An Appropriate Place to Discuss Sneakers / by Alex Young

 Curated by Sean Beauford

Curated by Sean Beauford

There is cultural significance in sneakers. Beyond wearing a shoe for comfort and function, some people wear certain brands and silhouettes because they symbolize a popular adoration for sports, music, creativity, and style. Some people have accomplished great achievements in their shoes that the footwear itself becomes historical in-line with the person's legend. Heroes like athletes Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan, musical talents like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, as well as genius Steve Jobs all triumphed in their Reebok, Jordan, adidas, Nike, and New Balance sneakers respectively. Factors such as these, along with special colorways and limited collaborations with exemplary design houses, make many sneakers attractive to wear and valuable to collect.

Frequent curator of art exhibitions in the Pittsburgh area Sean Beauford expounds sneaker culture with his new forum. "GRAIL abandons the idea of sacred material possessions, reconsiders consumption, and urges thoughtful creating," is written at 

Through an exhibit and panel discussion, artists John Geiger, Dylan Graves, LinShuttr, as well as entrepreneur Soley Ghost, and moderator Grits Capone underline the significance and complexity of iconic shoes, nicknamed after the Holy Grail.

GRAIL's cast mates all have their own contribution to or appreciation for sneaker culture. John Geiger's imagination has led him to craft many unique designs with Nike's Air Force 1 and his own collection of footwear. Artist Dylan Graves offers an abstract representation of Jordan Brand's beauty while illustrator LinShuttr plays into MJ's icon. Soley Ghost is the proprietor of a couple sneaker shops, like East Coast Boutique in New Jersey. Poet and journalist Grits Capone will concentrate the conversation on an all-encompassing culture.

Establishments in Pittsburgh's East Liberty support Beauford's GRAIL and GRAIL TALK. The Kelly Strayhorn Theater presents the show, and sneaker consignment store Refresh PGH sponsors the affair. Music by iB-Rease will aid the atmosphere. GRAIL will open on Thursday, October 13 at Ace Hotel, also in East Liberty. Discussion will be held from 6-7 p.m. and after the gallery will unveil.

Ace Hotel

120 S Whitfield St

Pittsburgh, PA 15206