Sunday, July 31, 2011

It Seems the Batman Movie is Impacting Everything round Here...Including Alibis

It seems the Batman movie is impacting everything around here...including alibis....see Post Gazette story here Hint to those apprehended by the police ...someone just tried this. It won't work..............

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Filming Locations For Batman in Pittsburgh

Filming locations (at least some of them) can be found here on
I saw part of the filming on Bellefield and 5th Saturday. The look VERY appropriate for a Batman movie. There were scores of men in these orange jumpsuits in Oakland last night around 7. Extras from the casting call a week or two ago. Who says Pittsburghers aren't in shape! Trust me you wouldn't want to meet any of these guys in a dark alley.I believe there is more filming at the same location Sunday. See link above.
Also note that I Heart Pittsburgh is going to have many updates...see here

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opening Reception Saturday 7/30: Substrates at Unsmoke Systems

Unsmoke Systems in Braddock has had a very active calender this summer. Tonight, Substrates, an exhibit that features primarily (all?) Pittsburgh artists opens.There is also music. There is also pizza.
Substrates - a group show
July 30, 2011
starts at 6pm
Free event
21+ to drink and/or byob
Pizza Oven - 6 til 7pm
Free event poster for the first 50 guests
Visual installation by C-Town
720 Records booth

Featured Artists:

Strawberryluna -
A silk screening power house from Pittsburgh

Silk screening, collages, hand drawn awesomeness

Shannon Gustafson -
Photography, detail, detail, detail!

Stephanie Towell -
Assemblage & Collage

Emil Industries -
A new silkscreen artist in Braddock

Featured Performers:

Hooley - Pittsburgh's premier Traditional Irish Music band, brings alive the ancient and contemporary tunes and songs of Ireland, with flute, whistle, concertina, banjo, guitar and percussion. And a little poetry thrown in for good luck. Get ready to dance, or just kick back and enjoy. 7 til 8pm

Paul Dang - 720 records
House to hip hop. Erase your expectations.

Tom Cox - what you feel. Disco/house and everything in between

C-Town - Rocking Horse Gallery
Experimental sounds

Low Space -
Down tempo goodness


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Holy Snowflakes! Batman Filming Starts in Pittsburgh!

Yes, there will be fake snow on the streets of Pittsburgh for the filming of the new Batman movie...and explosions and car chases and...lots of exciting stuff.And street closings downtown (on top of the major construction related street closings already going on). Holy Traffic Jam! For info on today's press conference (Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan) go Here This same page also has a downloadable PDF file for the first week of street closings.

More Cities Transform Through "Pop Up" Urbanism

New hope for cities might just be here, with the increasing realisation that we don't always have all the answers. How, would people use a new public space? Should a particular street be closed off? Perhaps the best way to find out is just to try things out on a trial basis.

The Globe and Mail has a good article on how some major cities, New York, Paris, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver are using experimentation to transform themselves.

An idea is percolating in my head about this but I will have to get a few more people behind it before I will tell you what it is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Open Call: Westmoreland Museum Looking For Photos Of Tattoos

No, all these pictures will not be displayed in the gallery-but it's still a great opportunity to display this honest personal and often deeply creative artform.

Do you have a tattoo? Would you like to share its design with others?

In September, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art will host the exhibition Tattoo Witness of tattoo photographs by Pittsburgh artist Mark Perrott. We would like also like to show pictures of your tattoos in a special section of the exhibition.

Please send us a photo of your tattoo(s) and your story about why or where you got it to If you prefer not to send via email, bring a photo of your tattoo (no larger than 8x10 inches) to the Museum or send it via postal mail to:

Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Tattoo Witness Photos
221 N. Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Submission deadline: September 1, 2011
Photos chosen will also appear on our Facebook page.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Apartment Therapy Midwest Roadtrip : Ohio, Indiana, Michigan Etc...

Apartment Therapy has it's "United States Of Design" post up of some suggested Art/design highlights in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri.

The list will always make someone mad for what it leaves out. Sadly, I haven't seen enough to argue much aside from saying The Akron Art Museum is IMHO, a must see-and right now rates above The Cleveland Center Of Contemporary Art--until the new museum is done.

The Cleveland Museum is pretty much in a class by itself anywhere outside of NY, Chicago, D.C. or Philly in terms of scale, breadth and quality.

