Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First G20 Chaos, Now Viagra Movie Restrictions

Umm, maybee hooking up with the world ain't worth it. Seems the latest film project downtown, a romantic comedy involving a Viagra salesman staring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal caused delays.

"The shoot took place along Smithfield Street between Forbes Avenue and Strawberry Way."

Commie and Anarchist weirdos, two Steelers losses in a row, a seventeenth straight Pirates losing season and now more trouble caused by Hollywood film stars.

October Regional Arts Roundup

An attempt to give a few highlights of shows in a slightly broader region mostly focusing on new exhibits and events opening in October or late September.

In Cleveland

The Cleveland Museum

Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889
October 4, 2009–January 18, 2010

This landmark exhibition gathers about 75 paintings, works on paper, woodcarvings, and ceramics by Paul Gauguin and his contemporaries to explore how the artist created his signature style during the year 1889. Co-organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

The exhibition will also focus on Gauguin's early prints.

MOCA Cleveland

Hugging and Wrestling : Contemporary Israeli Photography and Video
On view September 12th, 2009 through January 10th, 2010

Julian Stanczak : Recent Work
On view September 12th, 2009 through January 10th, 2010

Julian Stanczak's work helped to define the Op, or "perceptual," art movement of the 1960's. Since that time, Stanczak has continued to make groundbreaking work primarily here in Cleveland, where he was a professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1964 - 1995. Visually stunning and metaphorically rich, Stanczaks newest works will be featured this fall in MOCA's 12th PULSE exhibition, a series presenting outstanding artists working in our region.

Artist talk on October 4th

Spaces Gallery

The Plum Academy
"An Institute for Situated Practices"

September 11 – October 23, 2009
Opening Reception: September 11, 6–9 p.m., free

Don't ask! Kind of a free form group of random readings, screenings, tours and talks.



Nearly 50 years ago CAP began a tradition of identifying and honoring Cleveland’s outstanding artists on an annual basis. Since then the Arts Prize commissioned an Arts Prize medal, launched a scholarship program and established the tradition of holding an annual awards event to honor the accomplishments of Artists in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland Arts Prize Winner’s Collaborative will showcase Cleveland’s best in the category of visual arts with a free public gallery exhibition and include two weekend workshops in the categories of design, literature and music and dance.


Akron Art Museum

The Legend of John Brown by Jacob Lawrence
October 16, 2009 - February 14, 2010

Judith Bear Isroff Gallery

"This fall marks the 150th anniversaries of John Brown’s anti-slavery raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and his December 2, 1859 execution. To commemorate this famous Akron resident, the Akron Art Museum presents selections from Jacob Lawrence’s celebrated print series The Legend of John Brown. Lawrence, one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, was also the first African American to depict the story of the controversial white abolitionist.

Lawrence’s screenprint series is from the collection of the Akron Art Museum and will be joined by related images and artifacts from the Summit County Historical Society and the Special Collections Division of the Akron Summit County Public Library."


Familiar Faces:
Chuck Close in Ohio Collections
September 5, 2009 - January 3, 2010


The Butler Institute Of American Art

Sep 06, 2009 Through Nov 29, 2009
Jasper Johns: Works on Paper 1994-2007 (Youngstown)

Presented in conjunction with Matthew Marks Gallery, New York City, this exhibition offers recent works on paper by America's master of the avant garde. An exhibition catalogue accompanies this show.


The Erie Art Museum

Selections from the Permanent Collection
of Edinboro University

Main Gallery
September 25, 2009 through January 4, 2010

"The exhibition, curated by Bruce Gallery Director John Bavaro, and organized by Erie Art Museum Director John Vanco, features a large sampling of lithographs, etchings and drawings by some of the most prominent names in Western art, including Picasso, Dali, Redon, Goya, Degas, Matisse, Chagall and many others. The exhibition also features excellent prints by Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kunisada and other Japanese masters. Some of the notable pieces featured in the show include a platter by Peter Voulkos, an original 1960’s era drawing by Peter Saul, a signed “Liz” silkscreen by Andy Warhol and two signed lithographs by Kathe Kollwitz.

Edinboro University’s collection is strongest in printmaking, but also includes sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, and fibers. The collection is eclectic, with works ranging from 19th and early 20th Century lithographs to Pop Art prints and Photorealistic silkscreen pieces. It also contains selections from prominent Edinboro art alumni and purchase award acquisitions from the former Edinboro Print National Competition. Acquired through purchase or private donations, the artwork serves the campus and surrounding community through availability for study, teaching, exhibition and institutional loans."


Westmoreland Museum Of American Art

Four Perspectives on Fifty Years
Sunday September 27, 2009 - Sunday January 03, 2010


James Osher: Three Seconds with the Masters
Sunday September 27, 2009 - Sunday January 03, 2010

Carrie Furnace Project Opening Reception October 1st, Thursday 6-9

I'm gonna hype this show a bit more than usual because it's very likely you haven't heard of it or possibly of the venue it's in and also because it looks like a very, very good show.A combination of good artists dealing with a great subject and exhibiting in a great space.

The general theme of the show, is four artist's response to the amazing, Pittsburgh relic Carrie Furnace with work ranging from photography to sculpture.

Photo by George Mendel

George Thomas Mendel

"George Mendel is a freelance photographer with over 20 years of experience specializing in architectural and corporate event and location photography. His images have appeared in Architectural Lighting, Western Pennsylvania History, Pittsburgh Metropolitan, Pittsburgh Professional, and Mt. Lebanon magazines, to name a few. Mendel's images featured in the book "Death by Renaissance" and shown at The Silver Eye Gallery are now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution's affiliate museum/library, the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center."

George will be exhibiting a series of large scale panoramic photo works taken at the Carrie Furnace site.

"Jean McClung is an artist who lives and works in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She has exhibited extensively and was recently featured in a group exhibit at Agni Gallery in N.Y.C. Jean had a one-person exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in 2006. While she is primarily a painter, her work since 2001 has mainly involved photographing street art and graffiti in urban areas. These photographs are then combined with painting and drawing, and used to create illuminated "paintings" and sculptures. These works are intended to celebrate the complexity, spontaneity, intensity and individuality of the urban world."

All of the exhibited works are derived from photo's taken at the Carrie Furnace site.

"Norman W. Schumm started photography as a freshman in high school and estimates that, since 1946, he has taken over 100,000 pictures. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 1959, he has spent many hours photographing the different moods of the city itself. Many of his Pittsburgh pictures grace the walls of Pittsburgh homes, offices, and distant cities where former Pittsburghers now live. His pictures have been published in books, posters, calendars, and post cares. Stefan Lorant, noted author and pioneer photojournalist, chose Norman to take photographs for three different editions of his book: "Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City."

Norman photographs primarily with a 4x5 view camera and uses both color and black & white film. He personally controls each step of the photographic process from the initial exposure to the developing and making of both color and black & white prints in his darkroom. Norman's personal preference is for the full tone, expressive black and white prints such as those taken by Ansel Adams."

Dee Briggs is a sculptor currently living and working between New York and Pittsburgh. Born in 1968 near Pittsburgh in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Wellsburg, West Virginia, Briggs moved to New York in 1986, and has recently returned to Western Pennsylvania. Briggs has two degrees in architecture from the City College of New York (BA '97) and Yale University (M.Arch '02), and has worked with several leading architecture firms in New York . After 15 years in architecture, Briggs began making sculpture full time in 2002. Most recently, she has been teaching in the Schools of Art and Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University.

