Saturday, April 30, 2011

More Cleveland Public Art: Claes Oldenburg, Free Stamp

I really loved a lot of Cleveland's downtown architecture which tends towards, Classical, High Modernism, WPA era and grand Victorian (with a good dose of Brutalism) Still, there is something bit overwhelming about the scale-perhaps a dose of humor would work well?

Claes Oldenburg's Huge Free Rubber Stamp makes a perfect connection between the formal downtown and the Rock Hall.

From the Artist's website.

Apparently, this little shot of freedom wasn't an easy addition to make.IMHO, the final result is beyond fabulous.

"Our design made it necessary for us to select a short word to be "reproduced" by our stamp -- four letters at most. Coosje chose "free," a word with multiple implications, comparable to "liberty," the word held aloft by the female figure atop the monument across the street. The word was related paradoxically to its compressed position, and could not be read, only imagined by studying the edges of the letters.

The Free Stamp was proposed and approved, and work began on its fabrication. Halfway through, however, the company changed ownership, becoming British Petroleum; as a result the sculpture was abruptly canceled. There were protests in the city and eventually we were offered alternative sites by a committee to preserve the sculpture. At first, the Free Stamp's close connection to its original site seemed too strong, but we then realized that a stamp has no fixed position and is just as often seen lying down as it is standing up. One could imagine that the Free Stamp had been picked up and thrown, landing on its side in Willard Park, one of the sites offered by the city, in view of the British Petroleum skyscraper. The new position also had the important advantage of fully revealing the word "free," radiant in its pink hue, though in reverse."

Read more about the artist couple, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cell Phone Aps Help People Know and Enjoy Cleveland Better

What I saw in Cleveland was sort of what I expected--a city loaded with unexpected and under leveraged assets and surprises, that more people should know about. Sadly, at least the hotel we stayed in seemed to have very little info on the real city out there--beyond a tiny number of things.

Hopefully, more people are taking matters into their own hands. A great post on Rust Wire looks at some of the cell phone aps out there to help you know the city better.

"Community groups, neighborhoods even whole suburbs in Cleveland are helping advertise their offerings using smart phone aps. These portable guides can help you catch a film, catch the bus or grab a bite to eat when you’re on the go in the Cleve.

This is definitely a policy other communities, public agencies and businesses should be looking into to help with marketing and customer service"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Few Images Of St. Ignatius High School In Cleveland

My apologies to those just following the blog for Pittsburgh stuff and also those who already know these places in Cleveland well. Many do not.

Pittsburgh is often described as the "best kept secret city", or the "unknown gem", but at this point most people who see it that way are really out of touch. Cleveland is really unknown--and has lots of fascinating places and assets most people don't know about.

Anyway, I meant to get in a lot more shots of Ohio City and did take more which somehow didn't get on my camera or got deleted. St Ignatius High is an architectural gem--but also a key living breathing elite institution of learning on Cleveland's West Side--now celebrating it's 125th year.

The school was opened on September 6, 1886, by German Jesuits from Buffalo, New York, who responded to an invitation from Bishop Richard Gilmour to provide advanced schooling for Cleveland's Catholic young men. Known as Saint Ignatius College, it was modeled after the German Gymnasium and French Lycee. Students were admitted after six years of grammar school and received a bachelor’s degree after a six-year course of studies. There was no distinction between high school and college. The first A.B. degrees were conferred in 1894.

In 1902 high school and college departments were established, and the high school program was extended to four years. In 1923 the college department changed its name to John Carroll University and in 1935 was moved into new buildings in University Heights. Saint Ignatius High School remained at the original location.

•In 1985 Saint Ignatius was named a National Exemplary School. In 2009, it was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

•Saint Ignatius students consistently receive academic recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation Averages for the last several years: (20 Semifinalists, 24 Commended Students); the National Achievement Program (One Referred Student ), and the National Hispanic Recognition Program (One Scholar).

•The Speech and Debate Team placed first in the State of Ohio in 2001.

•Saint Ignatius won the Ohio Math League Competition for the State of Ohio in 2002 and 2003.

•The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) averages are well above the national averages.

•Almost one hundred percent of the students go on to a four-year college or university within one year of graduation.

•More than fifty percent of the teachers have been at the school ten or more years, and almost forty percent of them are Ignatius graduates who have returned to the school to support and continue its reputation for academic excellence. Eighty percent of the professional staff hold advanced degrees.

•The College Board recognizes Saint Ignatius as one of the top one hundred high schools in terms of the number of advanced placement examinations taken by students.

•The Society of Jesus has recognized the school’s Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership program as a Model Project Building Just Communities in the United States.

St. Ignatius is not in a suburb of Cleveland!

Recently, the owner of The Cleveland Browns who lives on Long Island, decided he would be moving back to Cleveland--into the city near the school.

"This has nothing to do with the Cleveland Browns or my role with the Browns,'' said Lerner. "I couldn't be happier with the professional management team in place. My spending more time here is to support my son, who's made the decision to attend St. Ignatius.''

Closing Reception for A Painters Legacy: The Students of Samuel Rosenberg @ Pittsburgh JCC April 30, 6-8

Seima Horvitz, Seima’s Family Seder, undated, oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 42 inches, private collection

A last chance to see this truly amazing show at the JCC on Saturday. I know it's a full day but you will be sorry if you miss this. Also, the opening proved to be a great gathering of Pittsburgh's older generation of artists, many of whom studied under Rosenberg.

