Artist Robert Qualters is synonymous with Pittsburgh. From local museum collections to public murals and from corporate offices to private homes, a Qualters can be found in virtually every corner of the city. Through vividly rendered paintings, he has captured the waning days of the steel age and the Pittsburgh of today with equal immediacy and accuracy, a unique chronicle—both autobiographical and universal—of a city’s unique transition out of an industry—dominated era to a more diversified economy.
Next year, three major projects—a biography (Robert Qualters: Autobiographical Mythologies by Vicky A. Clark, PhD to be published by The University of Pittsburgh Press), film, and retrospective—will highlight the mills, neighborhood corners, streetscapes, bridges, falling leaves, and red skies that have saturated the Qualters catalogue for nearly half a century. It is a three‐pronged effort to help secure the legacy of a local treasure in the broader pantheon of Pittsburgh’s long record of artistic achievement and promote Qualters, who turns 80 in 2014, to a wider audience.
This 30–35 minute cinematic narrative, directed by local filmmakers Joe and Elizabeth Seamans and produced by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, will reveal Robert Qualters—his life and his work—to the public through the immediacy of the moving image.