Friday, March 30, 2012

Hoping to instruct and inform, University of Cincinnati Museum gives prolific forger a show

For literally decades, small museums around the country have been blessed by what they thought were valuable gifts of art, only to discover the works were forged.

Quite a story.

From ABC News

"The Cincinnati exhibit of about 40 works given to 15 museums grew to around 100 when Landis donated 60 pieces he possesses, along with his priest's outfit

The Faux Real show will run through May 20 at the Dorothy W. and C. Lawson Reed Jr. Gallery. It depicts famous art forgers, details of how Landis made some donations and ways of detecting fakes. Visitors can view some works under ultraviolet light that causes sections to glow if they contain contemporary ingredients.

Art experts say not accepting payment for his forgeries has helped keep Landis from being charged with a crime. Museum officials say forgeries can hurt their reputation and cost time and money researching suspected fraud."

Gallery website with many informative links.

“Faux Real” runs from Sunday, April 1, to Sunday, May 20, in UC’s Dorothy W. & C. Lawson Reed Jr. Gallery, located in Room 5275 of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. 2624 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati OH 45221. An opening reception is set for 5-7 p.m., Thursday, April 5

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Regional Art Site, Art Hopper seeks writers

This comment was left on my post about Art Hopper by one of the site founders.

Thank your for highlighting the new site. Arthopper launched on January 1, 2012. The similarity to Glasstire is not an accident. I went to graduate school in San Antonio, love Glasstire, and wanted to recreate the experience here.

Any any all suggestions, comments and criticisms are welcome and encouraged. We want the site to work for all and to be a real community asset.

Buffalo is on the list of cities to add but we cannot do it all at once. If you know writers who are interested in submitting content please have them contact me. We are a volunteer effort now but will me moving toward a paid "society of correspondents."

Rick, I enjoy your work in Pittsburgh and hope we are able to collaborate.

John, we would welcome opinion pieces from you as well as important arts issues pieces.

Jimmy Kuehnle

Contact here if interested.

FYI, folks in and around Buffalo, that includes you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Man may have found valuable Picasso Print in thrift shop near Columbus Ohio

Keep your eyes open out there! The Columbus Dispatch has a great video of a man describing how he found the print and the what made him think it could be worth something.

From The Columbus Dispatch

"Picasso was asked to create the poster for a 1958 Easter exhibit of his ceramic work in Vallauris, in southern France, Florman said. It certainly isn’t among his best-known works, she said, but there are more-obscure pieces.

Officials at the Volunteers of America chain said they never had seen such a rare find in their 10 stores, six of which are in Ohio. Workers sift through donations looking for valuable items that they sell for higher prices, but some items fall through the cracks, spokeswoman Kathryn Lecklider said."

Cash Mob movement taking off in Youngstown, hitting the Touch the Moon Candy Saloon

People all around are catching the Cash Mob trend, linking online and picking a time and place to meet and support a local store or series of stores.

Follow the Youngstown Cash Mob on Facebook

On Twitter @YoungstownCashM

See Defend Youngstown for a good recap of local news and events

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Iconic Cindy Sherman photo for sale by Akron Art Museum could bring record price

Many are likely pretty upset that The Akron Art Museum, plans to sell Cindy Sherman's #96 from her 1981 Centerfolds Series at auction. Expectations are that the work could fetch as much as 4 million or more, which would be a record price for any photograph. Remember, most photos are prints there are some other copies, one of which recently sold for almost 4 million.

The intent is to build an endowment to support the purchase of other works.

Akron Art Museum to Sell Iconic Cindy Sherman Print

While, this move makes the museum look more like a stock trader than a museum, I can't blame them for trying to make the most of a prime market moment. That kind of money can go a long way. They will still have one Sherman work.

If you have not been to The Akron Art Museum, you are really missing something. The building is amazing and the collection includes important works by Chuck Close, Jean Dubuffet, Kiki Smith, Lynda Benglis, Anthony Caro, Charles Burchfield, Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Marina Abramovic, Viktor Schreckengost, Lari Pittman, Donald Judd, Richard Tuttle and many others. I particularly love their collection of artist's normally known as "outsiders"; Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, William L. Hawkins, Minnie Evans, W. D. "Crazy Mac" McCaffrey etc...