"A Painter’s Legacy is an expansive exhibit comprised of the rich and diverse work of individual artists taught and influenced by Samuel Rosenberg. A professor at Carnegie Mellon University (formerly Carnegie Institute of Technology) for 40 years and at the Young Men & Women’s Hebrew Association for 39 years, Rosenberg is credited with directly influencing four successive generations of artists. The exhibit underscores his students’ artistic achievements that, combined, span more than half a century and reflect the major art movements of the latter half of the 20th century."

Some press from the show

Post Gazette

Pop City

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

The Jewish Chronicle

Pitt News

CMU : The Tartan

From the Tartan,

"Although his famous pupils are impressive, equally impressive is the sheer number of his students and how loyal they still remain to Rosenberg. “The kind of person he was, as well as the kind of professor he was, in addition to the number of artists not only in Pittsburgh but really all throughout the United States, and their continual loyalty to him made [creating the exhibit] a pretty easy process for me to take up,” Hiller said. “People who studied with Samuel Rosenberg completely understand and are honored by the historical approaches and curatorial projects that people like me have, so all I really had to do was introduce myself and discuss the [exhibit] ... people were so generous because they still have such a love for Rosenberg.”

The exhibit is made up of 76 works of art from over 50 of his students, with only one of Rosenberg’s paintings. “The concept [of the exhibit] is to show his teaching style and what he taught the students who were in his class, so it’s an exhibition that’s a balance of showing him as a teacher, but showing the artwork by the students, both from Carnegie Mellon University as well as [the YM&WHA],” Hiller explained."

Exhibition Website

Sadly, this exhibit failed to get any of the national attention it deserved.

5738 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
p 412-521-8010

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 4/29-30.


The seasonal Downtown Gallery Crawl is once again upon us. If you missed the openings at 707/709 Gallery, you can check out the exemplary work of Katherine Young and Bovey Lee. Jesse Hulcher's "Straight Outta CompUSA" is still at Space Gallery, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council hosts the photographic work of Brian Sesack at 707 Penn. There's a show to benefit BikePGH at 805-807 Liberty (featuring the work of 30 artists) and Urbanic 3, a group show, will be at Future Tenant. Everything (and more!) gets underway at 5:30PM.

If you wonder what the kids from CMU are up to (besides Future Tenant), check out the seniors exhibition at the Miller Gallery in the Purnell Center for the Arts (5000 Forbes Avenue). The reception runs from 6-8PM.


It's time once again for Art All Night, Lawrenceville's overnight art celebration. Just like last year, it's slated to be held at the former Iron City Brewing facility at 3340 Liberty Ave. It gets underway at 4PM and stays open until 2PM Sunday. Last year 12,000 people came by to see one piece of work each by 1200 artists. If you want to participate in this "no censorship" show, you must drop off your work between 10AM and 2PM and be ready to pick up your work when everything comes down the next day.

Felicia Feaster is guest-curating at the Fe Gallery (4102 Butler St.) in Lawrenceville. "Homebound" stars artists Meg Aubrey, Anna Watson, Mary Turnipseed, Patrick Heagney, Nate Kamp and Seth Clark. The reception runs from 7-9PM.

Meanwhile, relative newcomer Gallery 4 (206 South Highland, Shadyside) keeps rolling out the openings. This week it's for "Gamma Gods", featuring the work of Jesse Best. Grab some refreshments between 7-10PM.

And Boxheart Gallery in Bloomfield just keeps plugging its way through the years. This weekend they have a reception for Jason Mann's "acrylic collage paintings". Show up between 5-8PM.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mahoning Commons Spring Festival in Youngstown

Spring is in the air with it's bounty--A Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl, Lawrenceville Art All Night, Bob Qualters at BE Galleries, The closing for The Samuel Rosenberg's students show and I'm sure lots more. Anyway, if you should be in or around Youngstown this two day festival may be a very good way to see the creative energy building there.

Mahoning Commons Fest is a biannual event that has incorporated a majority of the businesses located on/near Mahoning Avenue in downtown
Youngstown, Ohio.

Inspired by the biannual Open Studio Sale held at the Ward Bakery, the business owners banned together to create a unique event that promotes the betterment of the Mahoning Commons district and encouraging the expansion of the Arts & Entertainment district in Youngstown.

A refurbished turn of the century trolley shuttles the patrons (for FREE) from Fellows Riverside Gardens to the Lemon Grove in downtown – including stops at the eight to ten businesses that lay between. Each of the business owners offers a different experience for the participants. The experience is one that includes food, fine/performing arts, local musicians, hand crafted beer and unique shopping opportunities.

The Mahoning Commons Fests create fun for the entire family while exploring our wonderful city!

Jubilee Limosine's trolley will be running for the duration of the event - the event times are as follows;
Saturday April 30th from Noon - 5pm
Sunday May 1st Noon - 5pm
With extended hours on Saturday night at select venues.

Noon to Five both days in the heart of historic Youngstown.

More info

Mahoning Commons Spring Festival on Facebook

Last Day To Submit Your Favorite Public Artwork for Contest on OnlyinPGH

No time for a fancy post--Only In PGH is hosting a cool online contest to choose Pittsburgh's favorite public art. MR Rogers? Roberto Clemente? Willie Stargell? The gangsa pigeon on Whole Foods? The downtown Magnolia tree? Jenny Holzer's Convention Center tribute to August Wilson? The Katz Plaza Eye Benches? The Octopus Garden in Friendship?

