Thursday, July 30, 2009

Swoon @ Opening Of New Carnegie Library Silk-screen Studio

Sorry for the late heads up. Swoon, the legendary roving street artist with a love of Pittsburgh, will be speaking about her work and talking up the new screenprinting studio at the Carnegie Library in Braddock tonight. She will likely also fill us in on progress on the former church in North Braddock being turned into a community arts center called The Tranformazium.

There will also be a screenprinting open studio with demos and the ceramics studio housed in the building will also be open.

From what I can tell on the poster-- the screenprinting and ceramics open studio runs from 5:30-7:30 and the Swoon artist's talk will start at 7:30.

More info on the Transformazium and how to support it can be found @

"Efforts to use the arts to grow Braddock continue with the grand opening of the Neighborhood Silk Screen Studio, a community resource facilitated by the artist collective known as Transformazium. The collective is based in an old church it's renovating as an art center, but the silk-screen studio is in the ever-more-bustling Braddock Carnegie Library. At tonight's reception, enjoy silk-screening demos, an open house at the library's ceramic studio, and a conversation about art in the neighborhood featuring Transformazium's Swoon. A renowned, New York-based street artist, Swoon's beautiful life-sized portraits graced underused Pittsburgh buildings for months after an exhibit she did in Braddock a couple years back."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 7/24-25/09.

We're really smack-dab in the middle of Summer now. Embrace the opportunity to get out and about while the gettin's good. Here are a few ideas for your weekend plans...


Take a trip to Fun Land: The Art of Pinball! The Warhol Museum is hosting a reception (7-10PM, free admission) for the launch of two pinball machines designed and created by local artists Mike Budai and Brian Holderman. The shindig is sponsored by art-collective Unicorn Mountain and the Professional Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA). I've seen these functional art pieces in promo shots, and I'm confident that they'll be absolutely stunning in person. You may have to wait in line a long time to play them, but there will also be twelve more vintage games to stick your quarters in. See what the kids of today are missing.

Guest curator Katherine Talcott has put together the 13th Gestures Show over at the Mattress Factory (1414 Monterey St., 7:30-9:30, $10). Included within is John Riegert's Sublet, a "gallery-within-a-gallery". These exhibitions are always worth seeing, if only to have a look at the individual aesthetic of a single art-world personality. I've seen some I've liked better than others, but they are invariably interesting (and very crowded... so get there early if you want to take some time with the work).

And if you have the time to stroll by Future Tenant starting on Friday, you can see a window installation called Planet Dragulon! by Scott Andrew and Michael McParlane. If you want to know what it's all about, there will be an artist Q & A from 9-10PM.


All you really need to know is that Slim Cessna's Auto Club is playing at the 31st St Pub. Although Cessna himself has called the 'Burgh his home for more than five years, the rest of the band lives in Denver, and so their appearances in town are limited to 1-2 events annually. If you haven't yet had the honor to attend a performance of this Tent Revivalist stream of energy, spirit, and sound- by all means show up around 10PM and prepared to be altered forever. You may not get the chance to be told again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Youngstown Ohio Ranked By Entrepreneur Magazine As A Top City For Entrepreneurs

This post falls in to the "chaos" section of topics and is not directly about art.

Pittsburgh has been getting a lot of buzz from clueless national media who have "discovered" the city because of the G20 summit.

Hello-- Pittsburgh has had-- major leading universities
Leading medical institutions
Nationally known cultural institutions
A large number Of major corporate headquarters (once number three in the nation)
Lot's Of major charitable foundations
Many wonderful parks
A very historic and beautiful housing stock
A major airport

So, It's hardly news that Pittsburgh is now finally doing sort of OK--- the real question is what the hell took it so long. Few small cities have combined assets like these with poor economic growth.

Now, if you want to talk about a place left with a bag of lemons, it's Youngstown Ohio.

No national airport
Little known
Never home to many major corporate headquarters (and almost all of them are long dead)
Horrific industrial brownfield issues
No major foundation money
No major research universities
In state with poor political and economic climate

NO Pittsburgh Steelers!

So it's news that-- little Youngstown is on the map for it's small but thriving mix of business start ups.