It's just a great place.

Monday, March 26, 2012

New site. Art Hopper aims to link visual culture across The Great Lakes Region

"ArtHopper provides a forum for arts and visual culture in the greater Lake Erie region including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Detroit and beyond."

Art Hopper

An amazing idea finally, hopefully takes root with a single site highlighting visual art across a wide area. A few people might think this site reminds them of Glass Tire, which has been doing this in Texas since 2000.

Why, it seems like I was just bashing us for not doing that again-when Glass Tire's southern California site launched. I think I've brought this up for years and was honestly just too discouraged to keep banging the drum.

In this post.

Wouldn't it be amazing if we thought a bit more regionally. What factor do state borders and old money foundations have in creating artificial distortions? Do people who visit or live in one place know much about what's happening so close by?

Looks like this has already been up since the beginning of the Year.

Check out some posts.


Stencils Stuck on a Repeat Mix Tape

Space Elevators, Paper Ships, Bicycle Rhymes & Enamel Landscapes

Brite Winter Festival


Portraits of Akron

From a Smudge of Paint and a Voice


Fashion & Fresh Flowers at the Cincinnati Art Museum


Center for Post Natural History Grand Opening

Turn Headlights On – Headlights On?


Betsy Eby & Bo Bartlett @ David Klein Gallery


I am really digging this, particularly the respect for grass roots events; small gallery and art happenings. (Glass Tire always seemed too tilted towards big money galleries or institutions) I also like that regional museums seem to be advertising on the site.

If I have a gripe, I guess it's that Buffalo's exciting grass roots scene is not included but I guess one has to stop somewhere.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Planning for the paranoid: Not the only one connecting Trayvon Martin case to sprawl

Someone else did a much better job making links between design and the Trayvon Martin case. It's hard to tell how much communities of this type are the product of paranoia or the cause of it since it's very much a self reinforcing cycle. The need for freedom from crime is of course, universal but in spite of the sales pitch, the standard gated community offers only the false promise of safety.

I was going to do a much better post about this with screenshots of the area from google maps but--I don't know how to grab images. (In spite of the post title--the development where this happened was far from all white-but it had undergone rapid changes which likely played a big role in what happened.)

Gates, sprawl, and 'walking while black'

Those who don’t drive are likely to be on the economic margins or intrepid teenagers—old enough to be on their own but without wheels—who can hurry across huge crossings and ignore conditions that are miserable for anyone on foot. Walkers in this environment are therefore the recipient of pity or suspicion—in this case, the extreme suspicion that resulted in the death of Martin, who was walking to the 7-11 to get Skittles and iced tea on the evening of February 26.

The development’s gate creates a fortress mentality, with some people viewed as legitimate and others as threatening outsiders or interlopers, notes Laurence Aurbach of Pedshed. The gate is most effective for cars. Pedestrians are able to slip in and out easily through the woody buffer that separates the project from the arterial roads. Pedestrians are most feared by some residents, according to a story in the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a gated community, but you can walk in and steal whatever you want,” said one resident.

This might be one of the best articles with backround on the development where this happened.

Trayvon Martin's killing shatters safety within Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford

I still hope to get back and do a much better post about this and or possibly upgrade this one.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Was walking the suspicious activity in the Trayvon Martin case?

I probably shouldn't throw this theory out there, but one of the first things after hearing about the tragic Trayvon Martin (most likely murder) case was that it happened outside Orlando, Florida--a place notorious for it's lack of basic urbanism.

People have speculated, that Trayvon was considered a suspect, just because he was black or because he was black and wearing a hoodie (it was raining)Few have noted he was also doing something else, that may have seemed unusual; he was walking in a place most people seem to drive everywhere.

I just heard about the greater Orlando area being ranked as the most dangerous major urban area for pedestrians in the entire country.

Dangerous by Design

The new report comes with a listing of the 10 most dangerous urban areas to be on foot (greater Orlando takes the prize as the most hazardous city to walk in) and with an interactive map, showing where fatalities are most likely to occur.