"To enter the contest, send a picture to and include your name, specific location where the photo was taken and a caption describing why the subject of the photo is your favorite piece of public art in Pittsburgh. One entry per person.

The prize this time around? A Pittsburgh art package that includes two tickets to the upcoming Gift to America: A Celebration of the Creation of the Millvale Murals by Maxo Vanka show, a “Faces of Vanka” poster and an onlyinpgh t-shirt! (Check out the Vanka Mural onlyinpgh profile for more info and a peak at the poster.)

Voting will open tomorrow at noon–don’t miss your chance!"

Check out the details on OnlyinPGH

Cleveland's Amazing and Moving Civil War Memorial

I will be doing a few posts on some of the major public art and architecture in Cleveland. We spent a lot of time in museums and also needed to tour neighborhoods, so I didn't take that many shots. Also, I'm really bad with a camera.

This monument in the heart of the city, was something I had in the back of my mind--low on the list of things to see. As we drove by- Jean and me both were like--Wow, this is something else.

Huge scale, formal Civil War memorials and statuary are a pretty common Victorian era response to this ghastly social drama. Ohio, played a central role in the war, contributing many of it's central figures like Sherman and tens of thousands of men.

Even so, this central tomb like vault surrounded by depictions of both soldiers and sailors--carries a huge dignified punch.

The back lit shots don't really do this justice.

"The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument commemorates the American Civil War; it consists of a 125' column surrounded at its base by a Memorial Room and esplanade. The column, topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom, defended by the Shield of Liberty, signifies the essence of the Nation for which Cuyahoga County veterans were willing to and did give their lives. Four bronze groupings on the esplanade depict, in battle scenes, the Navy, Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry. Inside the Memorial Room are four bronze relief sculptures: Women's Soldiers' and Sailors' Aid Society, Beginning of the War in Ohio, Emancipation of the Slaves and End of the War at City Point, Va. , as well as busts of Gen. James Barnett and Architect/ Sculptor Levi T. Scofield, together with 6 officers, who were either killed in action, or died of disease or their wounds.

The column is made of polished black, Quincy stone with 6 foliated bronze bands listing the names of 30 battles in which soldiers from this County fought. The Memorial Room is constructed of rough finished, light gray granite and light brown Amherst sandstone; the esplanade and steps of Medina red sandstone."

"The Monument, managed by a bi-partisan Commission of 11 Trustees, is open daily, Monday through Saturday -9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years' Day."

Cleveland Soldiers and Sailors Monument website

Read more about the monument and recent restoration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Images Of Cleveland's Amazing/Interesting Tremont Neighborhood

OK, I can finally admit that until last weekend, I had never been to Cleveland. We did get there and spent an active weekend. Sadly, the weather and need to see Cleveland Museum and Rock Hall impacted some of my ability to explore. We also planned this trip last minute and didn't scope out a local guide.

Here are some images from the beautiful, strange, historic neighborhood called Tremont on Cleveland's West Side. The diversity of building types is stunning. The deep handcrafted ways people are adding and preserving the place in many small ways, come across. This is not a wealthy area, or a place the city seems to have shown much care for. Tremont, reminds me of Polish Hill, in being both centrally located and yet isolated.

FYI, we were rushing around without much clue--few formal city guides or handouts at the hotels point out this place. Actually, getting a good guide or map to much beyond just the downtown/Stadium/Rock Hall/Business district and University Circle area was hard. Lucky for you, the locals have placed many wonderful plaques and maps around the area.

There were also many nice shops, cafes and the like that I didn't capture. Tremont and nearby Ohio City are great places for eats.

"Originally settled by Eastern Europeans, Appalachians, Greeks, Polish and African-Americans, Tremont is one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods with architectural gems evoking its rich cultural heritage.

Tremont was once named University Heights in tribute to the hosting of the city’s first institution of higher learning - Cleveland University - which operated in the neighborhood from 1851 to 1853. The current street names “Professor,” “College,” “University” and “Literary” are remnants of this period.

The name of the neighborhood was changed later to Lincoln Heights to commemorate the area’s role as the site of two Union Army camps during the Civil War.The small town character fostered by the isolation created by the development of the interstates along with the unique mix of architectural styles and proximity to Downtown, has spurred a renewed interest in urban living in the neighborhood."

More neighborhood Info

Restore Tremont

Tremont Art Walk

Tremont Gardeners

Tremont Oral History Project

Tremont Wikipedia

View Larger Map

Quick Fleeting Pages Pop Up Bookstore Update: Opening May 7, Still Accepting Submissions

OK this is a very half assed update--mostly telling you to look at the website and follow things if are not. The opening was pushed back by a week and as you can see lots of small presses and independent authors, comic artists and zine makers are on board.Look, spread the word and get your stuff together ASAP if you want to be involved. 24 Thousand Square Feet of space in one of Pittsburgh's most central shopping districts--open to almost any kind of book related product or event you can dream up!

Fleeting Pages can finally announce the location: The former Borders in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Both floors of the space. All 24,000 sqft of it. And lucky for us, Borders left behind a considerable number of bookshelves and other useful materials.

