Friday, February 18, 2011

Not here yet, but keep eyes open for movie about 80 year old street and fashion photographer Bill Cunningham

To quote the 80 year old NY Times photographer Bill Cunningham " The best fashion show is definitely on the street, always has been, always will be". Mr Cunningham has been going around NYC for years shooting street fashion for the Times. He is a free spirit, and consummate artist. And, boy, does he look happy. This is a trailer for an award winning documentary film. The film had recent screenings in NYC, I don't know when the film ("Bill Cunningham, New York") will be in Pgh.
If you think you are only marginally interested in this.... definitely watch the trailer

another short on the film

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bigg Heff's Industry Tour Attempts to Create Opportunities and Connections In Braddock

Wow, I don't mean to make this an all Braddock station but I keep coming across things that seem interesting and relevant.

Not mentioned in the recent Times piece-and rarely spoken of in the media in any positive light is Club Elegance,(formerly Club 804) where several violent incidents have happened. The mayor has made it a personal mission to shut it down.

Might the place have some value as a potential connecting point? A former resident and several others have hooked up an event, aimed at helping local artists to interact with major label execs and show off their talents.

Featuring representatives from Def Jam, Interscope, Sony, Good Music, Fontana/Universal and EMI Records, the tour gives artists who pay a $100 entrance fee a chance to network with and perform for executives.

The tour also will take artists to local music studios and allow them to perform during a closing showcase at Club Elegance, 804 Braddock Ave. The showcase winner will receive several prizes, including the chance to perform in another city on the tour's next stop.

Read full article for details.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Extensive, Updated, Cleveland City Guide on Design Sponge

Design Sponge has an updated city guide to Cleveland, posted by a young store owner who knows it well. It's broken down by neighborhoods with a few nice photos.You could spend a day looking at everything and it looks like a good few weeks checking it all out in person.

Many here, who want nothing to do with the so called "mistake on the lake", should consider the harm done by advertising Pittsburgh as the best house in a slum neighborhood. Especially, since most of us really don't know Cleveland.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Editorial in PG by David Conrad: Civic Arena: Crime Scene

This piece which although it pulls too many punches for my liking, is one of the few opinions sensitive to the real history and effects of the Civic Arena--and how it was built.

"Yes, the arena is an important symbol, an historically crucial object. Because it's a modernist masterpiece? I'm no architect, but I'd have to say, "No."

It's important because it's evidence in a crime scene. It's a weapon left on a battlefield. And this sword should be made into a plough share.

We should never forget what happened on those 28 acres. A strong, nationally known working-class neighborhood was wiped away. A neighborhood that gave Pittsburgh and America a symphony of cultural giants -- musicians, actors, merchants, sports heroes and civic leaders -- was chopped off at the knees."

I partly bring it up cause it relates to my views about what happened in Braddock.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Balanced, Realistic View of Life In Braddock: Mayor of Rust

I stopped talking about or linking to the stream of Braddock stories a while ago, as they became more and more shallow, dreamy and unrealistic.

A new, long in depth story in the latest NY Times Magazine gives a better idea of the issues and personal/political dynamics that might be going on.

Still reading and rereading with hopes of doing a longer post.Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 2/11-13/11.

c. David Grim (taken 1/11/11)


I know A LOT of people work during the day (me included). But if you can find the opportunity to stop in at the University of Pittsburgh for the "I Made It!" market, you will probably be pleased and astonished by what local crafters have to sell in the 'Burgh. Check it out in the Student Union starting at 11:30AM. If you can't make it, show up on Saturday at the Glass Lofts (5491 Penn Avenue), where the crafty folk make another appearance starting at noon.

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is unveiling multiple exhibits, and 5 bucks gains you entry into each and every one of them. CMU prof Golan Levin has audio-visual work, Heidi Bender shares her installation art, and Seth Clark is (once again) displaying his decaying Pittsburgh paintings. Aaron Henderson will share his video presentations examining state and county fairs, and Anna E. Mikolay, Ian Page, Henry Simonds and Gerald Van Scyoc round out the evening with a variety of pieces using a range of media. Hours are from 5:30-8PM. For more info... Rick has a nice write-up at the Pittsburgh Art Blog.

