Visual Arts: On Looking & White Noise, 707-709 Penn Galleries




PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces On Looking and White Noise, a dual exhibition by Kristen Letts Kovak in 707 and 709 Penn Galleries. The exhibits will open on Friday, November 17 and remain on view through January 28, 2018. Patrons can traverse the exhibits with Kovak, as she discusses her inspirations and processes, during an artist talk on January 25 at 7:00 p.m., and a closing reception will coincide with the Winter Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District on January 26.

Kovak’s work investigates the connections between visual, perceptual, and cognitive patterning. In both exhibitions she uses surface articulations to explore the interplay of representation and abstraction – estranging the familiar and naturalizing the abstract. “These exhibitions jointly explore the inundation of visual stimuli and the limits of my transcription. Images freely move between clarity and collapse, searching for order within chaos,” says Kovak.

In On Looking, Kovak examines museum relics, heightened under spotlights and preserved behind glass. She reduces these artifacts to catalysts for painted color and light giving preference to context over content. White Noise is a collection of drawings and installation that hovers between objects and atmosphere, creating a volume so loud as to become deafeningly quiet.

About Kristen Letts Kovak
Kristen Letts Kovak is an artist, professor, and curator based in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned her undergraduate art degrees from Mercyhurst University before completing her MFA in Studio Art from Maryland Institute College of Art. Since 2012, Kovak has taught applied aesthetics, drawing, and painting at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to her current appointment as Assistant Teaching Professor and Senior Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, she taught at Seton Hill University, Indiana University’s Creative Learning Center, and the School for Visual and Performing Arts.

Her works have been exhibited nationall, with her most recent solo exhibitions at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, St. Michael’s College, Ohio University, Penn State, Baum School of Art, and the Arts Club of Washington. Her paintings and drawings have been featured in group exhibitions at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Wildling Art Museum, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana, Muskegon Museum of Art, Museum of the Red River, and the Woodson Art Museum.

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707 and 709 Penn Galleries
Projects of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 707 and 709 Penn Galleries feature exhibits by local and regional artists working in multiple disciplines. The two galleries are 707-709 Penn Avenue near the intersection of Penn and Seventh Street. Gallery hours are Wed., Thurs. from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Fri., Sat. from 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., and Sun. from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Visual Arts
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is unique in the arts industry for its commitment to providing high-quality, contemporary visual and public art along with a robust performing arts schedule. The Trust owns and operates eight galleries, offering arts exhibits that are free and open to the public. In addition, the Trust showcases the visual arts through its popular Gallery Crawls and festival programming as well as through its outdoor parks that feature award-winning public art. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

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