The process to submit work is a relatively simple one:

•Contact us with who you are & what you would like to add to our inventory.
•Add answers / details to the items listed below in your email.
•After that, you will hear back from us with answers to your questions and possibly asking some of our own.
•Then we will coordinate getting your work here.
Unfortunately, we will only be able to accept items on consignment. We know that this is not ideal and we wish the situation were otherwise. But Fleeting Pages is going to cost a fortune (for us, anyway) in rent and utilities. Not to mention everything else needed to fill the space and make it function. Our current budget just doesn’t have any room to pre-order. Hopefully that will change as we progress. Even if it doesn’t, we have plans for things like raffles, mixed bag books for sale, and an online store aspect in the works to make sure that as few books as possible will be returned. Another option is to send a couple copies and be open to re-ordering if needed.

Payment- Our intention is to send payments for books sold at the end of the first two weeks, and again at the beginning of June. All will be paid by June 15th. (well, if we exercise our two week extension, it will be June 30th) Should we need to order more copies, we will send a payment for those they are replacing.

Display- Fleeting Pages is not like a traditional fair – tables of presses with representatives manning them. We will be using bookshelves and tables as a bookstore would. Hopefully with some new ideas of what that could mean mixed in. If a representative is able to come out (which would be so great!), we’d rather have them running a workshop (or taking one), hosting an event, or helping out in the space than behind a table.

A partial list of sellers, artists and publishers already on board.

5th Street Press

40-Watt Spotlight

Abayomi Animashaun – author

Abbey Bricker – book arts

The Alchemist – zine

Annalemma Magazine

Annie Passanisi – author

Anteism Publishing


Autumn House Press

Avantacular Press


Barbara Browning- author

Barbary Shore Publishing

Barge Press

Bill Volk- comics

Black Coffee Press

Black Dog Press

BOMB Magazine

Brandt Street Press

Brian Fanelli

Brown Tie Publishing

Burning Books

Caketrain Journal & Press

Calypso Editions

Canarium Books

Cardamom Press

Connie Cantor – artist

Creative Nonfiction

Cyberpunk Apocalypse

Dan Greenwald- comics

Darlene Cypser

David Henderson – author

Deborah Fielding – author

The Derailleur – zine

Ed Steck- author

Emily Gorda – artist

Famous Hairdos of Popular Music – zine


Five Rivers Chapmanry

Fugue State Press

George Hayward – author

Goldmine Anthology of American Comics & Drawings

The Green Lantern Press

Heather Stanco – artist

Jaded Ibis Press

Jean McClung – artist

Jessica Heberle – zine

Jessica Knauss – author

Jessica Simms – author

Joe Kaldon

Julia Christensen – artist

Kathryn Carr -book arts

Kim Creasap – zine

Low Ghost Press

Lydia Lin – author

Make Your Own Books

Marcel Walker- comics

Mea Culpa Comics

Mindy Tucker – artist

Monty S. Kane - comics

Nick Marino – comics

P&Q Press

The Paris Review

Pear Noir!

Peter Stringham- graphic novel

PigeonBike Press

Public Illumination Magazine

Raw Dog Screaming Press

Robert Isenberg- author

Rose Metal Press

Ryan Flaherty – author

Sam Thorp – author

Sherrie Flick – author

Six Gallery Press

Small Fires Press


Spuyten Duyvil

Stephens Press

Stephanie Silberstein – author


Teresa Brown – author

Ugly Duckling Presse

Undie Press

The Wapshott Press

Weave Magazine

We’ll Never Have Paris – zine

Whereabouts Press

Willow Naeco – zine

Wire Rim Books – Henry Melton

Words Like Kudzu Press

The Workshop 13

But wait, There's more (everything but a Ginsu Knife!) Fleeting Pages is also open to all kinds of readings, workshops, film screenings and perhaps music events!

Basically just check out the site and make contact if you have ideas or ways to help.

Fleeting Pages Website

Fleeting Pages Facebook

Fleeting Pages Twitter

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Few Pictures From The Transformazium

The Transformazium

Lot across from Transformazium

Mysterious Building/Art Project on lot (A prototype for the Haiti project?)

Swoon piece outside Braddock's Unsmoke Systems

Yesterday, Artist Image Resource's Industrial Legacy symposium gave a bit more insight into some of Pittsburgh's DYI printmaking scene. Dana Bishop Root, of the Transformazium spoke about the Braddock Library Screen printing shop but didn't give an update on progress of Their space. Here are some images we took when we were by there more than a month ago.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pop Up Stores Storm Cleveland: Great Story on Freshwater

The headline is a bit exaggerated, but it looks like the pop up movement may be making a significant impact on Cleveland's retail scene.

Hopefully this recession is making people rethink many of the stereotypes that underlie our economic thinking.

Old School

That the world doesn't change.
That long leases are always a safe bet
That only big chains make good tenants
That only a small percent of the population is economically valuable
That only a small number of big companies are economically valuable
That landlords and experts can tell who they are
Only big budget, formal advertising works
There's no harm in leaving a place empty till the right big tenant comes along

New School

Landlords and retailers must adapt to change
Almost all people are of potential value
You can't guess the next big idea
Small companies and individuals can be of great value
Social media is very important
Empty spaces are very damaging and discouraging

"Cities across the U.S. are using pop-up stores as a transitional strategy in a weak market," explains Schwarz. "But in places like Cleveland, they may need to be part of our permanent toolkit." (Actually they are and should be part of any cities toolkit--comment mine)

While the shop itself is fleeting, the positive effects of a successful event can extend well after that final sale, organizers say. Often, these short-term shops are just what's needed to help young startups flourish and grow. "There's a multiplier effect," says Okey. "People grab your business card, and vendors find they get a flood of orders through their websites after the event."

