Friday, October 24, 2014

Chuck Connelly : My America @ The Andy Warhol Museum

Chuck Connelly: My America @ The Andy Warhol Museum for the Pittsburgh Biennial 2014 from PFPCA on Vimeo.

Surreal, fantastic, hideous and humorous but rarely boring

The once, hailed art star, Connelly is now known more as a character and cautionary tale than the actual living artist he still is.

From The Warhol Museum website

Chuck Connelly: Homo, 1979 Courtesy of the artist

"This exhibition, Chuck Connelly: My America, will mark Connelly’s first solo museum show and feature works from his beginning years in New York to the present day. Born in Pittsburgh in 1955, Connelly graduated from the Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia in 1977. In the early 1980s Connelly, based in New York City, exhibited widely and developed a highly inventive style of expressionist painting. During this period, Connelly was recognized as a key figure among the New York-based Neo-expressionist painters – alongside artists such Julian Schnabel and Jean-Michel Basquiat – and was collected by major institutions across the United States. In the late 1990s, Connelly returned to Philadelphia where he continues to live and work."

Amazingly, they say this is his first museum solo

From a 2008 blog post by David Grim

"Right from the start it was clear that Chuck Connelly was a bit unstable. He paced through the screen nervously, ranting and raving against his perceived enemies and the injustices of his life. He was shown haranguing a woman who I soon figured out was his ex-wife, and it was clear that being around Connelly must be a trial. He is the true manifestation of the artist as L'enfant terrible. He drinks incessantly, and becomes increasingly agitated until the point of violence. This isn't surprising as he is said to view himself as a Jackson Pollock-type, outside the realms of polite cultured society. Apparently he learned quite early that he would be allowed a certain amount of self-indulgence, given his profuse talent.

But evidently Connelly miscalculated the reception his act would generate. At one point he looked assured to attain the lofty ranks of art-stardom. He was represented by Annina Nosei, and courted by collectors and celebrities. He sold millions of dollars in paintings. Martin Scorcese even used him as his subject in his segment of New York Stories. According to the tale that director Jeff Stimmel spins, this tribute actually led to his downfall. After New York Stories (starring Nick Nolte as the infamously truculent artist) was released, Connelly was asked for his reaction to the film by The New York Post. He called the portrayal mundane and cliché, and made a rather unflattering comparison to Scorcese's masterpiece,Raging Bull."
But evidently Connelly miscalculated the reception his act would generate. At one point he looked assured to attain the lofty ranks of art-stardom. He was represented by Annina Nosei, and courted by collectors and celebrities. He sold millions of dollars in paintings. Martin Scorcese even used him as his subject in his segment of New York Stories. According to the tale that director Jeff Stimmel spins, this tribute actually led to his downfall. After New York Stories (starring Nick Nolte as the infamously truculent artist) was released, Connelly was asked for his reaction to the film by The New York Post. He called the portrayal mundane and cliché, and made a rather unflattering comparison to Scorcese's masterpiece,Raging Bull."
I admire his work the more I see it, especially the way he resists the clean packaging that can drive an artist's career.

Chuck Connelly: My America
September 27, 2014
January 4 , 2015

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Carrie Furnace Halloween Party planned

"On Saturday, November 1st, for one night only, The Independent and The Brew Gentlemen will restore the Carrie Furnace to its 50s and 60s era of greatness. We will be throwing a Halloween party in homage to that era’s most prolific director: Alfred Hitchcock. Together with Rivers of Steel, the non-profit steward of this beautiful historic monument, we present: Hitchcock! – A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace.
This little party will have all of the components of a great Hitchcock film: suspense, romance, psychological thrills, and murderously good craft beers and cocktails. DJs throughout the evening will keep you dancing the night away on our dance floor centered in an old hangar bay of the mill."
Warning - this is not a cheap event, $35 for entry plus $15 for onsite parking (free offsite parking and shuttle available) plus the cost of food from a wide range of food trucks. Even so, the experience may be more than worth it- I would be going if I could.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10/15/14 - 10/22/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Pittsburgh wins Gawker's ugliest accent contest (People Magazine)

Dear Jagoffs, Pittsburgh officially has the ugliest accent in America (Gawker)

The Pittsburgh Anthology: Call for proposals and submissions (Belt Magazine)

Pittsburgh singer Chris Jamison advances on "The Voice"  (NBC)

4121 Main, mixed use arts space opens in Bloomfield (Pop City)

Former churches blessed with new lives in Pittsburgh (New York Times)

Halloween Party planned for Carrie Furnace (The Brew Gentlemen)


The Cleveland Museum opens major Jennifer Bartlett retrospective 

Five reasons to visit Cleveland now (Fodor's Travel)