....................Walk Score........population

Sanford, Florida .... 36 ........... 52,273

Orlando, Florida .... 47 ........... 237,105

Could an place that makes basic daily human interaction so difficult have helped create paranoid fears? Anyway, if you know this area well and have thoughts, please share them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anybody from Pittsburgh who attended SXSW wanna share thoughts? Could Pittsburgh ever create or host an event like this?

From my twitter feed it looked like a pretty large number of Pittsburgh folks went down to Austin for South by Southwest.

From The Pittsburgh Business Times

The biggest take away from the trip, Russo said, is that “Pittsburgh cannot remain a fly over zone.”

I guess I'm wondering what people thought about it? Guessing which event might blow up to this kind of international scale is like playing the lottery. It does help however if you at least attempt to play the game. Much smaller and less known cities like Grand Rapids have created nationally known events.

The Wikipedia says SXSW founders originally thought the event would just be of regional interest. However, they made no effort to exclude participants based on geography.

Pittsburgh's GA/GI Festival is a showcase of local creativity.

Plans for a Pittsburgh Maker Faire turned into the "mini Maker Faire", showcasing all local projects.

Pyrotopia, originally planned to be the biggest fire Festival in the East, suddenly decided, it might be best to just involve--only locals.

Handmade Arcade, which although it moved to the convention center seems to be involving fewer non local crafters.

One could go-on and on listing all the mini, local or hyper, hyper local events. The plus side, is often a lower level of competition and lots of chances to support and showcase local talent. The flip side is the almost complete lack of chances to interact, meet or collaborate with people from outside the city, without leaving the city. Almost every significant Pittsburgh event for emerging talent excludes non local participation from the start.

Often, many of the better known and connected local folks decide that participating in these events just isn't worth the effort.

In depth rundown of upcoming GA/GI Festival on Penn Ave

Occasional poster, Susan Constanse takes a look at this year's GA/GI festival.

No surprise--most likely because of the limitations set by funders, it's all about the local and the hyper local. Don't get me wrong, local can be great, it's just that most events here end up retreading very familiar ground, offering out of town visitors little reason to pay attention and local creatives little opportunity to develop wider networks. (Great that this year a big slice of the Pittsburgh innovation crowd booked flights to attend the SXSW festival)

Even so, one sees a lot of stuff from interactive kids projects, to technology demonstrations, animation, street performances and craft.

GA/GI Festival: From Dirt To Digital

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ass backwards state cuts transit funds while giving 4.5 million for East Liberty parking garage

As someone coming from somewhere else, one thing I can't get past is the city's deeply damaged self confidence.

Poor little Pittsburgh left with nothing after the mills closed --and now--great, we got a Target and a Home Depot.

Coming from that damaged perspective, the bar is set at a level where almost all development looks good.

from Pop City

After 25 years of vacancy, the Historic Highland and Wallace buildings in East Liberty are under renovation and will once again offer housing and retail opportunities to the community. Construction began Monday on the 103-year-old complex, which is being converted to 129 apartments, 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and will include a 180-car parking garage

After 25 years! In East Liberty, where the black people used to live and everybody knows you shouldn't go! At least Pop City didn't try to call it "Eastside". Ooooh, thank you for the retail and housing opportunities!

It's safe now and look we got parking! In fact, we spent 4.5 million in state tax dollars to put in 180 units of parking. Never mind that East Liberty is a transit hub served by many bus lines or that surrounding areas are walkable. The bus service is for poor people. We got parking!

The development hinged on two key funding components: a $4.5 million grant from the state for construction of a parking garage, and federal financing from HUD, both of which the project received.

LOL "It's 100 percent historic renovation" says the developer. A good part of one of the buildings was torn down to make way for the parking, which hardly fits with historic preservation.

Whatever. The bar is obviously set very, very low. Driving and masses of parking spaces are built into the pie and basically forced down our throats at gunpoint. Anyway, this is the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that helps make the urban tax base and transit system such a black hole.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pretty good radio show on Pittsburgh's Transit Mess

The following opinion is my own and may not be shared by other contributors to this blog.