Contemporary Arts Center, Columbus
Columbus Museum of Art
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus
Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland
The Cleveland Musuem of Art
Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati

Also included are some shopping and flea market suggestions and a link about Cincinnati's Over The Rhine neighborhood.

Henry Simonds- Requiem for the Superball: 28 July 6-9pm @Charles Bank Gallery In NY

Many of us know Henry on some level from his long involvement in The Sprout Fund and many other projects in Pittsburgh.

Henry's mind seems to get into lots of stuff, much of which some way circles around film and photography. This, his first NY solo exhibit is just weird and open ended enough to get some serious interest going. I redid my schedule when I heard about this so I can try to be at the opening. (Also, my own last show at D'Amellio Terras is up)

Requiem for the Superball

"Charles Bank Gallery will hold the solo show in the Projects space from July 28 through September 11. The exhibition celebrates one of the world's most dynamic toys, as it explores the beauty and allure of the iconic ball introduced in 1965 by the Wham-O Manufacturing Co. The Super Ball ®, invented by chemist Norman Stingley, has been the subject of fascination and play for almost half of a century. Simonds invites viewers to reflect on the unique charm and character of the bounciest of balls through film, photography, sculpture, and performance."

Fitting the law of averages-there are usually three or more shows in NY at any given time with a strong Pittsburgh connection.

Charles Bank Gallery
196 Bowery (at Spring street)
New York, NY 10012

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Youngstown State University Holds It's First National Alumni Networking Event

Some folks from YSU were handing out flyers telling people about this at the most recent Pittsburgh Gallery crawl.

The somewhat positive upside falling reliability of state funding is that many schools are working harder at building social connections to their alumni and wider communities.

Thursday's event featured gatherings in 10 U.S. cities. Some of the places included Columbus, Phoenix and Washington D.C.

Those at the Youngstown event, held at Cassese's MVR Italian Restaurant & Bar on Walnut Street, hosted a webcam session that broadcast to the other cities. During the webcast, former students talked about new projects happening at the campus.

Friday, July 22, 2011

CMU Ph. D. Student Starts First Robot Film Festival In NYC

OK, this sounds like an incredibly fun event but on some deep level it pisses me off.

From Wired Magazine

"The two-day event kicks off Saturday and is the brainchild of Heather Knight, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotic Institute and founder of Marilyn Monrobot — an outfit that devises socially intelligent robot performances and sensor-based electronic art. Knight also gave what must be the only TED talk to date in which a human acted as compeer for a robot comedian — in her case one called Data after the Star Trek character.

Speaking to, Knight explains that people were asked to submit films that told a story with robots — whether as characters or simply, as Knight told New Scientist, “just dramatically intertwined into the context of the story.”

Why isn't this happening in Pittsburgh? It's being started by a student here and few other places are have as much street cred in this area.

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that local funders wouldn't have supported an idea like this. Most projects here are either 90% outsider --a famous artist brought in to show- "we got class", "Here's some real art" -or 90% local artists--"isn't that nice, we paint too".

Separate is inherently unequal.

Just from a simple marketing and tourism perspective-isn't it pretty clear we need more ideas to mix and show off both local and non local talent in the same event? This is a film festival, one of the most simple and portable concepts to create this kind of interaction with.

Anyone attending? What localy made ideas or films are involved?

Hear Heather talk about the project here. (which I haven't done yet.)

Found this via Pop City

Festival details.

NOTE CORRECTION The Tree River Circus Sunday 11-5

CORRECTION:JUST FOUND OUT LOCATION INFO ON THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE WAS INCORRECT. Should be We're going to be in the Northside at Cedar Ave and East Ohio StreetThis sounds really interesting! The Tree River Circus,Sunday 11-5 on the Northside in Alleghent Commons Park. Not a circus really, but an arts event "Bringing together local artists, writers and musicians to creatively convey Pittsburgh's unique history, community and environmental struggle" The event combines visual, literary and performing arts. There are readings, a gallery exhibit, and performances. The visual artists are by and large not familiar to me...that's always a good thing, as it is great to see artists I haven't seen before.This promises to be a worthwhile and fun "circus". And, it is supposed to be back down in the 80s by Sunday.So not too sweltering for an outdoor event.
Detailed information can be foundhere at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cleveland's North Collinwood Neighborhood Wins 500 Thousand Dollar Arts Based Development Grant

I have actually not been in this neighborhood on Cleveland's East Side, best know for The Beachland Ballroom. Collinwood is also one of several areas of the city gathering momentum at attracting artists and art related businesses.