DeBoe cites as an example Made in the 216 vendor Small Screen Designs, which enjoyed sales growth following pop-up venues across town. "They became known through pop-ups," notes DeBoe. "And now they're selling their work in other states."

As the story says, Pop Ups mostly work in places that already have decent retail traffic potential.

A very well done piece---Kudos.

Some upcoming Cleveland area Pop ups and short term projects.

Pop Up Pearl

Collective Upcycle

Cleveland Furniture Fair

Bazaar Bizarre

Made in the 216

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 4/15-16/11.

c. David Grim (taken 3/19/11)

It's surprising just how much stuff there is to do in the arts scene this mid-April.


Start out by going down to the Society for Contemporary Craft (2100 Smallman Street in the Strip) for Bridge 11, a collection of work by Lia Cook, Mariko Kusumoto, and Anne Drew Potter- three artists who "are creating exceptional works that express progressive and unconventional points of view around social, political and philosophical themes have been selected for the 2011 Bridge Exhibition Series." This gets underway at 5:30PM and lasts until 8PM.

And the Brew House (2100 Mary Street, South Side) has once again opened its doors to the public with the Big Urban Photo Project. This is a display of images put together by the organizers of the website The reception runs from 6-9PM.

The Michael Berger Gallery is always worth a stop, and this season they are having a show of contemporary Islamic art in America called Dis[Locating] Culture. Check out some of the amazing pieces included on their website. The reception runs from 5-7:30PM.

Meanwhile, if moving pictures is more your style, you must stop by the Warhol (8PM) for the screening of several short films from the collection of local oddball Tentatively a Convenience. I've seen a few things associated with this former acolyte of the Subgenius Church, and if the past is a guide- then you definitely won't be bored.

And finally... despite my general hesitation to ever venture downtown on a Friday night, the work of two artists I have really appreciated over the last several years will be featured at the 707/709 Penn Gallery. Bovey Lee's paper cuts are meticulously detailed and mesmerizing to stare at, and Katherine Young's finely-wrought drawings are always fantastically inspiring. The opening reception runs from 6-9PM, but if you miss it, make sure to visit during the Downtown Gallery Crawl later this month.


If you have a hankering to buy some locally-made crafty goods, you have two options. The I Made It! Market will be in the South Side Works at noon, and the David Lawrence Convention Center is hosting the Handmade Arcade.

There's a benefit for the victims of the recent events in Japan at the Mendelson Gallery in Shady Side (5874 Ellsworth Avenue). On exhibit will be a series of "Water Babies" works, inspired by a children's cemetery in Okunoin, and created by Tara Zalewsky. Show up from 4-7PM (one day only).

Artists Image Resource on the North Side (518 Foreland Street) is having a symposium, (with an accompanying exhibition) entitled Rethinking Pittsburgh's Industrial Legacy: Prints as Catalyst for Change (4:30-8PM). What's it all about? Here's their description- "The artists in this exhibit, many with ties to Western Pennsylvania, explore the ways in which industry and deindustrialization inform our sense of place and our sense of possibility."

And as if that were not enough, there is a benefit/fundraiser for the Animal Rescue League of Western PA at Modern Formations (4919 Penn Ave.). The 3rd Annual Art Auction in Memory of Cara Gasper runs from 7-10PM. Apparently cash, credit cards, and checks will be accepted, and they winners of items will be announced at 9:30PM.

Why Artists Should Move To Pittsburgh: Two Posts By Karen Lillis on Pop City

Occasional Diggingpitt contributor, Karen Lillis has a two part piece on Pop City on the things that make Pittsburgh a great place for artists, including a bunch of personal stories.

Part 1

Part 2

I still think a ton of progress needs to be made in opening up and allowing more flexible use of the large studio type buildings artist's need and crave, as well as building a much more supportive city with more connections and interactions with the outside world.

Karen states pretty clearly is that the greater affordability allows artists more time to work. Artists themselves need to put the DYI, energy into making things happen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paul Thek @ Carnegie Museum Closes May 1: Great Post by Steeltown Anthem

Wow, time has flown and the Paul Thek show is nearing it's end. I saw it once and have to get back again. Mysterious, quirky, visceral and in my opinion often beautiful, this is a must see show.

Steeltown Anthem has a post with her thoughts and lots of images.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ohio's Geographic Advantages: A Discussion on Urbanophile

There's a great free form talk going on Urbanophile about what should be one of the more self evident attributes of Ohio. Of course one could say the same for several bordering states, but not as much. Talk quickly turned to rail.

"One of them is that Ohio is on the trade routes. Many major transcontinental interstates pass through the place, along with tons of rails lines. This is a big contrast to Michigan, which is a peninsula. Other than Detroit and the trade links through Canada and its air hub, Michigan is almost always going to require a special trip. I noticed this when I drove to Grand Rapids for the first time. It’s a detour. You’re not going to pass through it unless you’re going somewhere else in Michigan. Whereas in Ohio, massive amounts of people and freight are simply passing through. All it has to do is convince some of it to stop. Furthermore, Ohio is a state of many large cities. In addition to the “3C”s of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, there’s also Dayton, Toledo, Akron, Youngstown etc... "

Columbus to Pittsburgh 167 miles
Columbus to Indianapolis 175 miles
Columbus to Chicago 354 miles
Columbus to Cincinnati 102 miles
Columbus to Louisville 209 miles
Columbus to Nashville 333 miles
Columbus to D.C. 409 miles
Columbus to New York 535 miles
Columbus to Charlotte 427 miles

I can't help feeling that with the region's rich array of smaller cities, perhaps high speed rail is less an answer than good commuter lines and trains running at average to(say 70-90 avg MPH) fast speeds. I do find it hard to give up a high speed, Chicago--Indianapolis--Columbus--Pittsburgh route and a fast link connecting Cleveland and Columbus. Between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, I see more value in a train that stops in Youngstown and Akron.