Part one of a surprisingly good two part broadcast about the current state of public transit in Pittsburgh. Of course, it's far from perfect-this should be a ten part series at least. Sadly, any story that goes beyond telling some sob stories and asking for more money passes as good journalism.

There are however glaring omissions and misrepresentations. The PG transportation writer says "Transit agencies in every city require government subsidies". Not exactly true. Outside, the US, several transit companies, like Hong Kong's MTR run systems with no direct government subsidies. MTR breaks even at the fare box and makes money developing real estate around it's stations, generating huge profits. (You can buy the stock)

Of course, the fact that transit once did make money-or come close to making money is proven by the historic origins of Pittsburgh's own system in private streetcar lines.

Kudos for at least mentioning that benefit costs from the retired workforce are now almost equal to those working, a situation rarely duplicated by any other transit agency.

Then the PG writer makes the claim that "only two things can be done about this"--Increase funding or cut service. Sorry, but any bankrupt company can tell you that the third thing that could be done is to look into cutting the pensions, increasing the retirement age or making other changes in benefit levels. (Don't get me wrong-this is an ugly situation and some of the people behind these false promises should likely be in jail)

Are we really saying we are willing to eliminate almost all service, just so we can pay pensions? This is pretty much what is happening, although few will say it plainly.

They also fail to make connections between transit and land use. Transit will only pay off and be vital if we adopt land use to transit. They don't go into all the ways we subsidise cars like all the URA parking garages.

They also make no effort to look at the route structure. MTR's system makes money because that is what it was designed to do from the start. Nobody there builds a line to serve a football stadium that sits empty most of the time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pittsburgh only cab service offically anounced

In an earlier post, I told you about Pittsburgh Transportation Group's plans to assign a small number of cars to work only in the core city.

From The Tribune Review

The Pittsburgh Transportation Group and city officials will announce a new taxi cab service Tuesday for Downtown, the North Shore, South Side and Oakland.

Jerry Campolongo, director of Yellow Cab Co., a Pittsburgh Transportation Group subsidiary, said the company will start with six new black-and-white cabs and expand to as many as 20 as demand warrants. He said the service is geared toward people living Downtown and visitors to entertainment venues and restaurants.

The significant growth in residents in core areas like Downtown and the Strip, is running straight into a declining and perhaps hopelessly dysfunctional transit system. Cabs alone are not the answer, but they could be part of it.

The original plan was to start with 15 cars to serve The South Side, North Shore and Downtown. Instead the service will cover a wider area including Oakland with only 6 cars to start.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shaker Heights looking to create more walkable and urbanist business districts

Shaker Heights, just east of Cleveland is a pretty legendary and wealthy old streetcar suburb. It was high on my places to see list and we saw lots of wonderful houses and hints of urbanism.

However, when compared to a streetcar suburb like Forest Hills in NY or Pittsburgh's Mount Lebanon, the business district was dull and car oriented. (Honestly, this was a quick dive through and we should have spent more time exploring)

From Green City Blue Lake

Sometime around 1950, Shaker turned its back on the street where the Blue Line ends, and grew enamored of the post-war suburban shopping center. Dirty dumpsters and blank walls of the back of shops faced Warrensville Road, which was widened, big parking lots appeared in front of the one-story shopping center, and the rise of the car almost made a monstrous six-way intersection seem like a good idea.

Pittsburgh's Urban Design Associates is getting public input on making changes and is getting a lot of support for making denser, more connected and walkable business districts.

Please comment if you know more about this.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Toonseum, Kelly-Strayhorn and Union Project Ignite GA/GI Fest 2012, Pittsburgh, PA

This year, GA/GI  Festival weekend (say GAH-gee) gets super-sized by Toonseum, Kelly-Strayhorn and Union Project from Thursday, April 5 through Saturday, April 7.