"But in the last decade, something special has happened in this northeast Ohio city. Jim Cossler and his innovative Youngstown Business Incubator, which offers fledgling B2B software companies mentors, networking and services like office space and bandwidth for free or at a deferred cost, are taking Youngstown’s business future into their own hands. The incubator concept was revolutionary enough to help ignite a renaissance in this small city. “Youngstown fell so far, traditional community leaders threw up their hands and told the younger generation, ‘You guys try,’” Cossler says. “The new generation is envisioning things we wouldn’t have talked about 10 years ago.”

Read more:

By the way-- one could have guessed that something special was going on there by the proliferation of local blogs eager to Shout About Youngstown.

Joanne Mattera & Brent Burkett Walk The High Line

Photo By Joanne Mattera

Two other bloggers I like Joanne Mattera and Brent Burkett did posts that give a fuller record of the magical space the High Line is becoming. I hope very, very much,Joanne doesn't mind me lifting this one image from her blog.

I put this stuff up here because while Pittsburgh and NYC are very different, both share the post industrial waterfronts. Spaces like the High Line shows that there sensitive ways to get the benefits of both an urban and park experience in the same place because it's not just the nice views or nice park that make the High Line special,it's the energy and people of the city around it.(will do another post about that)

Joanne's post

Brent's Post, Brent's other post about Spencer Finch's work on the High Line

"The High Line is online, and it's pretty damn exceptional. The architects do a masterful job of marrying the previous to the present. The tracks and overgrowth comfortably share their space with newly manufactured lines and resting places. The future even gets a nod if only in the hope one can find in the competence, thoughtfulness, and vision exhibited on this elevated plane. Yes, this town has more to offer to its inhabitants than the Nets Arena."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Scribble Fest Video

Connie Cantor and some freinds did a great job of documenting the extreme drawing event at the close of her Moxie Dadda show.

Drawing as contact sport-Scribblers Vs. Erasers

Drawing as Dance Form

Drawing as Fashion Show

Connie will be behind some more scribbling and art events around town in the future.

Missed this event too cause of an allergy attack.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Objectified@ Harris Theater

Thanks again to Bittersweet Harvest for the heads up on the opening of a documentary about the process of designing the stuff that makes up our daily existence from the maker of the cult favorite film about a typface, Helvetica at Pittsburgh Filmakers.

Consultants' free-form brainstorming leads from a bristle-replaceable toothbrush to every conceivable variation on dental care. A computer designer waxes poetic on the multifunctionality of a plastic keyboard grid. A car engineer likens automobile models to classical sculptures while, to another, they symbolize drivers' visions of themselves.

But the biggest sea change in the nature of design comes from ecology and accompanying problems of recycling and disposal. As the camera roves the streets of Hoboken, N.J., past rows of discarded appliances half-covered in snow, Hustwit's film shows how artistic, sentimental, environmental and commercial priorities struggle for pre-eminence amid concerns for planetary survival.

Objectified runs July 19th-23rd @ The Harris Theater, Downtown Pittsburgh

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Look @ NY's High Line

One of the highlights of my NY trip was seeing the High Line close up.

While I'm a big fan of the so called "new urbanism" and it's interest in defending the age old interface of street design that has worked for thousands of years; I also always thought that new innovative design concepts and interfaces in cities did not always have to mean the destruction of the city's history, street life or human scale.

The High Line shows how coincidence and sensitivity can lead people to see a new use for something considered worthless. A lot of New Yorker's favored the creation of a large waterfront NY park, while other's including myself saw the value of weaving the area back into the fabric of the city, through more residential and mixed use development. Few realised that an awesome interesting natural park had been forming for years on an abandoned stretch of rail that threaded through the neighborhood which might offer the best of both worlds.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Some more videos on the High Line's history which shows the natural state only a brave few broke in to see.

Obviously, Pittsburgh is not New York and the perfect storm of pent up real estate market, prime location and all star support that made what one sees here happen isn't here.

However--- stunning spaces and good designs can create big support quickly. I'm sure most of the High Line's original big supporters thought the idea was crazy-- until they saw and experienced the space themselves.

Some more photos. The project is being done in stages with only the section fron 13th to 19th St open.

Just to set the scene here-- You are in a [park which is above the streets and walking through and under buildings. Pretty amazing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Herb And Dorothy

HERB & DOROTHY Trailer from Herb & Dorothy on Vimeo.

