Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Who, Me?

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/02/03

“Who, Me?” is the name of the Febrary, 2011, art exhibition hosted by Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

The call-for-artists said: Enter a piece that communicates something that is uniquely YOU. Consider what your art reveals about you as a person, or what kind of habits, struggles, joys, patterns, quirks or obsessions you have discovered in making art.

I thought immediately of the piece I call “Moon ‘n At.”

Now, if you’re not a Pittsburgher, you may not get the “joke” in the title. But locals will often end a sentence with the phrase, which I would think means “and all that” or, perhaps, “and everything that goes along with all that” simply said with the shorter one and a half syllable sound, “‘n ‘at.” (Yep, it’s definitely said in more than one but less than two full syllables ‘n ‘at!)

Note, that ‘n ‘at does not mean “et cetera.” It does not mean “and so on.” When I first became aware of it, I thought it was totally superfluous. As I heard it more often, I came to think that it’s more like, “imagine my train of thought continuing even though I’m stopping here.” As in, “Most days, I really enjoy writing this blog ‘n ‘at.” Or, “I had a great time last week at the Harry Manx concert ‘n ‘at.” Or, “I’m finding this hard to explain to readers who may not be from around here ‘n ‘at.”

And, for years, if people used the expression in written form, it might have been spelled ‘n ‘at as I’ve done above. Although some times it might be n ‘at, while at others, ‘n at. Until the era of text messaging, that is, when it became shortened yet further, to simply n@!

Which is how a necklace featuring three handmade, reversible, hollow, fine silver beads — with a sort of bubbly (moonscape) design on one side, and a pattern of spirals (@-signs) on the other — gained the title, “Moon ‘n At”!

Oh, but that’s not the end of it. Noooo. Sewickley, where this show takes place, is just across the Ohio River from Moon Township. (Both are just down-river from the Pittsburgh “Point” where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio.) And that’s the area where I lived for a few years as a child (when my family first moed here, before they headed off to Florida).

So here’s a version of the artist’s statement I wrote to accompany the piece:

Though I lived here briefly as a child (in the “Moon” area), we then moved to Florida. I later returned to SW PA, where I’ve just celebrated my “silver” anniversary of living here and embracing the winters (“snowflake” obsidian), industry (glass & steel), raw materials (represented, color-wise, by onyx, jet & hematite), three rivers (the dangles), and dialect quirks (‘n @). Assembling these components, I was amused to notice all the connections!

(The “silver” anniversary refers to a total number of years, but not consecutive ones! I’m currently on my fifth stretch of living in the Western PA area!)

The “Who, Me?” exhibit runs from Saturday, February 5, through Saturday, February 26. Admission is free. As I understand it, Moon ‘n At was the only jewelry-piece that was juried into the show. I feel very honored by that.

There will be an opening reception on the 5th, from 7 to 9 pm, and I definitely plan to head out for that. Will I see you there?

One Response to “Who, Me?”

  1. C Scheftic said

    Thanks to Lyn, Jeff, Kathy, & Jack for joining me (for all or part of) that “opening” evening!


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