In lieu of writing my weekly art events post (which I apologize for skipping last week), I figured I'd do my first live blog post. This is the premiere of the Pittsburgh Visionary Arts Fest (hereby to be referred to as VAF). The event was organized by young, talented artist Alberto Almarza, and showcases a more non-traditional, "outsider" brand of artists doing edgier work than you would find at a typical summer arts festival.
There are about fifty tents down here at Schenley Plaza, and the scope and quality represented is remarkable. It doesn't hurt that the location is smack dab in the center of Oakland- a hub of activity with multiple hospitals and universities. Folks seem to be pleasantly surprised to encounter this type of aesthetic madness during their lunch hours.
Site coordinator Sarah Bauer (Almarza's better half) seems to be relishing the day. In between running around with waiver forms, she had a chance to sit down for a few seconds at our Unicorn Mountain tent. Says Bauer, "It's cool to showcase the diversity of the progressive arts scene of Pittsburgh. People have been so receptive... they're not like, 'who are these freaky wierdos'."
Maybe it helps that the audience is unfamiliar with the odd brand of individual who would agree to sit in a ten-by-ten foot enclosed space for 27 hours over a three-day weekend. The VAF runs all weekend from noon until 9PM each day. I'll be sitting here during much of that time hawking my own photos, as well as work by other artists in our collective, books and t-shirts. Perhaps I'll even get a chance to say hi to the other creators... if I ever get the chance to leave this tent.