Briggs works mostly in steel and bronze at various scales, and does all fabrication work herself. Currently, her work is rooted in the exploration of chirality, or 3 dimensional handedness, pursued through the study of basic principles of geometry and symmetry.I am very interested in the resulting relationships of line and plane, and the way in which each composition describes or implies space. Although my work often appears chaotic and whimsical, it is, in fact, highly ordered.

Really a whole bunch of reasons to see this show if you can. Dee Briggs and George Mendel are showing works of a size not easily shown in a lot of Pittsburgh venues; Jean hasn't shown in a while and is exhibiting new works inspired by Carrie furnace and I think Norman is showing a considerable body of amazing photos of the region's steel heritage.

More info and images can be found on Pittsburgh Grapevine

More info about Carrie Furnace and Steel Heritage can be found on Rivers Of Steel.

Open Gallery Hours:
October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 &17 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm
& by Appointment through www.RiversofSteel.com 412.464.4020

Pump House & Water Tower
880 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heads Up: October 9TH Open Screening @ Melwood Screening Room

Pittsburgh Filmmakers welcomes all PF Students, Alumni, and PF/PCA Members to present their short films and videos at the Melwood! No censors, no rules, except as follows. (1) Each artist may present ONE work of up to 15 minutes. (2) Formats: DVD, MiniDV, 16mm, Super 8mm. (3) Please label the media, and attach your name, email and phone number.

How to submit: October 2-8, come to Filmmakers and drop off media; October 9, just bring your film or video to the event but note this is first come, first screened and last piece will starts no later than 10:00pm. Drop-offs may go to our receptionist's desk or to Faculty Mailbox (Room 209) on 2nd Floor.

GET:Larimer – Green Environmental Tourism – G20 Summit Tour

Obviously, this event has passed, but I hope to hear more.

The Post's, City Walkabout blog said the event was pretty well attended.

"Saturday update: It's exciting to report that, while many students in Oakland were just hanging out, possibly clueless, a dozen or so students among 35 people came out for the tour. On the hour-long walk around Larimer, we saw site after site that stakeholders have changed from grit to green -- community gardens and urban farms --"

While really very few people claiming to be awake, slightly informed or literate have much excuse for thinking Pittsburgh is a dirty smokey depressed city as a whole, it does have some neighborhoods, like Homewood and Larimer, which are thought to have almost no bright spots. A tour like this helps show that even this is a myth.

"GET:Larimer will be highlighting an existing community and how a group of individuals and organizations with shared vision can leverage the natural opportunities of blighted areas through sustainable economical development and social entrepreneurship to create real, positive, and lasting change.

While Larimer is a small neighborhood in the East End of the City of Pittsburgh, the solutions and ideas that will be described, demonstrated, and discussed can be applied to communities around our country and throughout the world. For this reason, GET:Larimer will also stress the idea of application of these concepts outside of the community of Larimer coupled with the knowledge that a community can be reborn through the determination of group of individuals seeking neighborhood improvement."

There should have been a lot more tours of this type during G20.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How's The Bridge Project Going In Cleveland?

Pittsburgh & Cleveland have similar histories, I think as blue collar company towns where decisions were handed down from bosses on the top, who funneled too many resources on Marquis projects (The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Cleveland Museum) while ignoring or destroying the special history or places that make each city unique.

For two evenings this weekend Cleveland is letting artists of all sorts take a crack at using a mile long abandoned lower level of a major bridge as a stage.

The Cleveland Festival of Art and Technology, “Ingenuity” will expand beyond its weekend summer festival and transform one of the most fascinating under-used urban spaces in the City into a center of art and performance on September 25 and 26, 2009. The streetcar level spans approximately one mile and includes, at the west end, a series of archways and rooms that will be animated by art installations, exhibits and performances. Key personnel include Director James Levin, KSU Urban Design Planner and Pop-Up City Director Terry Schwarz.

Ingenuity will venture out of its Public Square – PlayhouseSquare district and explore an urban space that lies central to Cleveland with spectacular views of downtown, the Cuyahoga River, the Flats, Lake Erie: the streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge, immediately below and parallel to the vehicular level. Ingenuity will transform this span, about 50 feet wide in most sections, almost a mile long, with fabulous nooks, crannies, tunnels and cisterns at both the east and west ends, with art installations, exhibits and performances, many involving technology.

This experience will take place Friday September 25, opening at 4 pm, closing at midnight and continue Saturday September 26, from noon to midnight. It will be free to the public and include arts and crafts vendors, food and beverage vendors (including beer and wine), buskers and solo performers positioned across the great span of the bridge with the more complex installations and performances taking place at either end. The event will include, as at all Ingenuity events, most exhibits and performances are family friendly and each night closes with a musical event

Follow the project

#bridge2009 on Flickr
#bridge2009 on Twitter
#bridge2009 on YouTube
Facebook Event
Facebook Fan Page
Facebook Group

This site looks to have plenty of history and wow factor! Would love to hear from those who attended or participated.

Four Perspectives on Fifty Years Opens @ Westmoreland Museum Tonight

Although the Westmoreland Museum, is only fifty years old, it's well on the way to creating one of the more important collections of American art anywhere. Partly, this comes from the region's wealth and old money, as well as that a lot of the collection was built during a period when American realism, "Regionalism" and early modernism were considered unimportant. Already, it houses probably, the best and deepest collection of art and fine crafts made in Southwestern, PA.

As part of it's 50 year birthday, they invited four different art lovers to roam their store rooms and pick of their favorite works.

"A collaborative exhibition curated by friends of the museum—an artist, collector, art critic, and patron—all taken from the Museum's permanent collection. This exhibition will offer the unique perspectives of each of the guest curators while bringing together works from the collection that are seldom seen together. The guest curators: Adrienne Heinrich (artist), Marty O'Brien (collector); Graham Shearing (art critic); and Anne Robertshaw (patron)."

Take my word for it both Graham Shearing and Adrienne Heinrich have an "eye".

Also on view will be a show by Pittsburgh artist, James Osher which deals with the way we look at paintings in museums called, Three Seconds with the Masters.

"With the understanding that the average visitor to a museum or gallery spends more time reading labels than viewing the artwork, the artist has intentionally selected lengthy descriptive labels that require more than three seconds to read. The dynamic created by this work expands on the concept of "word as art" and while the labels do not have any contextual relationship to the paintings with which they are paired, they pose the question of how much curatorial influence they really have over the subject of the work."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bob Ziller's Pittsburgh Beautification Project

I found this video along with some nice shot's of Bob Ziller's community project to pretty up the burgh on Bittersweet Harvest which is one of the best single sources of dope on the goings on here.

Some of these are on active businesses that boarded up for the G20.

This is agood example of the kind of small grass roots projects aided by The Sprout Fund.

Tim Kaulen Artist Of The Year Opening Tonight @ PCA

Finally, Tim Kaulen has been named the PCA's artist of the year. Tim has really made himself the city's defacto king of outdoor sculpture in spite of almost never receiving official commissions. Obviously, a lot of his work deals with and plays with the materials, history and scrap from the region's industrial past. He and other members of The Industrial Arts Co-Op have been placing temporary and often not exactly legal exhibitions of large scale sculpture in abandoned industrial sites in places like Akron, Ohio, Pittsburgh and even Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I tried to dig up a few videos that document a few of Tim's projects, the most amazing of which might be the Carrie Furnace deer. See a Gigapan of it here.