A new doccumentary is out about the librarian and postal worker who amassed one of the most important collections of minimal and conceptual art back when few people or major institutions showed an active interest in the work. Mostly they bought from artists who were glad that someone was interested in their work.Nut jobs like them make the world go around.

The saddest aspect of the current art market is the revelation of just how thin and shallow the real interest of most buyers seems to have been, particularly in the contemporary art market.

Pittsburgh Small Press Festival Schedule

Thought I would just post the full schedule for The Pittsburgh Small Press Festival as it's posted on their website.

I guess I have two questions which may be out of line-

The first is why an event like this would be scheduled for the summer, a time when a lot of the college students and energy is missing?

The second is why at least a few regional small presses from places like Ohio and West Virginia are not included. Wouldn't it help gain a wider audience and buzz as well as wider opportunities for contacts?

I really love Open Thread Publications Tri-State Chap Book Contest. One almost never sees any attempts to link outside a narrow definition of the Pittsburgh Region.

SPF Expo 2009

The Expo is the crowning event of SPF. It will feature two floors tables of small presses and vendors, as well as a full day of workshops, panels and readings.

The Expo will run from 12-6pm on Saturday, July 18th and Sunday, July 19th. The calendar of events is listed below.

Entrance to the main Expo is free, and a weekend ticket for events can be purchased for only $5!



Small Press, Big Impact?* (followed by Karen Lillis' presentation on the smallpresspittsburgh wiki)
Panelists: Adam Atkinson (Open Thread), Hattie Fletcher (Creative Nonfiction), Savannah Guz (author), Karen Lillis (LDP Distro, smallpresspittsburgh, Words Like Kudzu, author), and Scott Silsbe (The New Yinzer)

Starting a Small Press or Literary Organization
Panelists: Adam Atkinson (Open Thread), Kris Collins (The New Yinzer), Sue Rumbaugh (The Diner Divas), and Edward Simon (Thirty First Bird Review and Press)

Publication Design 101
Panelists: Scott Andrew (Open Thread), Stephen Knezovich (Creative Nonfiction), Deanna Mulye (LPPACS, BatCat Press), and a representative from Encyclopedia Destructica

4pm - 6pm
Bookmaking Workshop
Led by Deanna Mulye and her Bookbinding students from LPPACS



Tri-State Chapbook Reading and Signing
The winners of Open Thread and Encyclopedia Destructica's Tri-State Chapbook Contest read from their chapbooks, launched at the expo: "Cloud Shaped Room" by Matt Anserello (WV), "Life as a Crossword Puzzle" by Noah Falck (OH), and "Aleph in the Cellar" by Colin C. Post

Art & Small Press
Panelists: Scott Andrew (Open Thread), Curt Gettman (Unicorn Mountain), Julia Stein (Juliacks), and a representative from Encyclopedia Destructica

Women in Publishing
Panelists: Nikki Allen (poet), Margaret Bashaar and Laura Davis (Weave Magazine), and Mary Biddinger (Barn Owl Review)

Weave Magazine Writing Workshop
During this workshop we will discuss poetry and flash fiction (under 1000 words). Participants are asked to bring at least 5 copies of their work for feedback from Weave editors and other workshop participants. If you have never been to a workshop before, we will review our workshop format and flow, as well as etiquette. This is a great way to meet other writers in Pittsburgh and get meaningful feedback in a safe setting.

Update-- I can see from the website that publishers from outside Pittsburgh were allowed. Hopefully this will attract more of them in the future.

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 7/17-19/09.

Once again I have to apologize for being largely absent here at the blog this summer. Things are hectic, but I'm trying to keep up.

There is A LOT to do around town this weekend, and I'm sure to miss a lot. Here are some highlights:


If you have a functioning heart, you may want to consider stopping by Imagebox (4933 Penn, 7-10:30 PM) for a benefit for artist David Flynn. A pittance of 5 lousy bucks gets you beer, cookies, vegan pasta salad, and the chance to say that you are not wholly without compassion. Apparently Mr. Flynn has lots of hospital bills to pay, and is in desperate need of a replacement used laptop to replace one that was stolen. Bring your checkbook, as you wil have the opportunity to purchase some of his art as well.

