Yay. Someone had the forethought not to schedule the Downtown Gallery Crawl on a First Friday! That means that art-lovers don't have to make some ridiculous decisions about what they "don't have to see" thisd weekend. This can only be a good thing.
Will there be multi-media installations at Wood Street (601 Wood St.)? Why yes, of course. This season features the transormative powers of Czech-born Jan Tichy. Apparently he's into shadows and light. You can take the time, do the research, and find out what it all means... or (like most people) just go and see whether or not it "looks cool".
You can see Jill Larson's work at 709 Penn Avenue. She has put together a site-specific installation meant to comment on her divorce. Larson was the founder and driving force (until quite recently) behind the Fe Gallery in Lawrenceville. Now it seems she's finally finding time for the purely personal. Ian Brill has a light installation next door.
There's a group show at Future Tenant (819 Penn), curated by Jersten Crosby. One-time Pittsburgh art stars Thad Kellstadt and Jesse McLean are participating. Jill Lena Ford displays her work above Tonic (971 Liberty, 2nd fl.). Meanwhile "Keepsake from the Cloud" at Kurt Shaw's gallery (805 Liberty Ave.) features reproductions from the British Library's album (China, 1750) of the same name.
Handmade Arcade will be set up at 939 Liberty where you'll have the opportunity to turn your old t-shirts into totes (whatever they are). And it's not too late to see the Ally Reeves's-curated group show SCALE at SPACE. Heidi Tucker is among the stand-out artists in that show.
Finally... if you really want to light up your night, check out Steel Town Fire at the Katz Plaza (7th and Penn). You'll see choreographed fire art utilizing props as diverse as poi, snakes, swords & other burning items. Performances will be underway at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 pm.
"We couldn't make people go home after the Festival last year" said Christine Bethea GA/GI Festival Director, "so why not do it again?" On Friday and Saturday April1 and 2 Penn Avenue once again goes eco, art and technology awesome with some of the Southwest Pennsylvania's most talented people. Artists and performers; inventors, techies and greenies; tree huggers and robotics makers will populate Penn Avenue from the 4800 to to 5490's with demos, dance, film, robotics, exhibitions, green ideas, fashion and LIVE performance.
Friday evening will be part of the art district's monthly "Unblurred" art crawl with Saturday dedicated to families, which will include "Birds, Trees and Robots," eco/tech fun for kids @ the Union Project in Highland Park, a Fashion Artists Talk @ the Pittsburgh Glass Center and I-Made it Market presenting "I re-Made it SMART @ the Glass Lofts.
Jill Larson's ( curator, artist and founder of Fe Gallery) exhibit opens at 709 Penn Ave Downtown from 6-8. Entitled "After the Sky has Fallen" the exhibit is a mixed media installation. Some of the works will be subtley effected by the every ten minute vibration that the Penn Ave space is known to have. Expect interesting and thought provoking work well installed and displayed. Come on you don't REALLY want to sit home again just cause it's cold!!
Technically, Unblurred lies dormant during January. But this "First Friday" is far enough away from New Year's Eve to leave room for a few events along the Penn Avenue corridor. Garfield Artworks (4931 Penn) features the work of photographer Lexi Shapiro, who concerns herself with images inspired by some of the greatest cults of all time. This content is right up my alley, so I have some amount of expectations for this, even if I've never seen Shapiro's work. Like most Unblurred events it runs from 7PM to about 10PM.
Meanwhile Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn Ave) offers up a selection of stuff from artists it plans to show throughout 2011. Some might call it a "preview" (7-10PM). Grand Snafu is providing musical accompaniment. Come out and show your gratitude for this gallery's year-round commitment to the arts.
In Lawrenceville, Wild Card is hosting an exhibition of rock show promotional art with the work of sixteen different artists- Andre Costello, Andy Scott, Ben Stewart, Christian Breitkreutz, David Pokrivnak, Gian Romagnoli, Jes Lavecchia, Jon Hemmis, Katie Gould, Maggie Negrete, Matt Ketchum, Megan Herwig, Nate McDonough, Ron Copeland, Seth Ledonne, Steph Neary. It runs from 7-9PM. Appropriately, there will be live music from Trash Knight and Means To An End (if you're into that sort of thing).
Laurie Mancuso's The Shop (4314 Main St., Bloomfield) will be having a reception for the photographic work of Brooklyn-based artist Akil Harris from 7-11PM. He's apparently obsessed with trees and leaves.
Is it really THAT difficult to make it over to Homestead for an art opening? Well, it has been for me. Will this weekend be marked by my inaugural trip to Artspace 105 (105 East 8th St.) for the opening (7PM) of "Manufacturing Identity"? The work of Chris McGinnis, Aaron Miller and Daniel Kuhn "reveals the interrelated nature of mechanized society through industrial petroglyphs and images of popular culture, raw materials and assembly line production." Or so their press kit suggests.
And because I personally like the venue and the people involved in running it- I think you should check out the paintings of John Frevyogel & Johnny Fry at Artforum Gallery and Tattoo in Lower Burrell (2603 Leechburg Rd.). I know it's a lot to ask to suggest you go see the work of some guys I'm not even familiar with... but really, it's not that far and you are BOUND to have a good time (6-9PM). Besides, there is a drive-through espresso joint right down the road to get you fortified for your drive back to the city.