The Owl
Temporary Installation - Carrie Furnace
Rankin, Pittsburgh, PA (image from IAC site)

The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 2009 Artist of the Year Exhibition offers exciting challenges. It is my intention to propose an equally creative solution using elements of sculpture, both organic and architectural, recycled materials and objects, and the play between history and the contemporary world. I am honored to present the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and surrounding communities of Pittsburgh with the opportunity for the public to engage in outdoor sculpture and this historic setting at Mellon Park.

I wish to create a series or family of large-scale public sculptures using classic American wooden and tin toy designs as the central theme. The grounds of Mellon Park are an excellent option for this concept as it flanks environments where play or play-like activity occurs on a daily basis. A final, topiary element will be used to physically blend the structural geometry of the toy theme to the landscape itself, giving the pieces a slow but changing personality.

The relationship this particular site has to the 19th century urban industry lends itself to connecting with mechanical toys of that era in both a whimsical and celebratory manner. There is a natural fit and relationship between the two, the site and the concept, which will further be exemplified through the work itself as it celebrates the glorious past of Pittsburgh, the evolving present, and the exciting future of urban spaces and man-made elements fusing with the natural world.

Sign piece on construction site Penn Ave in Bloomfield 2005.

The 2009 PCA Artist of the Year, Tim Kaulen, and the 2009 Emerging Artist, Dylan Vitone, are the featured exhibits this fall at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PCA). Both shows are on view from September 25 through November 8. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 25, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm. The reception is open to the public; a $5 donation is requested; free to members.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Breaking News: Reverend Billy Was @ Lawrenceville March

As I suspected, Reverend Billy Talen was at this afternoon's G20 protest in Lawrenceville. (The AP says he led the march)

How did I provide you with this scoop. In my past life as an artist in NYC, I became friends with some artists and poet types who were close friends of his. This was during the general 1998-2001 period of the WTO protests in Seattle which I heard about.

Anyway, I have a general agreement with Reverend Billy. The idea that a time when many tapped out consumers are finally recovering from an irresponsible, unsustainable credit binge and choosing to buy less. While many lenders are recovering from the Fed's credit crack are lending more rationally, that the federal government, already having racked up 70trillion or more in hidden liabilities is now putting the nation on the hook for more of the same is simply amazing.

I'm a fraid that given his associations, that while I am highly entertained by him, I think his credentials as a peace activist to be thin.

Last Chance Special Offer

Tear gas in the air. Don't wait anymore. First rule of capitalism is rising demand = higher prices or shortages. I'm safe at undisclosed location watching TV in my Survivaball.

myG20 Protest Update 2

I won't keep on putting these things up. As stated before, the blog is not a good source of updated info at this point. I'm at home in Shadyside and have no intent of wandering too much till this evening and I haven't been monitoring all twitter tags aside from Myg20

The Post Gazette seems to have fairly accurate coverage.

Lawrenceville protest march was broken up by tear gas @ around 37Th and Buttler. A large group of protesters then headed up Liberty into Bloomfield. I hear helicopters but not enough activity to indicate much beyond the normal police state G20 vibe.

The Big O (not to be confused with the dirty O) is now in town.

myG20 Protest Update

OOPS, shouldn't have gotten involved in this. In the time since the last update crowds have grown downtown.

One protest is against the current regime in Ethiopia and looks considerable.

Also, the protest march planned to start in Lawrencville started in Arsenal park, and was quite a bit bigger than it looked at first, It's now heading across the 40th Street bridge with plans to come into downtown across a bridge, I think.

Last tweet on MYg20 said "The Line Is Drawn".

The rest of the tweets are by paid city or foundation employees beating off over positive press articles.

G2O Art & Protest Update

First of all, this blog is not an up to date source of all G20 info. With that in mind, here are a few updates from the MYg20 twitter feed.

The unpermited march that implied it might be a violent attempt to disrupt the conference appears very very small.

The Mattress factory updated shots of the march by Burmese monks to protest the oppression in Burma which did reach the no-go perimeter downtown. This march I think made no direct reference to China.

A much more taboo gathering happened in Oakland, with a protest by Free Tibet demonstrators. Tibet is an absolutely off the table topic. Not only does the G20 include China,which considers Tibet a province, it also includes India, which has given sanctuary to the Dalai Lama and shares a militarised and disputed border with China. In 1962, a bitter border war was fought between the two countries resulting in the deaths of thousands.

Go to Myg20 for updates or follow tags like #myg20, #g20 #Pittsburgh on Twitter.

two pieces of awesome from the G20.

The Mattress Factory Museum of Art hosting the Burmese Monks for their marches in Pittsburgh. Their photostream capturing marching, speaking at the Cities of Asylum space - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattressfactory/

* * *

Point Park University students dance flash mob welcoming the G20.

Burmese Freedom Protest March & Press Conference

Sorry, I meant to post about this before, Obviously the film screening was last night and the press conference is over. The Mattress Factory people just loaded some great photos on Flickr of the march to protest and raise awareness about the criminal regime that controls Burma.

This protest which will I think also go downtown can't be something The G20 leaders want to see. It's very hard to believe that either the regime in North Korea or the one in Burma would exist in their current form without the tacit support of China. Yes, Burma also has oil, which has drawn amoral and IMHO, very unwise investors. Any deal signed with criminals like this is hardly worth anything.

There will be a film screening of Burma VJ at the Mattress Factory on Wednesday September 23rd at 7:00 PM, followed by a reception and Q&A with a monk from the Saffron Revolution. The next day, Thursday September 24Th, at 9:00 AM a press conference will be held at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh with writer-in-residence Khet Mar and Burmese monks. This is a unique chance to meet Burmese monks from the frontline of a revolution, and to learn more about City of Asylum/Pittsburg’s newest writer-in-residence, Khet Mar. I hope to see you at one of these special events!

Survivaballs @ G20 Protests

Yes!! Some really cool G20 protest art has come to Pittsburgh! People are pulling out all the stops like jumping off bridges and making points with art.

One of the best has to be the "Survivaball" spoof product designed by a group of artist/activists who call themselves "The Yes Men". You might have seen their "retrospective" last year @CMU or seen their work in a group show @ The Warhol.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Will Reverend Billy Be In Pittsburgh For The G20?

Already, mostly sick and bored with the protest antics. Where's Reverend Billy? He and Peter Schiff warned us of the troubles we were getting into. Hopefuly he will come to protest the bizarre actions of global governments to keep already over leveraged and broke shoppers in the stores.

For your G20 art fix, see G-SPOT at Fe Gallery

The inimitable Fe gallery is presenting the exhibit G Spot. It includes a number of artists from the recent Visionary Arts Festival. This will be another terrific exhibit from Fe.