The seasonal downtown gallery crawl is also happening Friday starting at 5:30PM. If you really want to find out what most of the folks in the region consider the "Cultural District" of the city, head for the smells and the traffic tie-ups of the Golden Triangle.

Meanwhile, at 8PM there will be hundreds of people walking around like zombies. But unlike every other weekend in the South Side, these will be in even scarier make-up. Celebrate the tradition of local legend Romero and shamble down Carson St. It's high satire, and there's supposed to be some party after the mass hike. Tell the entire drinking population of South Hills I said "Hi", and ensure that they continue to revel on the other side of town.


Here's a shout-out to one of the 'Burgh's most unusual couples- whether considered separately or (most appropriately) together... Phat Mandee and Tommy Amoeba's Traveling Variety Show is jumping off at the New Hazlett Theater at 10:30 PM. I can only guess about the strange and wonderful sights they have for the lucky ones that show up for this event.

Saturday and Sunday

The SPF EXPO, for Pittsburgh's pre-eminent small press festival, is happening this weekend. There are two floors of vendors, workshops, panels, entertainment, and food. It's $5 for a weekend pass. If you just want to walk around aimlessly without participating in any cool stuff, there is no cover. Venture forth to the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery at CMU's Purnell Center for the Arts (5000 Penn Avenue). Best of all, you can watch me making a fool out of myself on Sunday afternoon, trying to moderate my first panel. What do I know about "art books"?! Here's the detailed schedule for the Expo.


Head up Polish Hill (to the crossing of Brereton and Dobson Streets) for the 2nd Annual Art What You Got (Noon-8PM). Along with an artist and handicrafter's marketplace, you'll find ethnic grub like kielbasa and pierogies. Plus you can see some local bands, including one of my favorites- Timbeleza, a Brazillian drumming and samba outfit that got me moving one night over at Your Inner Vagabond. The organizers are convinced that they can avoid the hurricane winds that blew tents over at last year's gig. Go find out if they are prescient or merely plagued by hubris.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

James Howard Kunstler On Suburbia

Rust Wire posted this extended rant about Suburbia by James Howard Kunstler. Our recent economic troubles, focused on our real estate markets have everything to do with the nature of the spaces we have been creating; places that stand very little chance of having any value over any extended period of time.

How can anyone looking at the very typical spaces he shows think that a city made up of them could be either socially or economically viable?

Chalkbot Robot Prints @ The Tour de France

Pittsburgher's love of cycling,robots and conceptual art have combined to print hopeful messages on the roads of France during this years tour.

"The idea behind Chalkbot is simple. Anyone in the world can send a text message to the robot, and it will spray the message in yellow on the course of the Tour de France. Since it’s part of Livestrong’s “It’s About You” awareness campaign, the messages are supposed to be for hope and inspiration to riders and survivors of cancer.

Nathan Martin, CEO of Deeplocal and proud Pittsburgher, never halts at promoting his hometown. Even Chalkbot’s euro license plate says “made in pittsburgh.”

Heads up thanks to Bittersweet Harvest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artist shared studio space available in the Strip District

This is an interesting proposition. A building owner in the Strip District is turning a first floor flex space over to a group of artists. The space is in the Guardian Storage building on Liberty Ave @ 28th Street, which is a great location.

Richard Wierzbowski is leading the effort. At this point, nothing is cut in stone, although some things came out of the first meeting that make sense. The artists at the first meeting voiced concerns about the need for stationary storage. Other issues that were brought up made it clear that the space would be best for related disciplines.

Richard is very open to input from artists that might want to be involved in the space, to the degree that he has held one meeting and plans to hold another to learn about needs and concerns that would make this a successful venture. The next meeting is --

Thursday, July 23 at 4:00 PM
Guardian Storage
2839 Liberty Avenue inside the ground floor unit.
A representative of the developer may be present.

To RSVP please email Richard Wierzbowski at
A description of the space follows --
Available in the Strip District at 2839 Liberty Avenue near 28th Street.
Artists' studio and exhibition space for those working on paintings, mixed media , fiber, collages or sculptures of an intermediate scale. Commercial photography is not suited to this space because of space constraints. We will be in the space on August 1, 2009.

