I was surprised and a bit impressed when I found out that the July Unblurred on Penn Avenue would indeed fall on the 4th. It's all too typical to have everything put on hold when a holiday comes around. Certainly there will be a lot of folks who choose to get lit up at some or another barbecue during the day. What better way to spend the Nation's birthday? Sports and alcohol are the the mad pairing that seem to dominate the country's leisure ethic. So if you've already made this kind of commitment, I wish you good luck with the grilling. Otherwise why not try something different for a change? Come up to the Penn Avenue Corridor and see some work worth celebrating.
Of course there isn't a full bill listed on the event guide this time around. I'm not sure whether that is merely because people got their signals crossed, or if it genuinely reflects a lack of involvement among many of the galleries. At least a couple of stalwarts are advertising openings. Garfield Artworks (4931 Penn Ave.) is having Evolution in Art V. Featured are the works of Gabe Felice, Obsolete, Kate Jarrett, Elizabeth Sanchez, Micah Feeney, Andrew Karaman, and Michael Koehler. Of particular interest to me are the paintings of Greensburg resident Felice. His trippy line work inspired me to purchase a couple of his pieces from the La Vie Gallery this past winter. Since then he has continued to work the local scene, and was considered for a Sprout Fund mural.
Next door at ImageBox (4933 Penn Ave) gallery-owner John Mahood has decided once again to share some of his impressive photography. This time around he promises "botanical splendor". Also showing is Charles Smith, sharing images (with commentary) of exotic locations from around the world. And besides some after-parties, that's all that's announced on the official program. Unfortunately Modern Formations is closed for "repairs" and preparations for next weekend's exhibition (artwork by Eric White). But you never know what surprises may be in store for you on that street. If you find yourself underwhelmed by the offerings, be sure to check out the Pandemic Dance Party at Brillo Box at 9PM.
You could be forgiven, given this rundown, for thinking that this is a dead weekend in terms of Pittsburgh art. But fear not, because I have a tip for you. I ran into Kyle Ethan Fischer last night and he gave me the scoop on a "soft opening" at Moxie Dada on Saturday night. This is the first time that the gallery has had a "guest curator", and knowing Fischer's background, I strongly suggest that you make it a point to see this show. Entitled URBANIC: sightlines and microcosms, it runs through the 26th of the month. It features "artists from around the country and abroad who are redefining the complex relationship and dialogue between artist and city".
The participating artists include Grant Bobitski, Adam Grossi, Jaison Vespucci, Kaley Finegan, Matthew Indovina, Amy Casey and Deanna Mance. What was Fischer thinking when he put together this show? In his own words, he believes...
“that urban decay is giving way to transformation. As with much of the change at the beginning of the 20th century, the 21st century has a new pluralism and a concentration on locality with both a depletion of natural resources and an expansions of information in global proportions. The selected artists have unique viewpoints. Whether microcosmic, ironic commentary or suburban surrounding, visionary, samplings of city life or distortions of the sight lines that impact our vision, the viewer will be given a glimpse of what is coming to be - urbanic.”
Pretty heady stuff, eh? If you want to wait until the official opening reception, that's on Saturday, July 12, 2008 from 7-10 PM. See you there?
The Week Ahead: A Trip to Asheville
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