From the Fe website:

An exhibition of artwork at Fe Gallery in Lawrenceville
As the world descends on Pittsburgh for the G - 20 Summit, we invite you to plunge into G-Spot
September 24 - 26, 2009
Artwork by artists from the Visionary Arts Festival

Thursday September 24, 7 - 9 pm: OPENING RECEPTION

Exhibition Hours
9/25 12 - 4 pm9/26 12- 4 pm
Fe Arts Gallery 4102 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA, 15201 412-860-6028

Artists in the exhibit include;Alberto Almarza,Ian Green,Kyle Ethan Fischer,Randie Snow,Garry Piles,Christine Bethea,David Grim,Deanna Mance,Matthew Marrino

Arabella Proffer @Box Heart Gallery

Splendor and Safety Pins is a charming exhibit. The works are very sweet, small portraits of imaginary luminaries. The first thing thought of when I walked in the gallery was steampunk. from the artist statement --
Channeling costume history of the Renaissance through the Georgian period, each highly detailed painting is Proffer's depiction of old world aristocratic decadence; these mannerist gothic and punk portraits of imaginary nobility explore the roles that beauty, vanity, entitlement and virtue play in shaping aesthetic outcomes. Concerned with identity, first impressions, and the ideas and representations of counter-culture and tradition, each piece explores how piercing, tattoos, and punk rock style might have been adopted by aristocrats and social elites as part of their decoration for serious portraits to be left as a reminder of their legacy.

The paintings' descriptions were captivating, with a short biography of the individuals pictured. The exhibit is up through October 10.

September 15 - October 10
Splendor and Safety Pins
Box Heart
4523 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224
P. 412.687.8858
Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 1 pm - 5 pm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Pittsburgh Parking Day Map

View 2009 Pittsburgh Park(ing) Day in a larger map

The second Pittsburgh Parking Day on September 18th was a relative success. There were a good number of projects spread around and a lot of symbolic support from sponsors and politicians.However, from what I could tell the event still has failed to spark serious publicity about Pittsburgh's antiquated and regressive land use and parking policies. Put on a Green T shirt, take the picture, next event! That's Pittsburgh.

Here are some images taken by Chuck Alcorn , People used their spaces for demonstrations, some as mini parks, a few sold stuff and many handed out literature about parking day and their own organizations. I only managed to see the three spaces on Craig street.

New Pittsburgh Transplant's Tour Of Detroit

PE in Detroit from Promiscuous Eye on Vimeo.

I got an email from the women who made this video who, it seems has recently moved here and will be acting as an art advisor and roving curator.

"Ingrid LaFleur Whitehead is local contemporary art advisor and independent curator specializing in emerging artists of the African Diaspora. Whitehead is a recent transplant from Detroit, Michigan."

The video gives a nice snapshot of some of the people that felt motivated and inspired to do creative stuff in the city.

Some Trouble With My Twitter Updates

I really can't explain it but something has gone wrong with the twitter update feed on this blog and for now it's been removed. Tweets that seemed even weirder than normal were not mine.

I will try to fix this

Monday, September 21, 2009

What I Learned On Artscan: Some Shows Of CMU Alumni In September

In spite of the current hype, the vibe I get from most Pittsburgh artists is one a general lack of opportunity and isolation from the global art world (and art market) in spite of living in a town with several college art programs. Pittsburgh is a nice place to live and work as an artist and also to get your legs with local show but it remains a tougher job to build a career here than need be.

CMU, has something called Artscan, which tries to list some of the shows and projects it's alumni and professors are in at any given time. I seriously doubt they list everything. One or two of these shows have just passed since they don't list in the summer and a few will open in October.

Here are some selections. One notices off the bat that almost everything current professors are doing gets exhaustive coverage. Mostly I will focus on some out of town shows people are in.

Kim Beck, Associate Professor of Art, was awarded the 2009 Prix Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica for her project with recent Visiting Faculty, Osman Khan, "when laughter trips at the threshold of the divine." She spoke in the Ars Electronica symposium and exhibits at the OK Center for Contemporary Arts in Linz Austria. Beck's work is also featured two shows in Baltimore, MD: a solo exhibition titled Ownership Society at the Julio Fine Arts Gallery at Loyola College, as well as in In Our Nature a group show at the Maryland Art Place. There will be an Artist Talk / Reception Thursday, September 24, 4-6pm at Loyola, and a reception at Maryland Art Place the same evening from 6-8pm. Her work is also on view in Reanimation Library: Center City Branch at Vox Populi in Philadelphia, PA. This summer she created an installation at Incident Report in Hudson, NY.

Bob Bingham, Professor of Art, Robin Hewlett (BFA '04), and Ally Reeves (MFA '08) are exhibiting the 'One Mile Garden' project at the Coleman Center for the Arts, in York, AL. The exhibit is a culmination of a two year project to catalyze a food production and distribution system in small town USA. The opening reception is September 25.

Susan Schwalb (BFA '65) exhibits her work in Re-Inventing Silverpoint: An Ancient Technique for the 21st Century at Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY,

Deborah Kass (BFA '74) participates in The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women, a group show at Cheim & Read, NYC, through September 19.

Charles Ritchie (MFA '80) presents a solo exhibit Charles Ritchie: Books and Pages, 2004-2009 at Bravin Lee programs in NYC, opening October 23 - November 28

Laura Sharp Wilson (BFA '87) presented a solo show, Spiritual Showgirls, at Friesen Gallery in Sun Valley, ID, July 29 - August 31.

Castaneda/Reiman (BFA '92) present Sculptures of Paintings of Places We've Never Been, a solo show at DCKT in NYC through October 11.

Carolina Loyola Garcia (MFA '00) is working in collaboration with several artists and curator Ima Picó on Transfer Lounge, a project that opens September 17 - October 23 at Forja Arte Contemporáneo in Valencia, Spain and on October 2 at SPACE in Pittsburgh

Mark Baugh-Sasaki (BFA '04) was awarded a residency to create a permanent installation at I-Park in Connecticut, September 2-16. There will be an opening reception on September 19 and a catalog produced at the end of the residency

Full list here. List is only of CMU alumn, staff or faculty.

People's Park and Other Protest Films with Tom Palazzolo @ Melwood Screening Room Sept 22

Filmmaker, Tom Palazzolo will be @ The Melwood Screening room in Oakland to introduce a selection of films which capture the trials and turmoil of the late sixties and early seventies.

"Assembly Line — This intimate and starkly photographed narrative tells the tale of factory worker Eddie Ryan who throws himself into the neon glitz of downtown Philadelphia on his night off, thinking a wallet full of cash will buy him excitement, companionship and meaning in life. To his distress he finds all the invites and come-ons to a good time are a con and a fraud – he can spend his money but it buys him nothing, and he manages to connect with no one. (Morton Hellig, USA, 1961, 30 min)

America's in Real Trouble — This free-wheeling reportage from the street captures all the disconcerting contrasts of patriotic Vietnam-era parades as they move in lock-step through the poverty-ridden ghetto of Chicago’s Near Northside. The soundtrack is exclusively composed of music that was heard over the radio that very same moment in time, mostly country songs that celebrate the conservative virtues of God and Country. The result is an unmediated "snapshot of the moment" that resembles a home movie in its naive pacing and composition; but it is precisely this casual and spontaneous approach that manages to capture the mood and mentality of the day more effectively than all the staged Hollywood spectacles. (Tom Palazzolo, USA, 1968, 15 min)

People's Park — This fiercely partisan version of the People’s Park story captures not only the famous incident – the street battles between the people of Berkeley intent on defending a park they created and the police and national guard acting on behalf of the property owners – but also a radical style of filmmaking that sought to shed light on aspects of the story ignored by the major media outlets. This is protest cinema at its most compelling. (The San Francisco Newsreel Group, USA, 1969, 25 min)

Love It/Leave It — This film fluidly weaves sound and image together to create a hallucinatory montage of urban America at the height of anti-war demonstrations. Equal parts totalitarian nightmare and candy-coated consumer fun fair, like most of Palazzolo’s work, it’s devoid of overt editorial comment and full of ambiguity – a searching to capture the spirit and times and people without imposing the filmmaker’s own political agenda. (Tom Palazzolo, USA, 1970, 15 min)"

Don't Miss The Harry Grant Show @ Be Galleries

The images and more info about the Harry Grant show @ Be galleries are finally up.
I'll just link to them since there are 52 images and also because this gallery can be a little uptight about these things.