Several things make this grant, partly funded by The Kresge Foundation.
seem fantastic-starting with it's size! Also great is that the money is going to folks in the area who have already shown themselves good at doing things-not just making grant proposals look good.

"We wanted to work with someone that got it, and Northeast Shores made a compelling case," says Beattie. "They've done a great job of giving artists license to use the neighborhood as their canvas, yet they've followed behind and supported them, resulting in organic, grassroots redevelopment of the neighborhood." He cited the arts-based businesses on Waterloo Road as one example."

Trust artists?

Many details are still to come, but the grant is likely to fund a program to help artist's purchase and rehab area homes and buildings as well as a small "$2,500-$10,000 grants to artists for community-based projects, arts-based community dialogues, and integrating arts-based development into current redevelopment projects in a deeper way."

Would love to hear from people with more knowledge of this area or projects like this going on in Cleveland-or almost anywhere else.

IMHO, all projects of this type would be leveraged by having a well done regional arts website to help spread the word and keep artists more aware and connected.

Confluence 2011, Literary Sci-Fi Convention in Pittsburgh this Weekend

Don't think this was included in the PG's recent list of weird and geeky events in Pittsburgh. This is the 23rd annual Confluence convention.

"Confluence is:

A small, friendly conference focused on the literature and art of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Many award-winning authors and editors who enjoy meeting and talking with Confluence members.

Panel discussions and talks that will broaden and deepen your appreciation of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Poetry readings, filk concerts, a video room and other entertaining fare.

A taste-testing consuite, a terrific art show, and a book-crammed dealers room.

Confluence is about programming that lets fans of science fiction and fantasy hear about the views and visions of some of the leading authors, editors, and critics in the genre.

To complement the panel discussions, Confluence also has a full slate of art demos by several very accomplished artists, and entertainment items that span the spectrum from poetry readings to filk concerts to the annual farce presented by the Parallax Second Players. Never a dull moment, but if you need a break you can't go wrong by spending some time in our well-provisioned consuite chatting with guests and other members."

Check out all the details, speakers, events and pricing.

July 22nd - 24th, 2011
Doubletree Hotel, Pittsburgh Airport.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

See the Sweet New Locally Made Bike Racks In Youngstown

I Will Shout Youngstown, has a few images up of the new bike racks in Youngstown. IMHO, this design is way above average-very beautiful. In spite of a pretty subtle YO reference, these look to me to be exportable.

Anybody seen these in person or used them? Who made them?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Solstice Celebration brings Cleveland Museum of Art to life

Summertime in Cleveland is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.

Once we Midwesterners have dug out from snow, ice and wind, we embrace summer with verve. The Summer Solstice Celebration at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) embodies the passion for warm months, celebrating the summer solstice, otherwise known as the first day of summer, while beautifully intertwining the fine art and culture of Cleveland.
Photo courtesy of phansticphotos

The Summer Solstice Party at the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the largest parties held at a fine art museum in the Midwest. Well-soled heels kick-off celebration of the longest day of the year in late June (easy to remember for next year! Mark your calendar now, trust me.) Thousands of guests from across the world descend upon the CMA to kick off the summer season with a night-long affair of art, live music, food and cocktails.
Party guests toast a welcome to summer as the clock ticks to midnight. Merrymaking continues well into the witching hours. The event quite literally takes over the entire Cleveland Museum of Art including galleries, the front lawn and everywhere in between. On June 26 this year, I attended my first Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Celebration. It surpassed my expectations, set high by the passionate stories spun by friends. Allow me to paint a portrait of the evening by first saying this is NOT your typical museum fundraising experience. It's exponentially more fun.

What To Expect at Summer Solstice Celebration at Cleveland Museum of Art?

Summer Solstice Celebration Gate Times (or as I call it, Levels of Fun)

Eventide 6pm to 2am

General admission = $175
CMA members = $125
Includes Mediterranean style hors d'oeuvers and open bar.
Audience: Refined, distinguished. Guests feel that they're truly part of a benefit for the Cleveland Museum.

GATE TIME #2: Twilight 7:30 to 2am

General admission = $60 per person
CMA members = $40
Includes Latin American style hors d'oeuvers and cash bar.
Audience: Younger guests mingle with earlier crowd.