Looking back at the East Ohio Gas company explosion, 70 years later (Cleveland Scene)

Possible clash over Soldiers and Sailors monument could hold up Public Square redesign (

Rediscovering Cleveland poet, Russell Atkins  (Belt Magazine)


Haunting Houses: Ohio's abandoned country houses- in pictures (The Guardian)

West Virginia and Appalachia

Morgantown police investigate post Baylor game riots

History professor's new book brings old "blood feud" back to life

A (yes) culinary road trip through Appalachia (Wall Street Journal)

Inaugural Appalachian Queer Film Festival to debut in Lewisburg (The Charleston Gazette)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

These conservatives make the case or vibrant cities. Most of their friends ignore them. (Grist)

The redevelopment racket (The American)

More prefer public transit to road building (ABC News)

DC's new parents aren't fleeing to the burbs (Streetsblog)

Atlanta's MARTA transit agency ramps up transit oriented development (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Federal Government releases map of proposed Houston/ Dallas bullet train route

Why no one drives to work in Hong Kong  (Market Urbanism)

Photo essay: L.A.'s architecture of insecurity (Los Angeles Times)

Can the homeless move into Baltimore's abandoned houses? (City Lab)

Norfolk's light rail choice: Embrace the city or follow the highway? (Greater Greater Washington)

Arcadia California: The U.S. town every Chinese millionaire wants to live in (Wall Street Journal)

Berlin wants to build a pool in the middle of the city's river (City Lab)

Uber can fill gaps in Anchorage area transit  (Alaska Dispatch News)

With farms fading and urban might rising, power shifts in Iowa (The New York Times)

Other Art and Culture News

Oldest Homo Sapiens DNA found (Cent News)

Another vandal hits Jeff Koons retrospective (Hyperallergic)

French President pledges support for Paul McCarthy's "butt plug" (Hyperallergic)

An Iranian-American artist revisits images from the 1979 revolution (Hyperallergic)

Can a biennial fix New Orleans? (The Art Newspaper)

How Rembrandt dressed his women for death (The Guardian)

No second coming or deflated, Paris "sex toy" sculpture  (AFP)

Ronald Perelman vs Larry Gagosian feud shakes the art world (New York Times)

The 50 greatest paintings in New England (Boston Globe)

"Outreach" is killing the American Orchestra (New Republic)

Famed fashion designer, Oscar de la Renta dies at 82 (New York Times)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Call for Submissions: Essays, Non-fiction, Photography for Belt Magazine's Pittsburgh Anthology

"HERE’S WHAT WE WANT: We’re looking for nonfiction contributions, but we’re open to photographic essays, comics / illustrations, and poetry. Again, if it expresses something truly Pittsburghese, we want to see it. Work running 750-3000 words is preferred. We will accept proposals until November 15 and finished stories until December 31st; any work which previously appeared elsewhere can be accepted as long as there is permission to do so. We expect to publish the anthology by Spring 2015. Contributors will get to have their friends be jealous of their Pittsburgh pride, but they will also receive free copies of the book, and, if the anthology is successful enough, a split of the proceeds.*"

Get all the details here

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

10/7/14 - 10/14/14 Weekly Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Greensburg's Westmoreland Museum of Art receives Nieland Sculpture Collection 
(Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Five artist, live/work spaces planned in Braddock (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

How Kickstarter's most funded restaurant is transforming a town (Braddock) (AOL)

From Pittsburgh Winery to Brillo Box: Your guide to Pittsburgh's smaller music venues (Next Pittsburgh)

CMU professor, Mary Shaw earns highest honor in the nation for technological progress (Next Pittsburgh)

Pittsburgh's first urban gardening shop opens in Lawrenceville (Pop City)

At 10 years, City of Asylum Pittsburgh honors five exiled writers  (Pop City)


Brian Hoyer and the Cleveland Browns humiliate The Pittsburgh Steelers (WKYC)

Look who's living car lite in Cleveland (Green City Blue Lake)

A Weekend in Cleveland   (Essential Pittsburgh)

Waterloo Arts District celebrates new streetcape with gallery openings, concerts, new pubs (

ARTneo celebrates 30th anniversary at 78th Street Studios next Friday (Cleveland Scene(

Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Joan Jett, Stevie Ray Vaughan, NWA top nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015  (

Cleveland State University buys naming rights to new RTA bus-rapid line (

Cleaning of Allen Art Museum's ceiling at Oberlin reveals gold leaf, paintings and poetry  (WCHS TV)


Trio inspires Akron middle-schoolers to follow music (


A look at last week's Lawn-Con comics festival  (Digging Pitt)


Ohio Stadium to host Buckeye Country Superfest Music Festival

Stone Brewing shuns Columbus for Richmond expansion

Other Ohio Arts and Urbanism News

Ohio casino September revenues down from August (Fox 45)