Newly renovated by the developer, Guardian Storage Warehouse, with freshly painted ceiling and three of the walls. The fourth wall is done in silver toned industrial metal. 12 feet high ceilings and free off street lighted parking with onsite security. Wooden floor and a new slate gray tiled bathroom with new fixtures. 2200 square foot with heat and air conditioning, exterior and interior lighting, electrical outlets, and a ventilation system for $50 per month, (utilities included in the rental fee) $100 security deposit with a 1 year lease. This offering is limited to 30 people. Indoor loading dock, ground floor space, great light and 24 hour security card access.

Art What You Got

July 19 marks the return of the Art What You Got festival in Polish Hill. This community festival is going to be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially with the mild weather we are having this July.

The festival has something for everybody. Music, food, art to look at, food, music, food, art to do and did I mention food? That's right, folks, I travel on my stomach. This year the festival includes the usual fair food as well as it's own specialties, like pickles on a stick. Unlike last year, this year will include ice cream as well as vegan treats.

I'm not going to go over the full roster of visual artists that will be at the festival this year, the list is pretty extensive. You can find it on the festival MySpace page along with links to the artists works. Following is a short list of some of my favorites from the list.

Maura Doern Danko .:Link:.
painting/cutouts/small jewelry made from paintings
Joseph Holtz Jr./Hands of Holtz
mixed media on glass
Yelena Lamm/Yelena Lamm Design .:Link:.
original paintings and drawings, limited edition art prints and notecards
Garick Tai-Lee and Augustin Pionati
Lauren Toohey .:Link:.
acrylic paintings and face painting

Art to do? Yep, there will definitely be some hands-on projects for all ages. The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, Project 53, Fossil Free Fuels and Carnegie Library will all be on hand with button-making, printing and all kinds of fun stuff to do. Carley Parrish will be doing a sign project too. One of the coolest projects in Polish Hill is the Harmar Garden. This lot was taken over by volunteers from the neighborhood and from the SCA. They will be having a couple of hands-on projects at the garden, ongoing throughout the day. Watch for the signs!

I did say music, didn't I? Following is the bands playing for the festival. The entertainment will be going all day. Links to the bands pages are provided on the Art What You Got MySpace page.

Joy Ike (singer/songwriter and band)
Ar Eigean Gael (tradiional Irish music)
Stan Szymanski (solo bass guitar praise and worship)
Chet Vincent and the Big Bend (rock, roots)
Joy Toujours (acoustic, kids)
Timbeleza (Brazilian drumming and samba)
The Incline (folk/rock)

Most important information --

Art What You Got
Sunday, July 19, 2009
12:00pm - 8:00pm
Polish Hill
3060 Brereton St
Pittsburgh, PA


Friday, July 10, 2009

Claes Oldenburg @ The Whitney

Finally back in NYC for a week of gallery and museum visits.
One highlight has been the Claes Oldenburg show at The Whitney Museum, an artist who in my opinion gets only a fraction of the recognition he deserves for being not only influential but also really,really good.

The show had a number of original objects from "The Store" and a full room of projected videos of early "Happenings".

The large moving sculpture, Ice Bag- Scale C was also on view with several related drawings.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

July Unblurred

Well, it was a holiday weekend. Some of the regular venues, like Imagebox and Modern Formations, were closed during the July Unblurred. Garfield Artworks was open, but they had this sign in their door that declared that Garfield Artworks was not a Shadyside Gallery. Huh, I thought. Penn Avenue? Check. First Friday? Check. Broken sidewalks and decapitated parking meters? Check and check. Well, I knew where I was. But, since I was dressed for work, I thought I'd better not stick my head in; I didn't want anybody to feel uncomfortable, right?

The good news was that Artica and Most Wanted Fine Art were open. Hot dog! Lots of people gravitated to Artica on Friday evening. Artica looked great, as always, with its eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles and fine art pieces.



LaVerne Kemp, one of the Less is More artists.


Jason Sauer and JR Holtz

Carolyn Wenning and Sam Thorpe were sharing the space at Most Wanted Fine Art. Below, Wennings Linger. I apologize for the glare. It obviously doesn't do the work any favors. This is such a nice evolution for Wennings work. Her palette has shifted into these blues. Also, I am struck by how much more narrative these two pieces are than the work I have previously seen.


Below, Sam Thorp's precious pieces. There is something oddly disturbing about these pieces. Also, thre is a lot of implied texture in the works.