GATE TIME #3 Solstice, 10pm to 2am

Advance = $15 per person
Limited availability $20 tickets at the door (Never seen any available at the door. It sells out every year.)

Includes snacks and cash bar.
Audience: Look - it starts at 10pm. You can do the math.

Piazza Party and World-Class Live Music

Photo courtesy of CMA website.

Some would consider the outdoor "lawn party" and concert stage hosting world-class musicians as the epicenter of Summer Solstice Celebration. Select galleries within the museum are open - more on that shortly - but the "celebration" is arguably outside.
A full-scale stage, complete with intricate concert style lighting and a top-notch sound-system, is constructed at the ceremonial entrance of the Museum.

Courtesy of CMA website.

There are marble stairs and veranda, providing a perch perfect for people watching. The enormous patio accommodates the crowd that gathers in front of the pop-up stage. The space is transformed into a pop-up concert venue and the musicians that perform embrace the nature of experience.

The best performance was Mucca Puzza. An attempt to summarize their music (if the photos don't quite paint the picture)....Consider Mucca Puzza a very cool, hipster circus marching band.

A full line-up of the world-class musicians is profiled over at my friend’s blog, Cleveland’s A Plum.

Being the Cleveland Museum of Art, no detail is missed in creating an optical playground for guests.
Performers took to lighted and raised platforms throughout the audience.

Cleveland Museum of Art Gallery Tours
If you know me, you know I love to travel. I’m ashamed to say I’ve not yet gotten my passport. The Museum gives anyone the chance to travel the world through art. Cross the globe through the museum’s new galleries of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, medieval and African art.

The CMA is known as having one of the best collections in the entire world. A multi-million dollar transformation of the Museum over course of several years, while some may have been seen as a challenge, haven proven results as simply breath taking.
Wall Street Journal expounds upon the multi-phase project with more eloquence (plus fabulous photos.) Summer Solstice Celebration gives you the chance see the CMA makeover of the West Wing in mouth-gaping awe.he entire renovation is slated to be complete in 18 months and it will become a beacon of architectural showmanship when the unveiling is complete.

Have you booked your calendar for June 2012 for Cleveland Museum of Art's Summer Solstice Celebration?

No, that's not me. That's the Mucca Pazza cheerleader.
Consider this my cheering you to join the Summer Solstice Celebration in 2012. I'll be there.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rockers Remember Cleveland's Pioneering Music Critic, Jane Scott

In 1964. when Jane Scott found her niche at age 45, women reporters were still rare and Rock was still considered passing fad-or at least not worthy of the attention of a real music critic. She was never forgotten by rockers for taking seriously what so few above the age of 30, did.

From The LA Times

"This renown was a far cry from the days when she had to carry a homemade placard reading “Yes, I’m a reporter.” In the netherworld of rock-star dressing rooms, it was assumed that anyone as respectable-looking as she must be an undercover narcotics agent."

From the NY Times.

"Ms. Scott adored much of the music she heard, and was overwhelmingly positive about it in print. This incurred criticism from some journalists but won the devotion of readers and many musicians.

She was also an astute handicapper. “He looked like a cross between a dockhand and a pirate,” she wrote in The Plain Dealer in 1975, reviewing a young musician. “He stood on the darkened Allen Theater stage last night in a black greaser jacket, blue jeans, a gray wool cap pulled over an eye and a gold earring in his left ear. ... His name is Bruce Springsteen. He will be the next superstar.”"

I found both of these obits via Freshwater Cleveland.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pittsburgh Accepts It's Inner Weirdo

The former CMU professor, Richard Florida grasped a conflict between the city's conservative culture and what he saw as the desires of the creative talent base the city would need to grow. Technology, tolerance, and talent, he said were requirements for success in the new economy.

Pittsburgh has seen the future and it might be wearing a fur suit or at a zombie crawl. The PG has a long lists of events the city is hosting that seem to reflect it's strange side.

Trading cards represent another gaming industry that sees the geek potential in Pittsburgh. If you wandered into the David L. Lawrence Convention Center this weekend, you would have witnessed the invitation-only Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game's 2011 North American World Championship Qualifier.