Ohio prisons will use drones as a security measure (Cleveland Scene)

West Virginia and Appalachia

Musicians explore connections between Romanian and Appalachian Folk Music  (WV Public Radio)

Ginseng Reality TV: Cultivating conservation or encouraging extinction?  (WV Public Radio)


Adroit Detroit and the re-branding of the Rust Belt (Pop City)

A peek at Beth Olem Cemetary and the Neighborhood destroyed by a GM plant (Model D)

Winners of the 2014 Knight Arts Challenge (Model D)

Other Transit and Urbanism News

Battle of the upstarts: Houston Vs. San Francisco Bay (Joel Kotkin- Daily Beast)

Playable Cities: The city that plays together, stays together. (The Guardian - Sept, 9th)

Where the transit-accessible jobs are in Atlanta (ATL Urbanist)

The driver behind public transit's transformation in Atlanta (Government Technology)

Despite complaints, Houston is the best Texas city for transit access (Houston Chronicle)

Chamber report highlights challenges to Nashville's future growth (Nashville Biz Blog)

Madison poised for next steps to bus rapid transit system (Wisconsin State Journal)

Quote of the week: The neglected American Bus (Human Transit)

Transit-oriented development dominating in major metros (Transit Talk)

Tactical urbanism gaining momentum in San-Diego (KPBS)

Houston: Opportunity urbanism and walkability (Urbanophile)

Why big tech can't save the city (Corner Side Yard)

Diverging fortunes in Portland (New Geography)

Homebuilders offer freebies as booming U.S. markets cool (Ooops!) (Bloomberg News)

Mercedes is making a self-driving semi to change the future of shipping (Wired)

Indianapolis Airport debuts customer service robot

Stats show Indianapolis's violent trend likely to continue (WISHTV)

Ebola epidemic spreads- in pictures (The Guardian) (-warning: upsetting)

Aggressive police seize hundreds of millions of dollars from people not charged with crimes (Washington Post)

Comedy club charges per laugh with facial recognition  (BBC News)

113 year old time capsule in Boston opened (Christian Science Monitor)

Other Arts and Media News

Norway's currency goes abstract (Hyperallergic)

YouTube unveils huge new NYC video production studio (New York Times)

These Indonesian cave paintings may overturn Eurocentric art history  (Hyperallergic)

Cave Art older and more widespread than thought (National Geographic)

Treasure hunter uncovers one of the most significant Viking hoards ever found in Scotland  (Ancient Origins)

How Bureaucrats tried and failed to make TV suck (Reason)

Orlando Arts Scene: It's an urban bus trip (New Geography)

What makes art racist? (Hyperallergic)

Bonhams sets eight new records for modern and contemporary Middle Eastern artists (Art Daily)

Document dump reveals new details in Knoedler Gallery forgery case (The Art Newspaper)

Antiquities collections destroyed in Gaza conflict (The Art Newspaper)

Queens Museum calls for manual labor in the name of art. (Art News)

Reviewing the New York Film Festival (People Magazine)

Must see museum exhibitions during Frieze London  (Art Net)

What are America's top private contemporary art museums? (Art Net)

French museums loan 300 masterworks to Louvre Abu Dhabi  (Art Newspaper)

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Look at Last Week's Lawn-Con Outdoor Comics Festival in Youngstown

From The  Youngstown State Student Newspaper, The Jambar

"Yambar’s Lawn-Con began in the artist’s own yard years ago. Now, for its fifth year anniversary, the convention resided at the B&O Station in Youngstown.
Yambar is a painter, writer, cartoonist, publisher, designer and recorder. He is best known for his comic, “Mr. Beat,” and his involvement in “The Simpsons.”
The convention offered national and indie comic creators a place to showcase their work and their talents — as well as live music, stand up comedy, portfolio reviews, local wrestling acts and a cosplay contest for all attendees."
"Yambar believes that Lawn-Con will continue to grow as long as the population as a whole harbors a love for creativity and, deep down, hopes to see the Bat Signal in the night sky or the USS Renegade spotted next to Hubble Space Station. "
If you attended, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cleveland Narrowly Defeats Pittsburgh in Rust Belt Cup Bike Challenge

Almost as coveted as Lord Stanley's Cup. After 50 years- Cleveland has won something! (Actually ranked 13th in the country)
"Bike Cleveland bested Bike PGH of Pittsburgh in competition as part of the National Bike Challenge.
The National Bike Challenge is a five-month effort to get people to cycle. Nationally, more than 47,000 riders logged 23 million miles.
As a way to be inclusive to all skill levels of riders, a point system encourages more trips than miles."
Read all about the gloating.