KST Blog

KST Presents Visual Art Exhibition BOOM Capsule: Marking this Moment in Time

EAST LIBERTY, PA — Opening Saturday, September 17 at 6:00pm, KST Presents Marking this Moment in Time: BOOM Capsule, a visual art exhibition featuring work by J. Thomas AgnewDS Kinsel, and J.L. Mallis. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Heinz Endowments created Marking this Moment: Pittsburgh Artists in 2020, an initiative to put money in the hands of artists and document their impressions of the rapidly changing reality facing us all. Through the initiative, BOOM Concepts supported the work of artists J. Thomas Agnew, D.S. Kinsel, and J.L. Mallis. These artists use agitprop, surveys, and mixtape as mediums to document and share images, music, sounds, and writing from artists in the Pittsburgh community. The works can be experienced in the Kelly Strayhorn Theater lobby through December 2022.

To better understand the effects of the pandemic on the music industry in Pittsburgh, J. Thomas Agnew and Jourdan Hicks created the survey A Moment In TIme: Musicians Working In Covid. The survey was administered and monitored by Agnew and Hicks to document what life thorough COVID looked like for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The work provided insight into artists’ awareness of funding opportunities, whether they had felt supported or overlooked by the arts and finance entities in the city, and how they felt the Pittsburgh creative and funding landscapes could better respond to the needs of the community going forward. 

DS Kinsel’s contribution to the exhibition, Sign O The Times: 2020 Protest Sign and Archive Reproduction identifies and reproduces protest signs from #blacklivesmatter protest and civil actions that happened across the country during 2020. The artist recreated a protest sign for each day of the year 2020. 

Marking This Moment In TIme: In Pursuit of Visual Engagement, An anthology organized by intermedia artist J.L. Mallis documents the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on local creatives. The artists and artist collectives reflected in the anthology have demonstrated new ways of utilizing visuals, video, and visual imagery to tell their stories. The anthology highlights the renewed focus on visual media within a larger audio-visual landscape, exacerbated by COVID-19, and how the pandemic affected our experiences of interaction, engagement, communication, and the intake of media. 


J. Thomas Agnew is a consultant based in Pittsburgh, PA. Agnew is Co-Founder of BOOM Concepts Gallery, a co-working and community arts space in Pittsburgh, and EIC of JENESIS Magazine, a media outlet focusing on youth culture lifestyle and young creative entrepreneurs. Through JENESIS Magazine and BOOM Concepts’ national networks, Agnew has produced numerous arts and culture events, in collaboration with high level partners such as the Carnegie Museum Of Art, The Pittsburgh Cultural TrustAugust Wilson African American Cultural Center, Thrival Festival, Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Project, and Love PGH Music and more. “My passion is to create forums of expression to represent and build up underrepresented voices in media, entrepreneurship, and art businesses.” Agnew is known for his track record of early start-up mentoring, design and marketing, operations management, and content creation/management targeted to young adult audiences.

DS Kinsel is a Black creative entrepreneur and arts administrator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He expresses his creativity through the mediums of painting, window display, installation, curating, action-painting, non-traditional performance and social media. While Kinsel’s primary practice is painting, he believes that experimenting in other disciplines will ultimately further his development as a painter. Kinsel’s work puts focus on themes of escapism, space keeping, urban tradition, pop culture, hip-hop, informalism and cultural appropriation.

J.L. Mallis is an intermedia artist and community leader based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are the Executive Director at Repair The World Pittsburgh, a Jewish social justice organization connecting communities in meaningful service-learning programs. In 2020, Mallis was honored with a 40 Under 40 award by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP. Over the past 13 years in Pittsburgh, Mallis has been organizing creative endeavors and community programs. They perform live as a VJ and DJ and use digital media, paint, installation, performance, sound and audience interaction to create unique creative and enriching experiences. Their artistic production focuses on building community, audio-visual experiences and speaking truth. They utilize playfulness, maximalism, and imagined environments as critical elements in their work.

For full season details, KST COVID policy updates, and tickets, go to kst.imagebox.dev.