Just around the corner from the convention center, fuzzy creatures and superheroes of all shapes and sizes invaded Pittsburgh on the last Saturday in June. The first Downtown Superhero Block Party, a partnership of Bricolage theater company, the ToonSeum and the August Wilson Center (neighbors in the 900 block of Liberty Avenue) was infiltrated by dozens of friendly Furries in town for the annual Anthrocon.

Here are details of some events that are part of Pittsburgh's claim to being a Geek City:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

TAZZ Pitbull Stickers From NYC

OK now THIS is a creative idea for stickers. I'm not sure if Tazz is the dog, or the artist, but I love these.
Posted by Picasa

Help The Rock Hall Buy The Yasgur's Farm Sign

Yup, lot's of major institutions are now also using kickstarter to raise funds for selective projects.

The Rock Hall recently acquired an old sign advertising the Dairy Farm that became the site of Woodstock.

"An anonymous donor has agreed to help fund half of the $24,000 acquisition costs by contributing $12,000 toward the project. This donation came with the condition that other music fans provide the remaining amount through this on-line campaign. We need your support to meet this goal. It will be exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum this August to commemorate Woodstock’s 42nd anniversary."

Check out the details and support if you can on kickstarter

"This project will only be funded if at least $12,000 is pledged by Monday Aug 15, 12:00am EDT."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sarah Wiseman @Box Heart

Sarah Wiseman: Crawl Inside . Thread, Ink (monotype) Acrylic, Pencil, and Screen print

It's a little late notice, Contemplations on State of Being closes tomorrow (July 16). The only saving factor is that Box Heart will retain works from the exhibit, so if you can't make it in for the solo presentation of Ms. Wiseman's work, you can be assured of seeing them at the gallery.

But that's the great thing about blogging. I didn't get in to see the exhibit until yesterday, but I can still post it up, quick as can be! I am so glad that I did take a moment to view the exhibit.

The works were created on substantial paper substrate, using an impressive range of media, to create richly textured surfaces. The application of thread creates a delicate veil, a final layer over an intricately worked surface. Ms. Wiseman brings considerable thought to her mark making, with considerable restraint and focus. If there are accidents here, they have been carefully integrated into the final works.

The small scale of the works invites intimate examination, and really, it only on this close examination that the viewer can really appreciate the subtle interplays of the materials. Sarah Wiseman's work requires that close examination, letting it soak through you as you submerge through the layers.

You can view the installation, courtesy of Box Heart.

Sarah Wiseman: Contemplations on State of Being
June 21 - July 16
Box Heart Gallery
4523 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Gallery Hours:
Tuesdays: 11 AM - 6 PM
Wednesdays - Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday: 1 PM - 5 PM

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pittsburgh Weekend Art Events: 7/15-17/11.

c. David Grim (taken 6/21/11)

The seasonal Downtown Art Crawl has come around again, and I don't see any rain in the forecast. That gives me reason to believe it's going to be crowded.


Robert Raczka is "guest-curating" Drawn in a Day at Space Gallery. For this, Raczka has chosen 12 artists (or teams of same) to create works directly on the walls, right through the opening reception. With the crowds that these crawls attract, this has the potential to get a bit chaotic.

Garfield staple Jason Sauer is poised to roll out new work at 929 Liberty Avenue. The promotional notice I've read says that instead of demolition car parts, Jason has used bicycles to make this latest batch of mixed media works. It's being put together by the Moxie Dada folks, and it's good to see them active once again in the local scene.

Meanwhile the August Wilson Center for African American Culture has print works by dead local hero Romare Bearden and Wood Street Galleries has a collection of work by Icelandic artists. Stephanie Armbruster's paintings are at the 709 Penn Gallery. Plus you can still catch the journalistic work of one-time Pittsburgh Press photographer Alan F. Reiland (1927-96) at the Shaw Galleries (805 Liberty Ave.).

In Lawrenceville at Wildcard (4209 Butler St.), you can visit the opening reception for Insert Coin To Play: Pinball Life (6-9pm). A new neighborhood-themed pinball machine created by Andy Scott will anchor the display of a collection of pinball-themed art. There's supposed to be some kind of tournament too. Proceeds (improbably) benefit Bike Pittsburgh.