And Wild Card in Lawrenceville (4209 Butler Street) is celebrating the work of Ryder Henry with "4 Lydia Was…was, is, and will be a great space nation". Henry is noted for his meticulous creation of space age imagery in paintings and sculpture, so why not join him (6-9PM) in a virtual interplanetary migration characterized by vibrant colors and fine detail?


My first inclination is to completely avoid any event that features "speed dating", but I am curious how that concept gets translated in an "arts environment". Fe Gallery (4102 Butler) brings whatever pleasures that forced small talk within specific time constraints can deliver starting at 7PM. File this one under "holiday spirit". The 5$ admission fee covers refreshments.


This weekend marks the opening of a show inspired by noted local educator and artist Samuel Rosenberg at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill (5738 Forbes Ave.). The former Carnegie Tech professor's students have contributed a host of pieces for this group exhibition documenting Rosenberg's vast influence. Reception March 13.

Correction--The Rosenberg's Students show which I am for sure going to is March 13.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Pittsburgh To Cleveland Monthly Art Recap

Very sorry, I have let the blog slide so much but thankfully a few people have at least kept it on life support.I've been busy and also lost on twitter, which has captured me with it's easy style and immediacy as a quick, open way to spark conversations or transfer info.

Also, in the time blog has been around, the almost complete lack of online coverage has been filled by many awesome sources from POP CITY, to Steeltown Anthem, The Pittsburgh Art Blog City Creative to the trusty, I Heart Pittsburgh. IMHO, what this blog can add to this might be a greater regional awareness.

So I'm promising to bring back the monthly regional rundown of shows and events outside Pittsburgh from Johnstown to Cleveland.


Cleveland Museum Of Art (some highlights)

Kim Beom: Objects Being Taught They Are Nothing But Tools

"First solo museum exhibition in the United States of the work of Korean artist Kim Beom. The exhibition includes three new mixed-media installations and selections of drawings from 1994 to the present. It will be on view in the museum’s 1,800-square-foot project gallery from November 13, 2010, until March 6, 2011."

CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers

"During Op’s heyday in the 1960s, several artists who studied and worked in Cleveland became internationally known for their vital contributions to the movement. In addition, Cleveland was home to the only artist collaborative in the United States devoted to Op. Drawn primarily from the CMA’s permanent holdings and supplemented with loans from private collections, CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers showcases work by key figures in the local Op Art scene during its formative years."

Indian Kalighat Paintings

"This exhibition of Kalighat paintings will allow visitors an opportunity to view these rarely displayed Indian paintings, considered to be the beginning of modernism in Indian art. Originally created as souvenirs for nineteenth-century tourists, and regarded as a response to the sudden prosperity brought to Calcutta by the East India Company, the innovative and influential paintings are now highly regarded elements of museum and private collections. Motifs explored in the artwork include religious themes, Western material influence, and commentary regarding the changing social order. These highly stylized and brightly colored paintings also mock the newly affluent and depict contemporary newsworthy figures."

The Cleveland Museum has one of the largest and strongest asian art collections anywhere and there are several more Asian art exhibitions up. See all

MOCA Cleveland

Teresita Fernández : Blind LandscapeOn view January 28th, 2011 through May 8th, 2011

"Teresita Fernández is internationally known for immersive installations and evocative large-scale sculptures that address space, light, and perception. Made with polished stainless steel, glass, and other materials including plastic and graphite, Fernández's abstract sculptures incorporate reflection, light, and shadow in poetic, sometimes luminous formations that suggest natural phenomena. This survey presents a spectrum of the artist's most recent and ambitious projects created between 2005 and 2010. Featured among the exhibition's ten works is the artist's latest graphite and steel sculpture." (These things look really cool)

Lorri Ott : passive voicesOn view January 28th, 2011 through May 8th, 2011

In her new body of small-scale assemblages, artist Lorri Ott transforms synthetic and natural materials into poignant, evocative subjects. Through a process that is both calculated and spontaneous, Ott combines glossy colored resin with mundane found objects like rags, asphalt, and cardboard to create subtle but potent contrasts in form, technique, and medium. In rehabilitating banal objects to new life, Ott gives each work a unique yet ambiguous voice that supplants her own.


