The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Pittsburgh Arts Festival Features Professor's Sculpture

Shepherd Black Rock Negative Energy

Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber, an installation by Rudy Shepherd, assistant professor of art, is on display at Pittsburgh's Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival June 5-14, 2015. During the Induction Ceremony, Shepherd  “turned on” the installation, so that it could begin absorbing the negative energy.

According to CBS Pittsburgh’s recent feature story on the festival, “One of the most interesting entries will be installed at the Fort Pitt Block House, a towering sculpture known as the 'Black Rock Energy Absorber.'

“The Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers are a group of sculptures with a magical function: to expunge negative energy from viewers – in the form of prejudice, racism, or even quotidian disdain – and allow them to respond to life with the more open, compassionate, and positive aspects of their personalities,” said Shepherd. “The series is on the one hand a response to living in New York City for the last thirteen years and witnessing the madness that takes place in this American microcosm. At the same time, it is also an approach to political art that seeks to push the dialogue started in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s forward into the present by looking at the problems of society in a more comprehensive way and advancing practices culled from new age mythology and ancient religions to heal our still divided and troubled country.”

The Induction Ceremony featured a live performance, as well as live music involving Shepherd and musical collaborator Elias Einhorn. Fellow artist and Unitarian Universalist minister Ian Maher provided a blessing. The performance “turned on” the installation so that it could begin absorbing the negative energy from visitors to the festival and from the site itself.

The Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, a production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, is a celebration of the arts in downtown Pittsburgh, and is free of charge and open to the public. The Festival begins on the first Friday in June each year and takes place at the confluence of Pittsburgh’s famed three rivers in Point State Park, throughout picturesque Gateway Center, and in the city’s world-renowned Cultural District.

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