Want to know more about Sam Thorp's work? Check out this short video --

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bob Ziller Blooms Birmingham Bridge

I was surprised early Sunday morning to get a call from my friend Bob Ziller, as virtually everyone I know would expect to hear back from me late in the afternoon rather than actually get me on the phone at that time. For some reason I was awake, and that was fortunate. I don't really enjoy documenting other folks' projects, but for Bob I'm usually willing to see what he's up to. So I pulled myself together and drove down to the Hive to find out what he had in mind. I quickly learned that it involved ladders, and secretly began to regret my decision. But when I found out what we were going to do, I got excited.

Bordering Fitzpatrick Street in the Hill District (a stone's throw from the house where Andy Warhol was born), there is this abandoned building that greets everyone at the end of the Birmingham Bridge. Bob decided to make some neighborhood improvements, and he wanted me along for the ride.

While I helped schlep some stuff back and forth (and manipulate some ridiculously unwieldy ladders), I discovered that Bob was perfectly capable of installing his work himself. That left me free to shoot a series of shots that ended up being pretty fun. Here I've included the before and after shots of the property. I can't imagine anyone would have any serious objection to this particular brand of public art. Bob plans to continue this activity, so please keep a look out for the next entry in the series.

In the meantime make it a point to travel northward over the Birmingham Bridge (from the South Side) sometime soon, because there is no guarantee this is going to last and it is really best experienced in person.

Photo Credit: David Grim 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Very Furry Fourth

I think this was fourth year Pittsburgh has hosted the largest convention of people with an um interest in animals; animal cartoons, animal games, Sci fi animals, stuffed animals and even a lot of folks who like dressing up as animals.Why? Best not to know probably, but one has to admit that they make a very nice picture. A lot of these suits are very fine and I think many of these characters and costumes are personal inventions. Some for example had invented sports team logos.

I finally got to see a little of this in person and me and my girlfriend got these shots of A Furry outside the hotel, a big furry drinking party outside of Tonic and a Furry Bunny on the Convention Center Walkway. (I will post that when I can)

The NY Mets who have been struggling with injuries were and were in town to do a make up game with the Pirates on July 2nd had the misfortune of spending a long night in the Furry Hotel. Broadcaster and former Met star, Keith Hernandez had this exchange with his broadcast mate the next day.

Hernandez: What are they called..?

Cohen: …wolves…

Hernandez: Ferriers..? All’s I know is I got in the elevator with four of them and the odor was horrific. [Camera shows the Pirate Parrot again.]

Cohen: Not the Pirate Parrot. He’s a natural mascot.

Hernandez: I had to get off. I’m not lyin’. I was on the 17th floor, goin’ down. I had to jump off on the 10th floor. I almost passed out.

Cohen: Guess those costumes don’t breathe very well. But it was, it was something, we walked into the hotel last night, comin’ from Milwaukee, and there was a, a, person in a wolf’s costume. And another person in a dog costume.

Hernandez: I saw a guy with, with his pet beaver. He had his hand, he was stroking it, he was petting it. [Long pause.] I’m serious! It was a, like a stuffed animal, and he was comforting it. Very bizarre.

Cohen: It’s a different world.

For the record-- all the furries I saw seemed very clean, from a safe distance and were all very happy to be photographed.

Jean McClung took most of these shots.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Wear and Tear @ Unsmoke Systems


It's too late to see this show. I was lucky enough to be in Braddock the night that Wear and Tear closed at UnSmoke Systems. I was there to see Braddock's bread oven in operation, which was really cool. Iwish I could get out there more often. It was a great space with a very active arts community.

But, back to Wear and Tear. Gavin Kenyon and Heather Powell were setting up an iron pour for the closing. There was a group behind the building breaking up old radiators behind the school, in preparation for the pour. Watching this was interesting. I don't think learned anything. I just really enjoyed the spectacle. Check it out; near the end there's a great sparkly flare.

Powell's work ranged across a lot of mediums and themes. I love that, yanno? It shows a mind that is always questing. The work below, Snow Angel; Compose Energy, Refine Matter, presented more mysteries than resolutions. I very easily lost myself in its contours.


Leap the Boundless, Complete the Space, also by Powell. For as massive as this piece is, there was something sort of whimsical about it.