Toonseum is hosting the first in its series of
mini conventions in Garfield to kick off the annual Geek Arts/Green Innovation Festival for 2012. It all starts Thursday, April 5, at the BGC Community center, 113 N. Pacific at 6 pm. Come meet the many emerging cartoonists and animation vendors, who will be featured. The Toonseum Mini Con continues the next evening during GA/GI Fest @ Unblurred on Friday, April 6. This nationally acclaimed art crawl will showcase dozens of eye-popping art exhibits at Penn Avenue galleries and businesses all evening. Festival-goers will enjoy eco/tech displays, pumped up fashion, spoken word, food and fun for all ages!  GA/GI starts 6 the Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn, where you can get all the festival details happening throughout the arts district. One more example:Kelly Strayhorn's Bap Boom Tourism, 8 pm. Or.. You catch this unique performance by Makoto Hirano on Saturday evening, April 7. But you'll still have plenty of time to stop in at a Saturday celebration hosted by Union Project. It's UP's Monster Open House! Child and family-friendly events all day long on April 7, starting 9:30 801 North Negley Ave.

Said GA/GI Festival Director, Christine Bethea "We never want GA/GI Festival to seem stuck or stodgy. That's why we love collaborating with great partners like Toonseum, Kelly-Strayhorn and the Union Project. They really help us mix things up. And  this year, we think people will love how we've revamped our Friday night fashion segment, making it a 'plein air' extravaganza. We've coordinating a mass designer trunk show where their models can strut through art spaces and restaurants. Kristin Barker, our GA/GI Stylist calls it Fashionation: March of the Fashionistas."

GA/GI Festival is a Paspports Art Diversity Project in partnership with Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, Friendship Development, the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, Google and other fine sponsors.

For details on these events visit 
or contact Christine Bethea @ 412-596-6521

Warhol Museum appoints new curator of contemporary art.

From the Post Gazette

"Nicholas Chambers, an art historian and curator, is the new Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Andy Warhol Museum and will assume his duties in late April.

Mr. Chambers was curator of contemporary international art at the Queensland Art Gallery, a major museum with holdings ranging from the 1800s to contemporary works in Brisbane, Australia.

In 2007, Mr. Chambers was a lead curator on a large survey exhibition of Andy Warhol's work that was staged by the Queensland Art Gallery in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum."

Sounds good. So far, I have no reason to doubt Warhol director, Eric Shiner's dedication or judgement.

Under the radar revival of Cleveland's downtown and near West Side neighborhoods

The macro population drop in Cleveland has been so bad, most people don't notice the significant growth in the downtown population to almost 10,000 residents. also underplayed are areas like Ohio City and Tremont which are actually attracting people in the 25-34 age group.

Two good posts on Rust Wire

Signs of Resurgence in Central/Near West Cleveland: A Demographic Analysis

A Nascent Brain Gain in Cleveland’s Urban Core

I left some comments on both posts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Warhol Museum will open temporary space in Chelsea during May's Frieze Art Fair

This is totally awesome and amazing!

Face it--the Warhol is a national institution and collection that sort of fell in Pittsburgh's lap after no NY institution stepped up to help make it happen.

As a nationally known brand and collection, the intent was always to build international support from funders outside the city. One way to do that is to create an outpost in NYC-at least for a few months.

From Gallerist NY

“Why not do a satellite in New York, similar to the Guggenheim?” Mr. Kost asked, referring to the Guggenheim’s international museum network. “It will be great for New York, and hopefully what we can do is create a semi-institutional feel in this satellite.” While there is no fixed schedule for the satellite’s show, it is definitively being conceived as a temporary project, set to run from May 4 for at least four weeks."

I love this move to keep the museum more relevant and connected to the wider art world.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Keith Haring Foundation starts Tumblr of His Notebooks covering Pittsburgh and early NY years

The Brooklyn Museum is hosting a major show covering Keith Haring's early development.

Keith Haring: 1978–1982

Keith Haring: 1978–1982 is the first large-scale exhibition to explore the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. Tracing the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary, the exhibition includes 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.

The Keith Haring Foundation will be uploading a scan from Haring's early notebooks each day for the length of the show.

Already several of the images are of pages done in or around Pittsburgh. Honestly, I find it amazing and disturbing that Pittsburgh has never hosted a major show of his work.