Y'now, last time they came around I missed the Pretty Things Peep Show at the Rex Theater. My general aversion to all things South Side kicked in, and I couldn't bring myself to make the trip on a Friday evening... when things in that part of town get as close to unbearable as seems possible. Still this tempts me, especially when I look at these... Anyway, it starts at 9PM and costs $15 to attend. And if you make the effort to brave Carson Street, stop in at the Brew House (2100 Mary Street) too for the opening (7PM) of a show by Jorge Luis Santana.

Or if you love birds (which I don't), go to the Mattress Factory for the "Stray Birds Sunset Full Moon Performance", with "bird musician" Michael Pestel and Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo. It's almost guaranteed to be better and less silly than it sounds. Or it could be gruelingly pretentious. That would be a shame. I don't know when it starts because the listing I saw omitted that crucial info.

And then, of course, there's always Braddock... with its shabby-chic art offerings. A collective called BrokenDayton Art Machine appears at Unsmoke Systems. Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Breidenbach and Ashley Jonas are included, and the group plans to bury a time capsule at the closing, to be held on July 22... and if you go, you're supposed to bring something to put in there. The Opening Reception is this Friday from 6-10PM.


Stop by at Lili Cafe in Polish Hill (3138 Dobson Street) for a rare late night (6-8PM) at the shop, and a reception for "Low Key", featuring the works of a talented pair of local artists, Victoria Cessna and Laura Jean McLaughlin.


The Polish Hill Arts festival begins at NOON. There will be authentic Polish food, kids activities, artist tables, and bands... this year they include Timbeleeza (Brazillian samba drumming), The Panther Hollow String Band (old-timey country), Bridgette Perdue (singer-songwriter), Lungs Face Feet (Cumbrian-influenced brass band), FOOD (rock), and Moldies and Monsters (oldies covers).

And if you have the time, you should stop by at Morose & Macabre's House of Oddities and Miss Hush Present: The Return Of Subculture Vulture Counterculture Flea Market (Whew!). This event runs from 2-10PM at 4013 Butler Street. Its organizers are advertising "New & Used clothing and wares, art, crafts, and food from the underground". Plus there will be DJ's.

I Am Immortal Opens Tomorrow Night 6-10 @ Unsmoke Systems

OK, by now you likely know there is a big downtown Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl. If you get the chance this group show involving, "video, performance, sculpture, prints and clay" in Braddock looks worth the trip.

This seems to be by a group of very young artist's in college who have formed an art collective, non of whom have an obvious connection to Pittsburgh called, The Brokendayton Machine.

I Am Immortal

"Ohio-based artists Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Briedenbach, Ren Cummings, Phillip Evans, Ashley Jonas, and Frank Travers will present work in different mediums exploring the resurgence of art and culture in Braddock, PA.

A highlight of the show will be a time capsule available for public participation. Guests are invited to bring items from their lives for inclusion in the piece, which will be buried on site during the closing reception on July 22nd"

One obvious thing off the bat is that Braddock doesn't seem to have a lot of trouble attracting artists from all over who want to show there. Sadly, Pittsburgh itself has few spaces where both local and non local artists can show and interact.

I Am Immortal
July 15-22nd
UnSmoke Art Space
1137 Braddock Ave
Braddock, PA 15104

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pittsburgh Performance Group, Squonk Opera Competes Tonight On America's Got Talent

This unique troupe, is one of only ten acts that skipped the early round and arrived in the quarter finals based upon their first audition alone.

Two judges, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, loved them while the third, Piers Morgan seemed to think they were just weird. "What does it mean?"

The progressive-rockers-turned-performance-artists feel they're representing Pittsburgh artists and musicians and would like to contribute to invalidating the national belief that Pittsburgh serves as a second-rate scene for the arts. The troupe gladly wears its black-and-gold roots on its sleeves.

"We're very proud to say we're from Pittsburgh," Mr. O'Hearn said. "I think one of the reasons our art is so different is that we make our shows in Pittsburgh, which is inherently different from making them in New York or Los Angeles because we have a freedom and self-reliance that doesn't come with those cities."

For a group who's performances lean so heavily on carefully planned display and technology, the pressure is really on to pull something off-with less than two minutes of set up time.

The PG article also strongly implies that the show is counting on The Burgh's now famously rabid support of hometown heroes to boost ratings.

America's Got Talent, tonight at nine on NBC.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Premier Of "25 Hill" Lifts Hopes For Akron's Soap Box Derby

The movie, largely shot in the Akron area about The Soap Box Derby is finally out, opening to a big crowd.

