The Three Rivers Arts Festival begins today with a "massive party beginning at Katz Plaza and spreading across the Pittsburgh Cultural District." I haven't made it a point to attend this event in a couple of years, so I have no idea what type of amusements or refreshments will be offered, or even if it will be worth your time to deal with the inevitably large crowds. Only you know how to figure out your risk/reward equation for this situation. I do know that DJ Zombo will be spinning tunes down at Point State Park at 5PM, which suggests to me that the egregious rape of our historical treasure has finally concluded (and naturally I mean no offense to Mike, who is a lot of fun behind the turntables). There's also reportedly a traveling fresh water aquarium and an "eco-arcade" down there.
Fifth Avenue Place hosts a show of work by those affiliated with Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Meanwhile the Three Rivers Arts Festival Juried Visual Art Exhibition will be located at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education Center (805 Liberty Avenue). If I do go downtown, I'll be sure to stop at these destinations. And the sculptural work of the recently-deceased John Metzler of the Urban Tree Forge will be prominently featured at the 929 Liberty Avenue Building. John was an immensely talented artist (as well as a truly outstanding individual), and attending this show will be a great way to commemorate his life.
Of course if you save the festival for another day, you can attend Unblurred on Penn Avenue (Garfield/Friendship) instead. At Modern Formations (4919 Penn) you can see "Quel Dommage!"- the Artwork of Siblings Beth and Charles Steidle, which the artists explain is inspired by "all the little sadnesses and minor disasters accumulated over time". And it's now (officially) the LAST show at Fast>>fwd (and I won't miss typing that awkward formulation in these posts), so I suggest you take the opportunity to wish the gallery a fond farewell during their reception for "Wallspace", a group show of paintings.
The annual Summer Social goes off between 5:30-9:30 at the Sprout Fund headquarters (5423 Penn). This is your chance to meet the board members of a community organization providing funding for some great murals around town, as well as a multitude of projects that would never get done if not for their generosity and hard work. Celebrate with live entertainment, drinks, and other quality refreshments, and stop by to see what's in the works.
Richard Schnap's collage is on the walls at Garfield Artworks, and there's a poster show at the
If you venture beyond the concentrations, you can still see some art. The aforementioned Zombo will probably be back at his gallery in Lawrenceville at some point to host Eric Luden's "In Stereo". Luden is a regular at the Zombo Gallery, and if you enjoy illustration you could do a lot worse than attending this "retro pin-up show". Apparently Luden will share the space with illustrator Kris Boban. It starts at 6PM. And the provocatively-titled "Secrets: Nudes from the Muslim World" by Greg Williams will have its opening reception at the Mendelson Gallery (5874 Ellsworth Avenue) from 6-8PM.
Finally (as if all of this weren't enough) there is an arts auction to benefit Walk Now for Autism Speaks at the Spinning Plates Artists Lofts (5720 Friendship Ave). DJ Malls is providing music, and you get food and drinks for the $5 door donation.
The place to be on this evening is the Panza Gallery (115 Sedgwick Street, Millvale) for an opening of Olga Brindar's charcoal drawings dealing with sleep and death. I've had an opportunity to sample a couple of these pieces, and they are simply breathtaking. The reception runs from 6-9PM.