The John Riegert Project + Goodbye
This is Genevieve. This is The AP Collection. This is the last time I’m coming to you as The AP Collection Podcast.
The AP Collection began as an art project—collecting stories from random strangers and blossomed into a series about the of creative rebirth of Pittsburgh.
When I was a 20-year-old college senior I had a meeting with a career councilor at Carnegie Mellon who asked me what I wanted to do. Since I was 16 I knew I wanted to make things but I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant for me. The advice I got was to not attend grad school. If I was going to keep making art, I needed to go live a life that was worth making art about. I spent my twenties doing just that—for better or for worse. By the time I started recording conversations with people and putting them on the Internet I found I had reached a cross roads. I still hadn’t decided exactly what my art practice was—having tucked it away into the corners of my life as I attempted to surf the wave that is crushing post-college debt.
I did what I do best. I talked to people. I talked about whatever I was curious about and let them share themselves. I learned about what it meant to live the life of a creative professional. I shared a lot about myself without even realizing it. You listened to me learn how lost I had become, go to the depths of anxiety and fear, then grow and change in ways I didn’t think were possible.
It took hundreds of hours and years of talking to people to get there. I started creating work from the conversations, slowly gaining back the muscle memory I had lost. The podcast began to generate ideas I was dying to explore—about Pittsburgh and my own re-birth.
In June of 2015, I was contacted by Brett Yasko, who is the focus of today’s conversation. He had heard one of my chats and asked me to be a part of the John Riegert Project. Sitting down to sketch John for the show, I realized this was all I wanted to do—draw. By October I left full-time work and slowly began to build the dream I wanted when I was 16. It’s super hard and not for everyone but I’m challenged so much and love it even when I hate it.
Slowly, the podcast became a burden. I wanted to know what it was like not doing it and drawing more. I’ve started to do different things as The AP Collection. Murals, editorial illustrations, and playing cards. That’s what The AP Collection is now—a house of illustration and fine art.
The John Riegert Project was a catalyst for that. This is the most fitting conversation to officially go out on. While it’s been since December [correction: NOVEMBER] since I’ve posted, it’s better late than never to officially say goodbye. The Archive will remain. and it’s not the end of The AP Collection or of me creating audio. I just need to let other people do the podcast thing that are more interested in doing it better than I can. You can still find me @theapcollection everywhere.
John Riegert is an artist and citizen of Pittsburgh who is the subject of the latest show at SPACE Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. Myself and 249 other artists all created a piece about him. The show is open until September 4th so be sure to head down and see it before it leaves. I talked with Brett, curator and friend of John and Donna, John’s ex and friend.
Thanks for listening. There’s nothing more to say except that I’ll see you around the Internet.
(special thanks to DJ Thermos for his music. He is the best!)