Another huge issue is price. I see a lot more value in options that are affordable to a broad range of people.

99 comments so far, comparing cities, regions, land use, density, transit oriented design and all kinds of side topics.

Rust Wire's Big Urban Photography Project @ Brewhouse Friday, April 15

The volunteer run online mag, Rust Wire has put together a group show of photos taken by people across the so called "Rust Belt".

Rust Wire is proud to present The Big Urban Photography Project art show, featuring photographic interpretations of Rust Belt cities as seen through the eyes of their young residents. The show is the result of a multi-year collaborative media project that called on the region’s best documentary and fine arts photographers.

Over two years, we asked for open submissions of photography highlighting the unique blend of despair and hope in a number of cities. Dozens of amateur and professional photographers submitted images of Detroit, Youngstown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others. The art show will allow us to share hold up the best work as a tribute to the region.

The Brew House, 2100 Mary Street in Pittsburgh’s South Side, will host the

More info on Rust Wire.

Brew House Website

The Brew House
2100 Mary Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Friday, April 15 · 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Gallery does not have regular hours but is open by appt.

I think the semi plan here is to do a number of shows around the region as the project evolves and grows.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 15th Zygote Press 100 for a Hundred Tax Relief Benefit Fundraiser in Cleveland

The awesome Cleveland Printmaking workshop, Zygote Press is celebrating it's fifteenth birthday and trying to live on with a tax day fundraiser and print sale.

100 works by 100 artists at $100 each.
All art purchases will include a special Tax Day refund; good for reinvesting in Zygote.

$25 admission per person...

$25 admission per person (all participating artists get in for free). Live music, off-the-wall art sale and Print Pony Gallop. Drinks and munchies included in this screaming low price! Advanced purchase through PayPal — much appreciated — or pay at the door. All proceeds benefit Zygote Press, Inc. If you can't make the party — we'd love your support through the mail or online donation!

Zygote Press was founded in 1995 by four artist-printmakers: Joe Sroka; Liz Maugans (Managing Director); Bellamy Printz (Board President); and Kelly Novak. The founders were responding to a need for a working fine art print facility in Cleveland. Zygote is a collective, providing studio space, equipment, and technical assistance to artists living and working in the area. Those interested in becoming resident are considered based on ability to work independently in a print shop facility and are accepted based on space availability. Adjacent to the printing area is a workshop gallery, which is available for exhibition by both resident artists and artist-members. The organization received its 501 (c) 3 status in Spring 2001.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bruce High Quality Foundation, Teach 4 Amerika Tour Visits Pittsburgh

For the last 30 or so years, it seems like the art world, lived with a huge contradiction-endorsing free form experimentation, active collaboration and public engagement--while still supporting an elite, hierarchical university system.

"The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s (BHQF) Teach 4 Amerika tour is a five-week, 11-city, coast-to-coast road trip that crosses state lines and institutional boundaries to inspire and enable local art students to define the future of their own educational experience. Traveling the byways of America in a limousine painted as a school bus, BHQF will visit university art departments, art schools, art institutions, and alternative spaces across the nation, bringing together concerned educators, artists, arts administrators, and—most importantly—students to brainstorm on the future of art schools. What are they for? How should they be organized? If not for careers, what is the essence of art itself? These fundamental questions have long haunted artists, and the BHQF are interested in putting the questions back in the hands of students across America. Curated by Nato Thompson, Chief Curator at Creative Time, Teach 4 Amerika will include a combination of dynamic public rallies and intimate conversations hosted by local partners in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland."

The rubber has really met the road, as more students and the wider public question more closely what art is, how should it be learned, who can participate? Does it take $150,000 or much more in college bills (including an MFA) to become an artist?

Not so ironically, the project attempted just to engage students at a group of art schools and a few trendy alternative spaces in this dialog.

Anyway, here's the great post they did about their visit to Pittsburgh.

"People that want to learn about art, who think making better work might be supported by a collaborative critical environment, ought to organize learning situations for themselves.

The pushback we’ve gotten on occasion from professors seems to assume we’re calling for an out and out revolt of the twenty-year-olds. But that’s not the case. We don’t think a group of twenty-year-old students would be served well by divorcing themselves from the wisdom of their forbears. Quite the contrary. We just don’t see why a generational difference should constitute a hierarchy. The best teachers we’ve met think they have something to learn from their students. And we’ve heard that the best way to learn is to teach. So if we really believe these time-honored clich├ęs have any tooth to them, why don’t we scrap the power dynamic for something a bit more fluid?"

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Pittsburgh Artist, Diane Samuels: A Noiseless patient spider @ Kim Foster Gallery in NY

"Samuels’ drawing The Odyssey of a patch of street exactingly renders a 21 x 310-feet stretch of scarred asphalt onto a 92 x 33-inch sheet of paper. With the help of a magnifying glass, you discover that the drawing is made from handwriting that word for word transcribes the entire text of Homer’s Odyssey, the epic poem of war and homecoming. The cracked asphalt is the street in front of Samuels’ home. The text winds its way down one side of the sheet of paper returning up the other side, back to her home, and ends with the text’s call to bring a halt to the great leveler, War.

