Thursday, September 13, 2012

Unblurred - Bits and Pieces

It was a dank and sultry night, up on Penn Avenue last Friday. Nobody was moving very fast; but why would they? It wasn't hot, but it was really humid. I was there early and left early, so I missed the throngs that usually come out after the sun goes down and it starts to get a little cooler. There's always at least a show or two that deserve special attention during the month, and I'll be coming back in a day or two to talk about one. But there's also a lot of other programming that doesn't fit the exhibition bill that are worth mentioning.
Catapult Pittsburgh
Catapult Pittsburgh is a co-working space that opened on Penn Avenue earlier this year, hosting Designers, Developers and Indy Workers. Catapult has also stepped up with a monthly Show and Tell which is a great way to start out your Unblurred evening. Last Friday, the lineup included Josh Lucas of, a crowdsourced political advocacy platform company, Deena Blumenfeld from Shining Light Prenatal Education, Lara Schenck, designer turned improv theater performer, and Norm Huelsman, who previewed Pittsburgh’s premiere new media conference, Podcamp Pittsburgh 7.
 Stuff n Such Society 
There's something new happening at Most Wanted Fine Art. In the back of the gallery is a nondescript door that leads to a basement shop. Partly a retail store that... "specializes in memorabilia of years gone by and part gallery/event space focused on the Art and Community of Collectible Culture." What did I see? Tons of comic books, action figures, and vinyl albums and miscellaneous items of popular culture. Worth checking out, if you have a penchant for nostalgia.
 Awesome Books 
Awesome Books is, well, AWESOME! As with any independent, used bookstore, half the appeal is taking the time to peruse the shelves for just the book to bring home. Awesome Books is great fro that. They also have a selection of small press poetry chapbooks and novels from local authors. They do have a downtown location, but the original shop on Penn Avenue is the one with the cats. 

JR Holtz 
Along with these venues, Penn Avenue has a very active sidewalk scene during Unblurred events. Last Friday, Artica had a DJ in front of the store, a couple of drummers had set up in between two buildings near ImageBox, and JR Holtz had his table of painted glass pieces on the sidewalk in front of Most Wanted Fine Art.

Pittsburgh 2nd Annual Zine Fair 
Also of note are two upcoming events. I heard about the Zine Fair when I stopped in at the Pittsburgh Beautification Project. This, by the way, is a really great active space, with several artists working in all kinds of media. The place is usually packed floor to ceiling with art, and they also host guest artists for the Unblurred event. One of the guest artists had some handouts about the Zine Fair, which really sounds great. You can find out about the activities, vendors and ongoing events over at their site. Briefly --
The Pittsburgh Zine Fair is back for it’s second year and is hosting a greater number of regional zine-makers and artists with featured appearances from the Carnegie Library Zine Collection, Just Seeds, Cyberpunk Apocalypse, Assemble, and The Roboto Zine Library. The event takes place on September 22nd 11am-7pm at Carnegie Mellon’s Wiegand Gym in the University Center. It is a Free Event open to the public!
Vehicular Abstraction: a Juried Art Car Exhibit: Public 

On Saturday Oct 6, 2012, Most Wanted Fine Art turns Penn Ave and Winebiddle into an outdoor car-sized art gallery, with the event Vehicular Abstraction. From the event description --
Vehicular Abstraction is a free 4-hour art car exhibit and community event with the focus on licensed, registered, and insured vehicles that artists have permanently altered. These are not parade floats or puppets; the unique aspect of this medium is that they bring art every day to the city streets. Celebrity Judges, Live art performances, Local vendors tables, food sales, and children’s activities will also be happening as part of the event. The outdoor exhibit is suitable for all ages and includes indoor art displays at participating Penn Ave Art Galleries.
But wait! There's more! Most Wanted Fina Art is accepting vendors and entries for the event, there's tons of information on their event page on how you can participate. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to the October edition of Unblurred.

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