OK, I am gonna have to say it looks like they laid it on thick. Kid, who's dad was killed in Afghanistan hooks up with bitter old man who's son died in the World Trade Center--and after a long.....barf. I guess, I just can't quite buy that this is a great movie.

Still, I can't help feeling that The Derby itself, is a great event which taps into a very deep American love of fun, invention and can do spirit. The film is also the product of lots of local North East Ohio backers who believed in the project and it's potential to draw more support and attention to a struggling Akron tradition.

IMHO, this is still a greatly under leveraged brand which fits so closely with the recent revival of Do It Yourself culture.

New Pop Up Gallery, The College Inn Project, Open All Summer In Shadyside

Paintings by Brian Brown

A really cool city is often about the unexpected stuff that bubbles to the surface, but I didn't expect a lot of that to happen in the established, expensive real estate of Shadyside.

Don't ask me exactly how this is possible, but this pseudo trendy shopping street has a prime, large empty corner storefront that has sat totally empty for 18 years. Partly, this may date to the time when the area was more depressed-but something is goin on, involving the owner, an estate, back taxes-who knows?

So-I got a shock when Jean told me there was some kind of art opening there on Saturday Night! Seems like someone got the owner to donate or rent the raw space for a Pop Up Gallery, called The College Inn.

We talked to a few of the people helping out and they said there would it would be home to exhibits, screenings and other events all summer.

The College Inn
5851 Ellsworth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA

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Debut Novelist Reads in Lawrenceville Tonight

A reminder that tonight Jesus Angel Garcia comes to town on his 32-city book tour with his debut novel, Bad bad bad. His readings are multi-media and lean toward performance, so come out and enjoy the show, which opens with three local writers from Cyberpunk Apocalypse.

Garcia’s novel kind of blew me away, and I wrote a review of it on my small press blog:

Badbadbad draws on styles and themes from familiar stories and older literatures. The novel sustains the straight-talk trashiness of 20th Century pulp, the sex-romp identity games of Kathy Acker, and the dark inevitability of Giovanni's Room. But it considers an absolutely current societal malaise: the twin-headed hydra of selective isolation and social media addiction. In the process, badbadbad reveals a new brand of lust for life and a new kind of lost generation.
Read more:

Event Details:

Cyberpunk Apocalypse Presents:
Monday, July 11th
Belvedere's Ultra Dive Bar
4016 Butler Street near 40th
$1-$5 suggested donation
with Cyberpunk Apocalypse readers:
*Art Noose, amazing zine maker, letterpress whiz, & storyteller
*Nate McDonough, comics king & GRIXLY publisher
*Gunner, exquisitely offbeat fiction writer & absurdist performer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Holy Crap! Cleveland Takes Homegrown Neighborhood Fireworks To a New Level

Rust Wire has some amazing photos taken this year by Frank Lanza, showing some pretty serious informal fireworks on Cleveland's West Side.

On the one hand, it really looks like they shouldn't be doing this and on the other it looks like the most awesome kind of all American good time possible.

New "Wild Style" Graffiti Murals in Braddock

I was unable to see a live painting event last month in Braddock. The mayor, who had been afraid of more conventional graffiti which might contribute to "vandalism" or gang activity-finally relented and allowed an old department store in town to become a canvas for old school spray paint.

In a town in which mostly white, and sometimes famous "street artists" had been celebrated for doing public art-rejecting the expression of many local artists must have created some resentment.

The building now has is a pretty awesome compilation of work by what looks like a solid crew of people--from both Pittsburgh and many other places. Many details, thank and compliment the mayor for allowing this to happen.

I remember this poem by the legendary graffiti artist, Lee QuiƱones.

There was once a time

When the Lexington was a beautiful line

When children of the ghetto expressed with art, not with crime.

But then as evolution passed,

The Transit’s buffing did its blast.

Now the trains look like rusted trash.

Now we wonder if graffiti will ever last.

Long live a new Braddock in which the potential creative talents of everybody are used.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Monday July 11th,Reading with Jesus Angel Garcia & Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writers Collective

I wish I wasn't going to miss this.

Monday, July 11 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Belvederes Ultra-Dive
4016 Bulter Street
Pittsburgh, PA

San Francisco author Jesus Angel Garcia comes to Pittsburgh on tour with his new transmedia novel, "Bad bad bad." Cyberpunk Apocalypse writers Art Noose, Nate McDonough, & Gunner will join him for this group reading. Karen Lillis will MC.