Before beginning to write, Samuels affixed a photo-mask of the street’s crevices and potholes over the paper. After the text was written, she peeled away the mask removing some of the text. Where the text was destroyed, the drawing was created. Accompanying the drawing is an archive of the lost and destroyed memories made from the text-covered photo-masks.

The patch of street is the same small slice of Sampsonia Way, that inspired this major Samuels's work you might have seen at The Mattress Factory.

"Diane Samuels lives on a small alley in Pittsburgh that was originally populated by immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is now the home to several exiled writers in the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh project, of which she was a co-founder. Samuels will be participating in the exhibitions “Neighbo[u]rhood” curated by Georgina Jackson, independent curator from Ireland, at the Mattress Factory opening in May and “Gertrude’s/LOT” curated by Eric Shiner, Acting Director & The Milton Fine Curator of Art, at The Warhol Museum opening in September."

Diane Samuels
A Noiseless patient spider

April 28 - June 4, 2011
Reception: Thursday, April 28, 6 - 8 pm

Open Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 6pm

Kim Foster Gallery529 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011

Photos: GA/GI Fashion FUZEion Eco-Tech Fashion Show At Pittsburgh Glass Center - Photos - WPXI Pittsburgh

Photos: Fashion FUZEion Eco-Tech Fashion Show At Pittsburgh Glass Center - Photos - WPXI Pittsburgh

Friday, April 08, 2011

Chili Cookoff In Braddock 4/9/11, 1-4

John and I went to this last year. It is really fun, supports a good cause....and you get to eat lots of good chili. And you get to keep your handmade bowl and take it home with you.
The Braddock Carnegie Arts Program (BCAP) invites you to participate in our 5th Annual BCAP Chili Cook-Off! Contestants compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place chili recipes (peoples’ choice vote) and all can participate in the Chinese auction, door prizes, and a 50/50 raffle so that everyone has a chance to win something!

Whether you want to enter your best chili recipe this year (if so, hurry – there are only a few slots left open!) or prefer to sit back & enjoy all of the entries, the fee is $10 per person ($5 for children 12 and under).

The Cook Off is Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 1 to 4 pm at the Braddock Elks Lodge, 424 Library St., Braddock, PA 15104. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event or in advance at the Braddock Carnegie Library. All proceeds fund the BCAP children’s educational programs. Hope you can join us!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

April 2011 Cleveburgh Regional Art Roundup

Sarah Kabot @Akron Art Museum

A few of the shows that seem interesting in the wider Western PA and Eastern Ohio region, outside of Pittsburgh.


Cleveland Museum Of Art

Contemporary Landscape Photography

March 26–August 14, 2011

"Since the 1960s, contemporary photographers pursuing the landscape as subject matter have predominantly used two conceptual approaches. One is epitomized by the iconic landscapes of Ansel Adams, who sought out pristine views of the natural landscape—rivers, mountains, valleys, orchards, deserts, and the sea in the western United States—all presented with clarity and enriched by his poetic vision and commitment to environmental conservation. The other style sought to balance the depiction of formal beauty with the desire to document humanity’s presence and intervention in the landscape. The pioneering photography of Robert Adams is a leading, articulate expression of that approach. This survey show featuring these two methods of recording the natural landscape is drawn from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s permanent collection, and contains some 40 images—many of them new to the collection."

The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa

April 16, 2011–February 26, 2012

The Art of Daily Life celebrates the stunning formal diversity and deep cultural meanings of Southeast Africa’s artistic heritage. Despite some growing interest and appreciation over the past three decades, the art of traditional southern African societies have long been neglected. Portable in nature and generally small in size, works created by peoples such as the Zulu, Nguni, Tsonga, Ndebele, Sotho, and Swazi in the 19th and 20th centuries were typically related to the privacy of the home or the intimacy of the person. The makers and users of many of these works were cattle-herders with a complex history of migrations. This nomadic existence has contributed to the emergence of fluid regional artistic styles that often defy specific ethnic attributions.

The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art

March 27–August 28, 2011

"This presentation highlights Korean and Japanese artistic efforts to fuse the genres of art and poetry in works as diverse as landscape painting, figure painting, and calligraphy. With strokes of genius, artists in the early Joseon period and Muromachi period explored themes such as the Chinese Xiao Xiang River, producing a rich array of artwork—from hanging scrolls and powerful screens that provoke the imagination to intriguing images of the natural world—all without traveling to China.

Figure paintings of the recluse show an inner heart protected from the “dusty world” of politics. Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, Four Elders of Mt. Shang, and The Eight Immortals of the Wine Cup also epitomize the refined way of life idealized by the scholarly class in Korea and Japan."

MOCA Cleveland (same exhibits as last month--through May 8th)

Andrea Joki

William Busta Gallery

Andrea Joki
March 18 -- April 23

Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery

Adnan Charara


March 18th - May 14th

"Adnan Charara came to the U.S. by way of Lebanon and Sierra Leone--eventually making his home in Detroit, Michigan. In his Return to Sender series, painted figures on envelopes merge with canceled postage in complex narrative compositions. In his found art sculptures, objects take on human characteristics, as a protractor becomes a ballerina's tutu or a hammer bows its head in sadness. Charara's life and his work, even his materials, are about adaptability."