This two-panel piece by Kenyon was just so very violent. Titled Slash, the work oozed entrails all over red velvet. One of the people attending the exhibit mentioned that the work seemed vaginal. Yep, I thought. But still, Gavin Kenyon's work is generally violent, with a plethora of sharp objects. It was very disturbing.


Sorry about the glare in this image. Also by Kenyon.


Powell and Kenyon are very active artists, there will be other opportunities to see their work. So, if you missed Wear and Tear, keep your ears to the ground.

Thad Mosley Talks About His Work

One of the coolest things in the two floor Thad Mosley Show at the Mattress Factory was the long film interview with him in which he talks a lot about his life as an artist and his work. I can't find anything but a few clips of it online but I thought the most interesting part was his thoughts on the connection between his art and music.

Thad is a "process oriented artist", which I think means that his work is not thought out before hand in any conceptual way, but builds out of the process of making with each piece feeding and riffing off the others as well as on the outside world- All the more so since many of his works involve the combining separate components.

His work also calls into question the weird relic of defining artists as "insider or outsider. Thad majored in I think, English Lit, and shows in the interview a knowledge of both visual art and extensive knowledge of Jazz music.He also talks a lot about issues of skill, chops and craft in a way musicians often do.

Please see this show which now has been extended till August 2nd.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pittsburgh Weekend Happenings: 7/3-4/09

The great spectacle of the summer is upon us this weekend, and folks are finalizing their plans. I've asked myself what level of engagement I want with the outside world, and I've decided to make sure all of the signal lights on my car work. That being said, there is enough going on right here in the 'Burgh to compel me to stay close to home... so we'll see.


Do you want to know how the L-Ville got hip? Soul City Tours aims to tell you in their own walking tour of the Design Zone. Check out the upholstery store and the cupcake shop. Find 0ut what they consider a "Turkish Harem". And take a moment to spill a bit of brew for the long lost businesses that helped the neighborhood get where it is today (the Digging Pitt, Culpeppers, Ray's, La Vie, etc.). Make sure your guides show you where the ER Room is. You locals know what I'm talkin' about. The tour gets underway at 1PM. Call (412) 508-2942.

Contrary to my expectations, there IS a scaled-down version of First Friday Unblurred on Penn this month. And there is a handful of "must-sees". ARTica (5110 Penn) has Susan Constance, Michelle Gregio and a host of others. Garfield Artworks has Katie Jarrett, Jesse Best, and Masha Vereshchenko (etc.). And a definite highlight will be Through the Window with Sam Thorp and Carolyn Wenning at Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn). Most of these events occur between 6 and 10PM, but show up at 7PM just to be safe.

Speaking of safe, Shadyside has their art walk Friday as well. I still can't understand why we can't stagger these monthly events instead of indulging in a pissing contest between hoods. WTF? Anyway, the Mendelson Gallery is featuring an opening for work by Ben Matthews & Alberto J. Almarza. There are some great promo images and a write-up at Bittersweet Harvest (a new blog dedicated to emerging artists in Pittsburgh- YAY!!). Also, you must stop in Gallerie Chiz (6-9PM, 5831 Ellsworth St.) for Laura Jean McLaughlin's Schlumpy Funk show. I feel like enough of an authority on the matter to say that she best embodies the virtues and attitudes as described in the manifesto of the same name.

Maybe a dance party is more your style. Brillobox has been bringing the good people Pandemic for several years, and for my money it's the most eclectic and interesting booty shake you'll find in town. Gypsy music, Brazillian Funk, and a whole lot of other stuff that will have you movin' even if you've never heard it before. Check it aht at 9:30.

The Big Butler Fair begins this weekend, and yes, it does have a demolition derby. See the link for details.


Also, the Regatta is going on- but it sucks, so don't feel bad about pretending it's not happening. I blame it for the historical atrocities that happened at the Point during the last couple years. Find someone with a deck on the South Side slopes, and watch the fireworks from there instead. If you really need to see Three Dog Night in 2009, then I really can't help you anyway.

If you must give in to cliché and head to Mt. Washinton, I implore you to take a stroll down Shiloh Street and peep the "Art Marketplace". I don't know who is participating, but at least you'll be shopping local. It runs from Noon to Five (Sunday too), and includes bands.