Garcia is on a cross-country tour (32 cities) and you can read his tour blog here;

Yale Art Gallery Buys Major Henry Koerner Painting

My extensive trip around NY art galleries last month showed that a staggering number of them, even those dedicated to contemporary art were giving prime place to historic shows of often non living artists.

One positive result is that there's a new interest in talents long forgotten or under recognised. (A big reason is that most of the super famous work is in public collections no longer available for sale)

The 1940's and early 50's was the birthplace of the important, New York School-Pollack, de Kooning, Kline, Rothko -which for many years cast a blaze so large that many forgot or ignored the huge array of artists more closely tied to figuration in all it's forms.

Lately, the art market has taken a serious turn back to recognise this work with the last major London auctions dominated by works by Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Peter Doig, Ron Mueck, Andy Warhol and other non abstract artists.

"Works by Francis Bacon, Peter Doig and Lucian Freud helped Christie’s International raise 78.8 million pounds ($126 million) at an auction in London last night. It was the company’s highest total for a sale of contemporary works in the U.K. capital since June 2008."

One artist who lived and worked in Pittsburgh gaining recent appreciation is Henry Koerner with a major purchase by the Yale University Art Gallery.

"Since his 1991 death at age 75 in a bicycle accident in Vienna, public interest in Koerner's paintings has escalated. His works in photo realism style, known as Magic Realism, sell for six figures. Koerner's "Post War" sold at auction in 2006 for $329,000; in June, "Under the Overpass" sold in California for $252,000.

"He's an important artist. I'm glad he's getting his due," said Gail Stavitsky, curator at Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey and author of a book about Koerner.

Yale's acquisition -- its first Koerner painting -- will become part of the university's permanent collection, said Robin Jaffe Frank, associate curator of American painting and sculpture."

Eric Shiner Named Director Of The Warhol Museum

I'm somewhat conflicted about the news that Eric Shiner, the tireless whirlwind of energy who has had such a big impact on Pittsburgh since he was named The Warhol's Milton Fine Curator of Art, several years ago will now take on the permanent job as head of museum.

From Pop City.

"Hardly one to shirk, since assuming his duties Shiner has mounted some 10 shows, including takes on Playboy bunnies, The End: Analyzing Art in Troubled Times (30 artists looking at the financial collapse), and including model and photographer Bunny Yeager. "We tracked her down," he says, referring to Emily Hetzel of Caliban Books who helped. "It's her first museum show ever."

Speaking of firsts, he also tries to mount first museum shows for young artists, or at least include them in the mix. "That's been quite fun to do as well," he says."

On the one hand, this places a "true believer", with a deep knowledge of the city's emerging artists as head of one of our key institutions. On the other, one worries about his ability to continue playing so active a role in putting together shows here. The city still sorely lacks curators who combine a strong grounding and connection to the wider art world with a serious respect and interest in local artists.

We can only hope, a good replacement curator is found and that they make a great team since Eric is sure keep his hand in the mix.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Paddy Johnson Asks If Google + Is Good for Artists On Hyperallergic

Well, I'm still not on Facebook but now Google is out with the latest data mine to dump your entire social life into.

How is it different from Facebook, and what are the new features that may make it good or bad for artists to use?

Check her thoughts.

Have you checked it out and if so what are your thoughts?

Steve Lambert's Make Capitalism Work For Me: Electronic Sign Project On Kickstarter

Yet an other "is that art?" piece blurring the line between technology, conceptual art and activism will be debuting in Cleveland, in association with Spaces Gallery.

The artist, Steve Lambert is planning to erect a huge sign asking the yes or no question, "does capitalism work for me?", and display real time results.

He's trying to help his planned tour of the sign around the country and pay for some of the other associated costs through Kickstarter.

See the Kickstarter video.

The plan to ask a very simplistic and loaded question and then tour the work around a series of "art world" type locations, where the "answer", is likely to come out the same seems childish and self serving. However, putting the work outside and various other opportunities for deeper engagement like a planned book-make this pretty interesting.

Who knows where all this will lead? That's what I like.

From the artist's website.

"Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, and Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).

Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. His work has been shown at galleries, art spaces, and museums nationally and internationally, and in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The United States Library of Congress. Lambert has discussed his work live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on internationally in outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek."