Viewing the “Unboxed”

Pitt’s Department of Studio Arts is marking the 50th anniversary of its founding in a unique way — through an art exhibition of works submitted by 50 former students.

A call went out to nearly 600 studio arts alumni to submit a piece that would fit within an ordinary shipping box. Works began pouring in from around the country — drawings, watercolors, sculpture, video and more — and “Unboxed” was born.

A first of its kind for the department, the exhibition runs through Oct. 12 at the University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building, Schenley Drive.

At the recent opening reception, dozens of former studio arts majors, faculty and community members had a chance to learn and discover, connect or reconnect. It also was a chance for current arts students to meet the alumni they had been hearing about.

“If you look through the show, 80 percent of the work submitted was made in the past two years,” said Delanie Jenkins, studio arts associate professor and chair. “Whether alumni graduated in 1967, 1976, 1993 or 2017, they are still engaged in creative work and that is exciting!”

Plans are in the works for a homecoming reception and tours in the art gallery from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, featuring sound and movement demonstrations throughout the afternoon, choreographed by alumni Staycee Pearl of Staycee Pearl Dance Project. An open house will reveal current art projects and students will demonstrate various fabrication tools.

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


  • “Unboxed” organizers invited studio arts alums to submit artwork that would fit the dimensions of an ordinary shipping box. As the artwork arrived, the boxes themselves were made into a display. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Artist Julia Betts (A&S ’14) said she created “Orange, 4 of 13” from castoffs from her art studio and her life. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Artist Adrienne Rozzi (A&S ’10), who owns Poison Apple Printshop, displays “Celestia Altar Cloth,” a screen print with gold leaf on antique linen. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Artist Sarah Washburn Thornton (A&S ’17) contributed “Journal Series” — three journals she kept during her time at Pitt. Once, when they were displayed in another Pitt show, she heard students commenting on how the content represents the relationship between the mind and the body and the world. Overhearing their comments, said Thornton, was her most memorable experience at Pitt. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)
  • Artists Rose and Sara Savage (A&S ’15; A&S ’15) contributed “milk,” a video representation of how industrialized Western cultures are targeting Asia as the next big consumer for milk. The piece asks: How will this “food imperialism” define and change Asian identity? Pictured is Karen Lue (A&S ’15), a friend of the artists. (Tom Altany/University of Pittsburgh)