Spaces Gallery

The VaultSeptember 10 - February 13, 2011 closes next week!

Machine Project :Camp Cleveland
February 11-April 1 Opening February 11

"Machine Project operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from the Santa Monica beach to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition they recently developed a year long project exploring how visitors experience the Hammer Museum. Within the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Machine Project is a non-profit community space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food. Within the Echo Park storefront as well as in projects held elsewhere they produce events, workshops, and site-specific installations using hands-on engagement to make rarefied knowledge accessible."


Butler Institute Of American Art

The museum also runs a number of satelite exhibit spaces (Why is this so rare?) but honestly, their website can make it hard to know whats up where.

Sydney Cash: Sculpture (Beecher Center, Youngstown)

"This exhibition features sculpture in which glass panels act as lenses that has reflective silver and/or copper imagery. This lens is mounted perpendicularly onto a wall or into a corner, and then illuminated with carefully targeted light. This results in reflected imagery above and cast shadows below the lens. These light sculptures change and intensify the background color, animating a wall's vertical plane."

OK, pooped, will do better next month.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Pittsburgh Weekeend Art Events: 2/4-5/11.

c. David Grim (taken 10/17/10)

Because the Cultural Trust had the foresight (finally) not to compete with the regular onslaught of art events that occurs on every first Friday of the month, you have an outside chance of seeing most of what is worthwhile on the local arts scene this weekend.


The long-anticipated "Surface and Rigor" show is opening (6PM) at the Mendelson Gallery (5874 Ellsworth Avenue) in Shadyside. It features the abstract works of painter Mark Gualtieri, photographer Rick Byerly, and painter Will Giannotti. These three artists are long-time staples of the 'Burgh arts scene, and it's been awhile since any of them have exhibited in town. Stop by and exchange some words with them before heading over to Unblurred.

And while we are on the subject of the monthly Penn Avenue Corridor extravaganza- make sure to stop by the Pittsburgh Glass Center for 'TENacity", its tenth anniversary show. There will be 31 glass artists presenting their work. Meanwhile there is a mother/daughter show featuring the namesake and progeny of the Irma Freeman Center (5006 Penn), new work by Brad Heiple and Katie Watson at Modern Formations (4919 Penn), and collages by Seth LeDonne at ImageBox (4933 Penn). Most Wanted (5015 Penn) has Chatham University students, and the latest addition to Unblurred is My Place on Penn (4900 Penn)- a venue selling "art furniture".

Listen... I think it's important to recognize the achievements of young local artists. Unblurred has always fulfilled the function of providing venues for unknown creators to get their work out in front of many viewers. CAPA seniors Kimi Hanauer and Emily Hutchings are getting that opportunity this month at the misleadingly-named International Children's Art Gallery (5020 Penn Ave). Give the youngsters some love.

Additionally, if you somehow find yourself with available hours during the workday (from 12-6PM specifically) and easy access to the South Side, stop by at the "Historic Home of Phillip Benz" (2112 Sarah Street) to see the figure paintings of Mahalah McWilliams and Sam Thorpe. Similar hours will be extended throughout the weekend. The artists will be on hand for discourse at 1PM and 5PM.


For years now, Bloomfield gallery Boxheart (4523 Liberty Avenue) has been (rather quietly) attracting artists from all over the world to show on its walls. This month it is bringing the work of Hong Kong-native Chung Fanky Chak to Western PA. His series "The Boxes" are photo collages examining visual stereotypes about urban environments. Stop in for a reception starting at 5PM.