This work is not as anal as it looks, there's a wonderful balance between tight control and playful improvisation that runs through these works, which also are quite painterly.Harry obviously has a highly tuned design and color sense.

One is reminded very much early baroque music and great jazz performance, with Harry riffing and improvising from set compositions.

Really a must see show.

“Harry Grant (aka Henry Grant) (1922- ) is a life-long resident of Pittsburgh. He was graduated with a degree in architecture from Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon University) in 1947.

He has designed numerous buildings including the former Westinghouse Energy Center in Monroeville, the new Canonsburg hospital and the west wing of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg. He has painted throughout his architectural career, and his art works are included in several private and corporate collections. In 1999 he was one of nine artists selected to celebrate the Fortieth Anniversary Invitational at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

Harry Grant has retired from the practice of Architecture but has continued to work on his other art.”

All proceeds benefit the Paul E. Mochnick and Harry B. Grant Fund for the Visual and Performing Arts at the Pittsburgh Foundation

Click here for images and go to Harry Grant Exhibition.

The show ends Saturday, September 26Th.

We Still Need Bloggers

It's kind of official- Pittsburgh now has way too much stuff going on be covered by one or two unpaid people. It was always my hope that we could have a large number of people- at least 10 posting on all the diverse events, opportunities and issues in the Pittsburgh regional art scene.This would then allow us time to redesign the blog into a possible magazine format and perhaps figure out ways to get a little compensation for our efforts through advertising.

I am trying very hard to keep the energy going through the G20. As thousands of reporters, bloggers and others turn their googly eyes and web browsers in our direction, it's important they get a good look at all the great things going on here.

We really need posters! See the side for details and if you think you can do one post a month on here about Pittsburgh's broad cultural scene- send an email.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

John Morris: Some Studio Shots

One of the great potential things about blogs is the chance to see artist's work in progress. I'd like that to happen a lot more on here. I'm also not sure where things are going. As a somewhat successful artist in NY, I got pretty pressured into "making product". I feel a lot better not worrying about that.

Here are a few shots of stuff happening in my studio in no particular order. The work is very much in process and I'm a bit shy about telling you what I'm doing. Basically, I'm working with acrylic paints.

I really think it would be great the other blog contributors, Susan, Merge, Jessica and Jean felt free to post more of their own work. A lot more thoughts on that later.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

North : A Comic Artists Guide To The North Side

Artist: Tom Scioli

Rob Rogers and all the funny, warped and twisted cartoonists and comic artists behind the Toonseum are hard at work with all kinds of projects, like the Drawn To The Summit Show @ The Warhol and now a Comic artist's guide to The North Side.

"The Northside has a new visitors guide, it’s free to the public and drawn by some of Pittsburgh's best cartoonists! The guide, called North, features short comic vignettes of great Northside destinations such as The Warhol, PNC Park, and The National Aviary. North offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to find new places to visit, or to be reminded of old favorites. The guide is available by request for personal use, or for mass distribution.

Funded by a grant from the Charm Bracelet Project, the ToonSeum partnered with 18 cartoonists (plus three writers) and 15 organizations to create a comprehensive visitors guide to the neighborhood.

Artist: Ed Piskor

Each artist covered a popular venue or historically rich area. After countless pen strokes and hours of researching, North is ready to launch. Distributed free of charge to Pittsburgh hotels, visitor’s centers, schools, and more, the guide will allow Pittsburghers new and old to enjoy the experience that is our Northside.Pittsburgh cartoonists gathered together to generously donate their talents to North. American Splendor contributor Ed Piskor, editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers, Paulette Poullet, and THE PLAIN JANES creator Jim Rugg are just a smattering of the talent involved in creating North."

To have North distributed at your place of business, or to learn about advertising space in future issues of North please e-mail Joe Wos at joe@toonseum.com.

"Our mission of the ToonSeum is to celebrate the art of cartooning. Our goal is to promote a deeper appreciation of the cartoonists and their work through hands-on workshops, community outreach, cartoon-oriented educational programming, and exhibitions or original cartoon art."

The Toonseum is coming soon to a spot downtown as a separate institution

Paula Poundstone @ Carnegie Music Hall Library In Homestead Tonight

Mostly, I'm doing this post about a comedian performing @ The Carnegie Library in Homestead because it's an excuse to mention the venue.

Any list of "must see" places in the Pittsburgh region would have to include a few of Carnegie's libraries in places like Braddock and Homestead. The term, "library", doesn't describe most of them well. These were really "community centers", and almost always included a gym, a library collection and reading room and a music hall or auditorium of some kind,usually built with the finest workmanship and design. Often they included showers for workers who didn't have them at home.

The Libraries demonstrate Carnegie's somewhat contradictory views towards his workers. As a boy who pulled himself up from poverty by his own bootstraps and lacked a lot of formal schooling, he valued self education and continuing learning. Likely, he felt most of his employees were not interested or destined to be more than "manual laborers", who needed to watched to keep them from drink and vice. But, at the same time, Carnegie felt there were some who would take to books and opportunity if it was offered and knew that his mills and the future of his company depended on finding, nurturing and promoting them.

The Libraries embody these values, combining a place for kids to exercise, be entertained, stay "off the streets" and away from "vice", and perhaps read if they were so inclined. I say, kids because very few of his workers would have had the free time or energy to enjoy the Library and might visit once or twice a year.

She is number 88 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest standups of all time,[citation needed] and number 7 on Maxim's list of "Worst Comedians of All Time".[4]

Here's a nice article about the Restoration of The Homestead Library Reading Room, with images that give some idea of it's beauty.

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Any discussion of the region's revival, (the Mon Valley is hardly there yet.) should give credit to the deluxe assets left here by folks like Carnegie.

Here's Patti Smith @ The Homestead Library

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Things Happening This Weekend

It's happening more and more that Merge, doesn't catch a few of things that interest me with his weekend picks. Here are a few things that caught my eye, both on and off his list.


Parking Day Pittsburgh As part of a global event to both have fun, and increase awarness of the precious urban space used for car parking, activists, artists and others have set up mini parks in parking spaces.

I saw three parks in Oakland on Craig St, by Kiva Han and Caliban Books, and one in done by the Mattress factory downtown. Also, I think there are several others and keep an eye out for something called a parkcycle. What's going on in these parks? most have chairs and some kind of "grass", at least one has robot and Gigapan demos and one is selling cool clothes.