Wow, check out the images!

Canton Museum Of Art

Canton Artists League Spring Show
Through April 24th

Akron Art Museum

M.C. Escher: Impossible Realities

February 12, 2011 - May 29, 2011
Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries

A chance to see 130 of Escher's Mezzotints, Lithographs, Woodcuts, sculptures and rare preparatory drawings and truely get inside the head of this important artist.

Sarah Kabot: Unfolding Space

"Cleveland artist Sarah Kabot creates installations that toy with human perception by altering the physical environment, specifically the seemingly mundane structures of the built environment. With her “interventions,” as she calls them, Kabot asks us to question what we think we know about the things we see every day and sharpen our awareness of our surroundings.

To assemble what she refers to as "interventions," Kabot often uses foamcore, a rigid but lightweight material, which allows her to assemble elaborate installations that aren't overly cumbersome. In Unfolding Space, Kabot will replicate the lights, floorboards and wall surfaces of the museum’s Isroff Gallery and then use these objects to both deconstruct and reconfigure the space."

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

African American Artists of Pittsburgh @ Brigadoon Art Salon through April 23

JR Holtz

James E. "Pe-Wee" White

George Gist

T More

Rene Stout

Some people may have come across a small salon next to Concept, gallery in Regent Square which until now has never had a formal show. The gallery is run by an insanely dedicated Pittsburgh character and collector named Pat MacCardle.

Read the full City Paper story.

The Brigadoon show is also a window into little-known aspects of the local art scene. Some contributors, for instance, were affiliated with The Archive, a 1970s-era Hill District studio and exhibition space run by artist Dennis Morgan. They include Gist; sculptor and collage artist Amir Rashidd; and the late Carl "Dingbat" Smith, a sculptor known for his inventive use of nails.

While some artists in the show have exhibited elsewhere, McArdle and many contributors agree that gallery opportunities for black artists are limited. And it's not just a matter of Pittsburgh's moribund art market, which sends even pros like Gist out of town to sell their work. "A lot of times when I'm in a show, I'm the only black guy in the show," says Meyers.

As always Pat has managed to introduce a me to a few people I was totally unfamiliar with.

The African American Artists of Pittsburgh continues through April 23. Brigadoon Art Salon, 1033 S. Braddock, Ave., Edgewood. 412-512-2830

There are no regular hours but Pat will likely be there if he can on Saturdays and Sundays.

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Visual Artists Wanted for Fleeting Pages Popup Store at Borders

You may have already heard that the East Liberty Borders is
going to become a pop up shop at the end of April. See John's post on this.
It will be called Fleeting Pages, and will be open for 4-6
weeks. Sorry as I am to lose the Borders, this is a very exciting
While the emphasis is on books from small presses, they are
also very actively seeking visual artists who " use book as medium, or have
some cross-over with the written word ."
I will be having some work in this because of the graffiti
in (some) of my images.I say this to illustrate that the crossover doesn't have to be huge.
There is a short time will be due definitely by 4/23 or earlier
There is a submission process. For detailed ( and delightfully clear) information, please go to:
This is a great and fun opportunity for indie press and visual artist types to have their work seen in a PRIME real estate location! Luring all those people from Whole Foods, Walgreens and the Liquor Store.....
By the way, they are also in need of volunteers.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Famous/Infamous Michigan Sprawl Letter and Discussion On Rustwire

My personal "mission" on this blog was not just to hype the local art scene in Pittsburgh itself, but also spark awareness, debate across the wider region about ways to create and sustain a better quality of life. The former Rust Belt, is filled with areas that are spreading out dramatically, even as their populations shrink.

Michigan is pretty far, but a letter from a figure at a successful law firm that operates there has gone viral, triggering, I hope some relevant conversation.
The letter's specific topic deals with what the writer sees as the negative effects of suburban sprawl on the firm's business outlook and ability to recruit and retain employees.

Recession or no, isn’t it screamingly obvious that people with choices in life – i.e. people with money and education – choose not to live here? We are becoming a place where people without resources are grudgingly forced to live. A place without youth, prospects, respect, money or influence.

There’s a simple reason why many people don’t want to live here: it’s an unpleasant place because most of it is visually unattractive and because it is lacking in quality living options other than tract suburbia. Some might call this poor “quality of life.” A better term might be poor “quality of place.” In Metro Detroit, we have built a very bad physical place. We don’t have charming, vibrant cities and we don’t have open space.

The letter which was originally addressed to the city leaders of Troy Michigan goes pretty far in depth.

Also, the author helped create this video, offering the start of a tangible plan to better organise and link Detroit and it's northern suburbs through light rail.

One thing I like about both is that they go far beyond just denying the suburbs and smaller towns and cities exist and demanding that everyone move back into Detroit. As the video shows, some of these places have long and unique histories, beautiful buildings and even sound original street designs dating from the pre auto age. Many also happen to line up along a corridor making it possible to connect them with a single rail link.

James Howard Kunstler dedicated an entire podcast to the sprawl letter.

Help Build A Skatepark In Youngstown: Cool Video About The Bridge Project

A great video I found on Rust Wire, about an effort to build a high quality skateboard park in Youngstown Ohio--sparked by someone who moved from Atlanta.

So far I have found several other places with info on the skateboard scene there, but none with clear info on who to contact or how to support or give money.

See more on I Will Shout Youngstown

DeKorda Jackson, The founder of this project is on Facebook