Saturday, March 12, 2022
A visual look at the intersection of time—visitors to last year's Alloy Pittsburgh exhibition view an augmented reality artwork, depicting local students creating a lightshow, that appears on the facade of the historic Power House at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.
The Intersection of Time

On more than one occasion, these newsletter musings have traveled a path of thought that has led us to a familiar intersection—a place in the present that is directly adjacent to our region's past and its future. While that location is not surprising, what is always striking is the variety of new roads that take us to this destination.

Today is no different. With the publication of our latest piece from the A Literary Look series, Dr. Kirsten Paine writes about Jane Swisshelm’s autobiography, Half a Century, exploring how lessons from this pioneering woman's 19th-century experiences as a journalist and abolitionist can inform our perspective today, in ways that shape our future.

Our journey this week also take us to Ambridge, Beaver County, where locals are working to restore a two-hundred-year-old Harmonist home to preserve the history of some of the county's earliest settlers for future generations.

And if you are looking to explore these connections in a way that hops off the page, we're excited to share that in-person programs are resuming this March! Join us for a curator-led gallery talk of the Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective exhibition before it closes at the end of the month or sign up for our first Doodle Bowl Experience workshop of the season!
Self-Portrait, Jane Grey Swisshelm, 1840-1845. Senator John Heinz History Center, Courtesy of N.N. Moore (detail)
A Literary Look: Jane Swisshelm’s Autobiography
In 1880, Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm's autobiography Half a Century was published. It reflected on her early life, a time that drifts in and out of public knowledge. However, her legacy as a reporter, newspaper publisher, women's rights advocate, and abolitionist is both complicated and filled with interesting contradictions. Take a moment to learn more about Jane Swisshelm's life and work by reading Dr. Kirsten Paine's examination of her autobiograpy.
An early rendering of the Bicentennial House by Cochran Associates Architects. The building was dubbed the Bicentennial House by the Ambridge Historic District Economic Development Corporation in celebration of the 200-year anniversary of the Harmonist village in Ambridge that will occur in 2024.
The Ambridge Bicentennial House: A Community Preservation Project 
Our latest Community Spotlight story checks in with the Ambridge Historic District Economic Development Corporation, which has recently started restoring a historically important home in service of community revitalization. The Bicentennial House is one of the first six houses built by the Harmony Society in 1824 in their new settlement of Economy, now Ambridge.
Co-curator Barbara L. Jones at her gallery talk for the Kathleen Ferri exhibition on November 6, 2021
Curator-Led Gallery Talk
March 26, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., The Bost Building
Appreciate the artwork of Kathleen Ferri with insights shared from one of the exhibition’s curators. Join Ron Baraff, director of historic resources and facilities for Rivers of Steel, on March 26 as he offers a curatorial perspective of the exhibition Memory Scenes: A Kathleen Ferri Retrospective.

Don't miss this final opportunity to see this special exhibition!
The Doodle Bowl Experience
March 27, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., Carrie Blast Furnaces
Not your typical “sip and paint” party, this workshop has quickly become one of Rivers of Steel’s most in-demand programs. With guidance from Rivers of Steel’s metal arts team, you’ll design and carve a bowl that is cast in solid aluminum! Take home your new, functional work of art at the end of the night! No experience is needed—just bring your creativity, a friend, and your own beverage! 
Help preserve our region’s industrial and cultural heritage! Your tax-deductible contribution will help ensure that Rivers of Steel can continue to offer vital, engaging, community-based arts, education, and heritage programs for the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.