(Ooops, there was something that past! (I was gonna tell you about The Taste Of Lawrenceville benefit for FE )

The Warhol Opens Drawn To The Summitt

"Join us for the opening celebration of the Drawn to the Summit: A G-20 Exhibition of International Political Cartoons exhibition. The cartoons in Drawn to the Summit highlights the work of the leading cartoonists from the G-20 nations and provide an alternative perspective on G-20 themes such as the global economy and its impact on the environment, human rights, world trade, etc. The exhibition will be on view through October 18, 2009.">"Drawn to the Summit: A G-20 Exhibition of International Political Cartoons exhibition. The cartoons in Drawn to the Summit highlights the work of the leading cartoonists from the G-20 nations and provide an alternative perspective on G-20 themes such as the global economy and its impact on the environment, human rights, world trade, etc. The exhibition will be on view through October 18, 2009."

Merge mentioned the Dividing The Goose Show @ Future Tenant

Dividing the Goose will explore the role of fairy tales in shaping artistic creativity. We ask the artists, as well as the audience, to set aside abstract, conceptional notions of art and think back to their childhoods. Fairy tales served as ways of escapism, fueling our imaginations. They fascinated and frightened us. The lessons imparted to us from magic mirrors and big bad wolves were more real to us than reality. Some tales added a humorous dimension to our everyday lives. Fairy tales have endured countless interpretations through literature, film and art. It is the essence of their timelessness that allows us to never tire of them. The artists in Dividing the Goose will retell a fairy tale existence in a modern‐day world.


Both Friday and Saturday, one can see short plays by local,regional and national playwrites generally performed by local companies in Mckees Rocks.

Pittsburgh New Works Festival is dedicated to fostering the development of original one-act plays. PNWF is an annual event. Each September, 12 new one-act plays are produced by different theater companies during the four weeks of the festival.

Cost: The cost is $10 for a single ticket per performance or $25 for a festival pass.

Main Festival – Week Two - September 17 to September 20

Down on Delancy
by Bret Sarlouis
Produced by McKeesPort Little Theater
by Robert Isenberg
Produced by The Theatre Factory
Partners in Crime
by Carol Mullen
Produced by Summer Company

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Of course you or your bosses normal mode of transport is a motorcade, your options are likely a lot greater as more and more venues open up for private events, grand openings and press tours.

See Merges list of events here, including the Unicorn Mountain fundraiser party and the Obscurae Art Exhibit and Art Lottery in Braddock.

Blogger Resources Offered in Downtown Pittsburgh During G20 Summit

The following was posted on Pittsburgh Bloggers and is copied in full, on the assumption they want to pass it along.

Obviously, it's targeted mostly @ protest participants and members of the informal press covering the G20. But it may also be of interest to local bloggers or any others with an interest in covering the G20, or using the G20 to promote/debate local issues.

I really don't know squat about technology, but I suspect it's a pretty powerful tool for those who use it well.

I don't know Facebook, barely know blogger and am just learning to use Twitter right.

I posted about tagging your tweets #myg20, but other heavily searched tags will be #g20, #pittsburgh, #g20 voice.

An organization named G20Voice is offering blogger resources in downtown Pittsburgh during the G20 Summit. Here are the details they provided, including how to register ahead of time:

We've been busy putting together a lot of resources and briefings for bloggers at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, and we're hoping you're planning on joining us. Whether you received official accreditation from the State Department to get inside the Convention Center or not, you can get in close to the action with access to wifi, electricity, food, and (oh yeah) government and policy experts by being a part of G20 Voice.

G20Voice is part of an ongoing project that gives everyday people the chance to participate, engage, and influence the powers that be, via the blogosphere. Its purpose is to ensure that those who have been entrusted with power don’t forget that we need to end poverty and inequality and deal with climate change. Bottom line: If you want to cover the G20, we want to get you access and help your coverage get noticed.

Here are some details about what we're doing in Pittsburgh. (Continue reading)

G20 Voice is scheduling policy experts and government leaders to answer your questions about the policy discussions and decisions taking place. The briefings/interviews will take place in the August Wilson Center September 24 and 25. We'll be posting the schedule as soon as the details are finalized. The other groups using the Center will be bringing in experts and leaders as well, multiplying your access to answers.

We're partnering with USCAN and other public interest groups to provide a G20 Media Center for bloggers in the August Wilson Center. Even though it's just a block from the Convention Center, it is outside the security zone, meaning you don't need State Dept. clearance to get inside. It will be open for your use September 24 and September 25 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. We will serve a continental breakfast and a second all-day meal of sandwiches and salads.

The new G20 site will will be posting G20 Voice coverage of the event. If you're a participating blogger, we'll post a bio of you, linking to your blog, and post teasers of your posts that link to your site for the rest of the blog. We'll also be providing Flickr pix and YouTube video for you to use in your blogs, and promoting G20 Voice bloggers via Twitter, Facebook, and other G20 Voice accounts.

If you're planning to cover the G20 in Pittsburgh and would like to participate in G20 Voice, fill in the form here for G20 Voice credentials to gain access to the August Wilson Center Media Center: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEVkRnROckkzZVRqMTdfai1fYm5XSmc6MA. Make sure to check the box for G20Voice on the form. We're don't intend to turn away any serious blogger, but we'll need your name, your photo, the URL of your blog--just stuff like that.

If you participate, we'll ask you to display a little "G20 Voice Contributor" badge on your site and provide short teasers we can display on the G20 Voice site to promote (and link to) your posts. If you tweet, it'd be nice if you used the hash tag #g20voice too.

If you know of any other bloggers planning (or wanting) to cover the G20 in Pittsburgh, please forward this e-mail to them.

Thank you for your attention. I hope to see you in Pittsburgh!


Julie Roth
G20 Voice Organizer
Oxfam International

Pleasures of Pittsburgh: Beautiful Buildings of Every Era

Pittsburgh has an amazing wealth and diversity of building styles. This was brought home to me recently when friends of mine, very very well traveled friends, visited John and I from D.C. They were clearly astonished by the wealth of styles, periods and the overall abundance of the architecture here.

And perhaps even more telling, John and I were fighting (politely, but still) in the car about "lets take them to see this building!" " No, lets take them to see this neighborhood"." Oh no, how will we have time to do this!!!??" "Lets go here instead...they can't miss that!! "

Then we ran into a friend...and she started to insist we go see her new favorite thing. Sigh. We have an embarrassment of riches!!

If you have lived here for a long time, it can be easy to take this for granted.

But it is an everyday joy that other cities would kill for.

Shall I give some examples?:
Downtown: Within about 10 small city blocks you can see the fabulous and famous Oz-like PPG Building (Philip Johnson); an exquisite Greek Revival Style building at 209 4th Ave. from 1836, near PPG (left over from a terrible fire in 1845 )the Burke Building;,the old County Courthouse (a famous example of the architecture of Richardson, fortresslike and medieval); the old Alcoa building (with a mid level view of the city to die for if you can ever get into the 360 degree conference room at the top); and the previous US`Steel building, now tagged UPMC, an amazing and majestic hunk of steel and bolts. And I could list many more in that same area.

Shadyside: Houses: All shapes , all sizes, all conditions, all eras. Apartment buildings (same). We are a bit weak on contemporary, perhaps. But come and just take a walk. Mansions, student housing, personally I love the variety. Standouts are the Gwinner-Harter Mansion 5105 5th Ave., The Third Presbyterian Church at the corner of Negley and 5th, The Scheibler apartment building at 342 South Highland Ave. ...........the list goes on and on. Beautiful homes everywhere, in every state of repair and disrepair (personally, I enjoy the economic diversity that one finds in many areas of Shadyside). It is great to see some interesting detail that I missed before...because there is just so much to see.

