We featured MWFA a couple weeks ago. Let’s get to know them a little better! Take it away!
What is MWFA?
Most Wanted Fine Art is a for profit art gallery and general contracting business that partners with non profit groups to perform acts of community service. Often called a community service organization disguised as an art gallery, MWFA has been working in Garfield since 2007.
What was the inspiration to create such a unique business model?
Nina: We operate this business model because we feel its the right thing to do. We try and operate with the thoughts “whats best for us and the community.” We want to live in a place that looks after each other so we live that sentiment.
Jason: My time in the service. (Army 6+ yrs) Taught me, that life isn’t fair. Many people who join the army are from poor rural/inner-city background. Which only leads to worse decisions. Myself and Nina, are from the rural areas. And we both really wanted to live in the city and give as much opportunity as we could provide. This is partially where the passion/life’s mission comes from. I lived in many large US cities, and the transient nature of apartment living was no longer providing me with a sense of purpose and responsibility. When I accepted the job at CCAC Boyce, I was ready for family and responsibility. I was immediately embraced by the Bloomfield/Garfield neighborhood, and quickly became a Steeler fan. I truly wanted to give back to the neighborhood/city that gave me what I needed. Then along came Nina and Rowdy! I have been appreciative ever since.
Explain to our audience what community work ya’ll take part in.
We are celebrating 10 years on Penn Ave in Garfield. Most Wanted Fine Art is an art gallery run by general contractors by day and artists by night. We use our skills and space to give back to the community we live in. We do this in a multitude of ways. We donate the space to community meetings, poetry events, classes, musical events, and more. We work with youth recently released from residential judicial facilities and teach them carpentry job skills. We were awarded “Power of Work Awards, Best Job Site in Western PA” by Goodwill Industries for this work. In 2014 with the help of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation we took on eleven Resident Artists and gave them a platform for their work and offered administrative and financial support. In return we challenged them to create art that engaged the community around them. In 2015 we added another fourteen artists to the neighborhood creating community art, and in 2016 with the support of Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative we partnered with Café Con Leche and hosted ten Latino Artists from Pittsburgh & Beyond. Since starting the program we have helped secure more than $75,000 in foundation support for Artists and their projects. That’s the tip of the iceberg.
What is the most unique art project you have taken on or been asked to do?
Green & Screen was the most unique thing we got to be part of. We worked with kids and artists and designed/built artistic sculptures out of recycled materials that screened off and greened up spaces. I also painted a dumpster the other day.
Really, how many hats do you wear?
We will wear any hat you got! Haha we will make you a hat and teach you how to wear it. Our core job is artist and we just apply artistic vision to every project. Life is an art piece.
Favorite local beer?
Rockbottom Upitty Jaggoff
Favorite local band?
Paint or Ink?
We like one shot paint and tattoo ink. Haha we aren’t sure what this question is. (Perfect! haha!)
What’s next for MWFA?
We are expanding! We want to build an events space that is accessible and green including solar panels & a park area. We are developing a sculpture park and a series of garage workshops that teach basic auto mechanics. We will be offering classes next year in screen printing and other art making courses as well. We will be transitioning from art sellers/builders to art makers/teachers.
There you have it! The Sauer’s are some of the coolest movers & shakers in PGH. Check out all their happenings and also come give them a high-five at #PGHBrewtalFest. GOTTA GET YOUR TICKET THOUGH!