annual MAVUNO Festival, have been held virtually or have been canceled or postponed because of concerns surrounding the pandemic.

“We didn’t want to take it off the schedule because we were excited about it and it’s an important topic,” she said.

The exhibition’s description on Sweetwater’s website calls gun violence in America an “epidemic and a public health crisis,” pointing out that solutions on how to fix the problem divide the nation.

The gallery features work by 15 artists from around the country, including some from Pittsburgh and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Watrous said.

Although the exhibition will be available in person, the pandemic has forced the gallery to implement some rules that will make the experience a little different. Watrous said the gallery will be like a walk-thru, where people will be guided through one side and out the other to avoid congregating. She said the walk-thru will be limited to eight people at a time.

“Typically at a gallery, you sit around, drink wine, have appetizers,” she said. But that won’t be the case this year to curb the spread of the virus. She said the gallery will also be available to view online for those who can’t attend in person.

Watrous said the center will host shows from now on every five to seven weeks and she is hopeful that normal showings and classes will come back by the fall.

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