And that is just two of our many neighborhoods. Looking up, looking around, you'll see something where you are (if you are in the city limits, that is).

I'll close with a building I get a thrill out of every day as I drive off Bigelow Boulevard and go past downtown to get on 279: the Pennsylvania Station, huge and glowing, it's beautiful golden bricks picking up the surrounding light.

notes and links An updated version of the classic Pittsburgh an Urban Portrait, a great guide to our architecture by Franklin Toker was just released.


About Frederick Scheibler:

About the 1836 Burke Building, with a slide show:


GREAT link of Pittsburgh buildings from the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Association:


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dorkbot Pittsburgh @ Brillobox in 30 Minutes

Assuming you are not @ the Downtown opening of the August Wilson Center or caught in traffic or planning a protest and you are driving down Liberty Ave, you might want to check out tonight's Dorkbot @ Brillobox.

Seems technology and Music are the theme.

"Michael Johnsen. Michael is a music instrument builder and performer. He will give a mildly informative lecture-demonstration outlining his approach to electronic sound production and, not coincidentally, its audition. Working almost exclusively on the analog end of the hypothetical digital/analog spectrum, his work is characterized by a relative lack of ideas per se, and an intense focus on observation (it's only "discovery" when you're sure you saw it first), the way a shepherd watches sheep.

Melissa St. Pierre. Melissa is a pianist and composer who has toured the United States both solo and with ensembles several times over. Specializing in prepared piano work of John Cage, she has used those works as a jumping-off point into her own composing work utilizing piano hacking and live electronic manipulation. Melissa will talk about and demonstrate the Prepared Piano. Audience members are invited to bring their own preparations for the piano, and she will demonstrate appropriate ways to incorporate most, or all, of these implements in the process of finding your own piano sound"

dorkbot is an international movement centered around people who like to do strange things with electricity. It's all volunteer and non-profit -- meetings are held in donated space and no admission fee is charged.
dorkbot meeting frequency, format, and content varies by city: San Francisco meets monthly and has everything from political talks to virtual reality. NYC has had electronic art installations, theatre, and presentations on new software development environment. Madrid has had robots that draw and Japan has had electronic music. Most dorkbots have a couple of primary speakers with 20-40 minute presentations and an "open dorkbot" session where anyone can show off for 3-5 minutes.

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Very sorry for this late post. It's the best I can do.

Pittsburgh Art Events: 9/18-19/09.


Zombo gallery (4900 Hatfield St.) upholds its status as the most active art space in the city with its reception for Catfish & Such (7-11PM). TJ Reddick likes animals and bright colors. See what I mean?

It's not too late to buy a $50 ticket to the Unicorn Mountain Fundraiser @ Remedy. The event is called The Esoteric Order of the Illustrious Owl Bear, and includes live entertainment, a Bavarian dinner served family-style, an art auction, the new issue of UM (called Black Forest, to be released later this month), and a T-shirt advertising Pittsburgh's hippest art collective. For $35 you can attend the dinner without the material goodies, and for a mere $5 you can participate in the dance party. For details, check out the link.

Future Tenant (819 Penn Avenue, downtown) features a show curated by Jeff Schreckengost and Lisa Toboz called 'Dividing the Goose". The title apparently refers to the themes of folklore and fairy tales that underpin this multimedia exhibition.


Cleveland-based Arabella Proffer is unleashing "Splendor and Safety Pins", which highlights her "faux portrait paintings" at Boxheart (4523 Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield) from 6-9PM. She creates mythical European countries and populates them with the characters she envisions. Her work is flat, cartoon-like, and vibrantly colored... and thus perfectly appealing to my aesthetic sensibilities. I believe I'll make a point of attending this one.

When was the last time you made it over to Braddock? See what Fetterman and Co. have been up to by attending the Obscurae Art Lottery over at UnSmoke Systems (1137 Braddock Avenue). For $45 ($55 at the door) you can buy a ticket to purchase a fine art photograph documenting the community. Depending upon when that ticket is drawn, you may get to select your favorite piece, from first to last. It is free to attend this event, but they are trying to raise money to revitalize their neighborhood, so donations are accepted. Eat some fresh bread cooked nearby while you are at it.

Imagebox (4933 Penn Avenue) is opening their doors for "The Red Tag Studio Sale" to benefit the Persad Center. It's rare to see the gallery welcome guests on a day other than First Friday, so it's probably worth a stop (6PM) to see the work of local and national artists.

Gigapan Training @ Caliban Bookstore Parking Day Spot In Oakland

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Just starting to learn the locations of some Parking Day, mini parks. Tomorrow is Parking Day!

Join us tomorrow, Friday 9/18, at the CREATE Lab parking spot - Craig Street by Caliban bookstore. Stop by for hands-on Gigapan training + more anytime between 11 AM and 3 PM.

Gigapan allows people to take very highresolution digital panoramic pictures.

GigaPan was developed by Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group, with support from Google.

After we have made every square foot of the planet a parking spot, our robotic cars may be able to take pictures of each other. Cool.


"A Crowd Curated guide to Pittsburgh"

So, what does that mean? Me, you, everyone is the "crowd". Instead of relying on the mayor, The Cultural Trust, The Tourist Office, The Post Gazette and a few interns at "approved institutions" paint a picture of Pittsburgh, we can play a part ourselves.

How does it work. OK, it took me a while to figure this out.

If your on Twitter

If you think your tweet is about Pittsburgh, Art, Culture, Food, Performances, life in Pittsburgh and you think it might be of interest to people during G20, tag your tweet with #myg20. Just put #myg20 at the end of your tweet.

For Flickr

Yes, it's even better. You can also share the images of happenings and things of interest during g20. Here's how

For Facebook

Yes, you can use Facebook too.

What happens next is that all this stuff tagged #Myg20 shows up on one site Myg20.org

"myG20 is a real-time, crowd-curated guide to Pittsburgh that will take place prior to and during the G20 Summit (September 24 + 25). It is a bottom-up response to the top-down flow of information that takes place around events of this magnitude. The objective of this project is to provide a platform for all people and parties – both on the ground here in Pittsburgh, as well as those looking in from afar – to share information in an efficient manner.

For approximately one week in September, millions of international eyes will focus on our region. And for good reasons. The health care and education sectors along with technology and green development have helped bring our city from an antiquated steel town to a 21st century force to be reckoned with.

Arts and culture in Pittsburgh are thriving. The arts community here is vibrant and impassioned. Our city's museums, artists, performers and performing arts organizations are second to none. They've played an integral role in the transformation of Pittsburgh as well.

So while the international eyes are upon us, tell them what makes Pittsburgh such a special place for you. Engage each other in a dialog about, "Why Pittsburgh?" Share your favorite hidden gem of a restaurant. Upload a photo of a piece of Pittsburgh architecture or public artwork that has made an impact on you. Share your most vivid Pittsburgh memory. Live tweet or photostream one of the many events taking place throughout the city."

