Arts Profile: Kim Chestney Harvey

July 2, 2009

This week, we’re profiling Pittsburgh notable Kim Chestney Harvey, the Director of the Art and Technology Initiative for the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Kim got her start as good old fashioned artist, with a background in oil painting. She moved into graphic design and became involved with the Pittsburgh Technology Council as the creative director of their magazine. She conceived the initial idea for the Art + Technology Initiative, and with President Audrey Russo’s backing, made it an essential part of the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s mission.

As she put it, “The Art + Technology Initiative supports regional artists, culture and commerce, and works to enhance the cultural tapestry of Pittsburgh.” One of Kim’s first efforts was to increase the amount of local art exhibited in businesses and workspaces, which was the inspiration behind the 15 Minutes Gallery (named after the famous Warholian phrase). Since last year, the Pittsburgh Technology Council has sold over 4000 dollars worth of local art by using their headquarters to advertise and exhibit artists.

Kim also organizes and hosts the Annual Art + Technology exhibition (going on now at the Technology Council’s 15 Minutes Gallery) which works to introduce businesses to local artists of all mediums. This year, they partnered with the Carnegie Mellon CREATE (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment) Labs to work on the BurghBot Project, what she calls “a next generation manifestation of robots, something you’ve never seen before.” This intersection of art and technology had adult artists learning new techniques by programming and coding robots, and featured primarily artists from the Pittsburgh area.

Kim Chestney Harvey with CREATE Labs' Ian Ingram
Kim with CREATE Labs’ Ian Ingram.

When asked if she found forging connections between businesses and artists challenging, she replied that “It’s not that challenging, sometimes business people don’t get how art is relevant- but they realize that there isn’t going to be business in city without a strong art culture.” The Art + Technology Initiative is definitely helping to make connecting Pittsburgh’s disparate interests easier.

Finally, we asked her about her personal tastes in art and, of course, movies. She enjoys traditional art, but feels that “new technology can add to the aesthetic experience” and anything that “creates a compelling object” is worth looking at. She also enjoyed The Piano Story which showed at the opening for the annual exhibition. As she put it, “Film is like having an opportunity to merge art and music and the dimension of time, an extra way to reach out to people and share the human condition.” She’s looking forward to the upcoming gallery crawl films, and Séraphine, showing at Regent Square at the end of July.

For more information about the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Art + Technology Initiative, you can visit their website. You can also see the Annual Art + Technology Exhibition through August at the 15 Minutes Gallery. Kim can be followed on Twitter at KimChestney.

If you know of any companies doing an excellent job at combining arts and technology, the 2009 Tech 50 Awards are looking for nominations until July 9th.



  1. Great post!

  2. Kim also has a cool blog — check it out:

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