MyG20 is a product of The Mattress Factory and Deep Local.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Something new in the cultural district - Shaw Galleries

Max Ernst, Untitled print (1949)

So, last Friday was the official opening reception for Shaw Galleries, a newcomer to the cultural district in downtown. In addition to a number of fine prints and antique maps, Shaw Galleries also displayed cases of fine, small porcelain statues. It was a really lovely evening and so wonderful to see a new venture launching on Liberty Avenue, particularly in advance of next week's big event.

The above print, Max Ernst Untitled, was created using the pochoir process. I've seen book illustrations using this process and they are magnificent. The illustration can be quite elaborate, using stencils for each of the colors. Since there is no press involved, there is no edition size for the prits; all sheets produced for the run could be considered proofs. A quick definition of the pochoir printing process --
The pochoir process is the hand-coloring of an individual black outline. The was done with the help of a thin zinc or copper cut-out stencil guide. Each color is applied separately brushed by hand on each print, one stencil for each color. The paint used was watercolor and gouache. The only difference being watercolor paints (aquarelles) are transparent and gouache paints are opaque.

There is a great article along with examples here.

I loved this hand colored lithograph, shown below. The title? Glad you asked; it's a mouthful. Thomas Blake's --

The Interior of the Fives Court
with Randall and Turner Sparring
to the Noblemen, Gentlemen, Patrons and Lovers of the Art of Self Defense

I's all like allegorical n'@.


It was a really lovely event, even though I did get there late. The space is beautiful and the work is installed well. It's a small venue, but there seems to be a lot to explore. Two flat file cases immediately drew my attention, along with a nice folio rack. So, if you are on Liberty Avenue checking out the cultural district, make sure you stop in and say hello to Mr. Kurt Shaw.


Our host, Kurt Shaw (sans bowtie)

Links About Braddock

This is a follow up post the one about the Obscurae fundraiser. It's also put together for the out of town press and other "tourists" brought here by the G20 and stories about the "Mayor of Hell".

All of these links relate in one way or another to happenings and life in Braddock.
But, you say the Transformazium is in North Braddock? Well,then you are more likely to part of the problem.

15104.cc Braddock: Create Amidst Destruction
Unsmoke Systems
Community Wood-Fired Oven
Fossil Free Fuel
New Guild Studio
Points of Interest by Braddock Active Arts
Braddock Journey blog
Bill Daniel, Hobo Filmmaker
Braddock Farms
Braddock Youth Project
Delicious Donations

I found this info on Obscurae, which is also a good source of info.

Looking Back @ Black Acid Co-Op @ Deitch Projects

I guess I'm putting this up as a gag mostly. I absolutely loved this show I saw in NYC over the summer. The video doesn't capture the feeling of insanity, paranoia, flesh crawling creepiness this show evoked; the burned, torched walls and the smell.

So why am I posting this? Well, partly because in the context of this push to use art as a tool to sell Pittsburgh as "safe", "hip" and "cool" it's so funny.

To set the scene, Deitch Projects, is very, very connected and very big buck gallery. It operates two spaces in Soho, which it either owns or rents where an average rent might run 30,000--50,000 or more a month. In addition to this, you have a bunch of artists likely flying in on the gallery's dime to spend more than a week (oops he say's a month) with assistants turning the primo space the perfect picture of a hollowed out, bombed meth lab.

Why couldn't Pittsburgh do this for the G20?

Obscurae Art Exhibit & Fundraiser @ Unsmoke Systems In Braddock, Sept 19TH

Untitled by Jean McClung

"Change is underway in Braddock as groups working within and with the community bring renewed energy to a town that many wrote off. Artists, social entrepreneurs, community organizers, urban homesteaders and others with a pioneering spirit are inspired by the town’s potential for grassroots urban renewal and are using the inherent energy in Braddock to fuel their creativity. It is with this spirit that Obscuræ views the maligned town – turning a photographic eye towards the borough’s oft-overlooked beauty amidst the former grandeur and “urban blight” that Braddock has come to represent for many in the Pittsburgh area."

But you know there's a punchline--- they are awesome, talented and doing what they can with what they have-- but they are poor and need help. It's yet another fundraiser this time for arts and other programs in Braddock, PA.

But trust me there's a lot in this for you. Once again, area creatives have donated works to raise money.

Check out some images.

"That’s right, not only is Obscurae’s photography exhibition FREE and open to the public, it’s also lots of fun thanks to so many great collaborators! Jake Liefer of the Pittsburgh Area Coffee Association will be setting up a coffee bar at the event. John Ryan Brubaker will be installing a traveling version of his Portrait Booth Project where you can travel back in time with your very own quirky portrait shot with a 1968 Polaroid on instant black and white film. And don’t forget the fresh wood-fired treats from the community oven.

Obscurae will be housed once again in Braddock at UnSmoke Systems Artspace. Everything kicks off Saturday, September 19 at 7pm. The Art Lottery is set to begin at 8:30pm. If you have a ticket to participate in the lottery, make sure to get there with enough time to make a list of your favorite pieces before the lottery starts. (Details on how the Art Lottery works.) The photography exhibition and watching the craziness of the Art Lottery are free and open to everyone. Participating in the Art Lottery will require you to dig into your wallet. (Or your paypal account.)

Secure your ticket now for the 2009 Obscurae Art Lottery: $45 in advance. $55 at the door. A ticket guarantees you go home with a piece of artwork from the exhibition."

I attended this event last year and picked up a great photo work in a totally unique found object frame for the mere price of the ticket.

Check out some images here.


More info here

Larry Towell:The World From My Front Porch@ The McDonough Museum In Youngstown

Larry Towell (Canadian, b. 1953)
Lambton County, Ontario, Canada.
Two-year-old Isaac Towell is carried into the Sydenham River by his older
sister Naomi to introduce him to water.
Credit: © Larry Towell/Magnum Photos

Larry Towell:The World From My Front Porch
Organized by George Eastman House
International Museum of Photography and Film
September 18 – November 13, 2009
Opening reception, September 18, 6-8pm

Magnum photographer focuses on his home in Canada as well as the issue of
‘landlessness’ – Mennonites and Palestinians plus El Salvador, Mexico, New Orleans

"The McDonough Museum of Art on the campus of Youngstown State University presents Larry Towell: The World from My Front Porch, the Magnum photographer’s largest U.S. exhibition to date. This multi-media retrospective focuses on the impact of social unrest on cultural identity as seen through Towell’s lens as he traveled from Canada to the Middle East, Central America, and the United States. The exhibition of more than 120 black-and-white images will be on view in the McDonough galleries September 18 through November 13, 2009. These photographs will be accompanied by related artifacts such as Mennonite clothing, shell casings from war zones, martyr posters, a water-soaked photo albumfrom a Katrina survivor. Also included are Towell’s essays, musical recordings, and video presentations, some as twenty-five foot projections. The opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Friday, September 18, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Larry Towell: The World from My Front Porch will include photographs from Towell’s thirty-year portfolio of activity and involvement in contemporary international issues of land use and control. Included are images of Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, civil war in El Salvador, victims of Hurricane Katrina, and other areas in social crisis where Towell has witnessed the “landless poor.” The exhibition will also feature images from a rare personal reportage of his own family and land in rural Ontario, Canada."

Towell’s photographs and essays have been published extensively, in publications such as LIFE, GEO, Stern, Elle, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. A montage of these clippings will be displayed as part of the exhibition. He is the author of ten books chronicling his travels including his most recent volume, The World from My Front Porch.