My previous post about a show of his early sketchbooks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Great Brewed Fresh Daily post on creating amazing urban events

With very few exceptions large scale canned events like Superbowls rarely if ever transform people's perception of a city. Also, they cost massive amounts in fixed expenses and usually can't be counted on to happen very often. Your city does not own the brand, so at best you are along for the ride.

Cultural events and festivals can be something else entirely. Not only do they often bring in huge visitor dollars but they often help define a city's identity.

We associate Austin with South by Southwest
We associate New Orleans with Marti Gras
We now associate Grand Rapids with Art Prize
We associate San Diego with Comic Con
We now associate Park City Utah with Sundance
We associate Albuquerque with The Balloon Fiesta
We associate Akron with The Soap Box Derby

From Brewed Fresh Daily

1. Don’t limit yourself You might be tempted to look for something that your city is already good at. But if you’re in, say, Dayton, Ohio, you’re not going to get very far with a tire convention. The good news is, you really can do anything. What connection did San Diego have to comic books before Comic-Con? Not much. Park City, Utah was barely anything before Robert Redford showed up with his buddies to start the Sundance Institute. Good events are really more about people than place.

2. Appeal to a small, but fiercely passionate audience To build big appeal, the best events have always started small. They appealed to distinct subcultures. Sundance had film buffs. SXSW had music fans. Comic-Con had comic nerds. People who are passionate are willing to travel for the right kind of event. Most importantly, they’re constantly trying to find others who are interested in the things they love. They invite friends. They make new friends. The event grows.

2. Don’t make a fun event. Make a “must attend” event You want people in the targeted subculture to feel like they’re not complete unless they make it to this event. One way events have accomplished this in the past is by programming a seizure-inducing amount of activities. The one thing that SXSW, Sundance and Comic-Con have in common is that no human could ever hope to see even half the things going on at each event. Another thing that helps is star-power. Comic-Con had Jack Kirby and Ray Bradbury on the same stage. Sundance had Robert Redford. You’ll need the biggest stars for whatever subculture you’re trying to reach.

4. Give up control You’ve got passionate people. They’re going to have ideas for how to change the event. Let them. Comic-Con started out as an event for comic book nerds. Those nerds love movies. So Comic-Con became about movies, too. This is how your event begins to expand outside of the original subculture, and becomes something truly huge.

5. Sell out. Big. You’ll know your event is on the right track when your original audience starts to complain about how big it’s gotten, and how it’s become all about the money. But anyone can sell-out their core audience. Sundance, Comic-Con and SXSW have taken it to the next level. Each one started for the outsiders. And each one is now essentially run by industry publicity machines. That’s important because the industry publicity machine is what gets the attention of the national media. And we’re not talking about landing the occasional Good Morning America spot that says, “Hey look, someone in Somewheresville is doing something interesting this weekend.” We’re talking about the attention that will leave you wondering where to park all the satellite trucks.

One of the strange things is that, given how wildly successful events like this often are in relation to the dollars spent, few cities put a big focus at hosting or creating great events.

My guess is the biggest reasons for this are--

A) A failure to imagine, small homegrown events could grow to have an economic impact.

B) Fear of a loss of control--(our city will be taken over by nerds, hippies, comic nuts, furries or whatever) Leaders seem to like events they can understand and control.

Of course, for exactly that reason, sucessful dynamic events can help you be seen as a place open to creative ideas and people.

March Events Carnegie Library of Braddock


Join the Pittsburgh National Society of Black Engineers + learn to build your
very own reading lamp from scavenged materials found around the library.
ages 12 - 18

Discover what you can make in the Ceramics Studio and Neighborhood
Print Shop! Ceramic and screen printing activities will be offered so
you can try it out. all ages (under 8 accompanied by an adult)

FRIDAY 4:30-7pm
Please join us in the premier of Jim Kidd’s (Braddock resident) limited
edition hand printed artist book. View the book along with other items from
his collection while welcoming our next resident artist, LaToya Ruby Frazier.
all ages (under 8 accompanied by an adult) MARCH 24 SATURDAY 12:00-4pm
*Please sign up for all events
at BCLA’s circulation desk
or call 412-351-5356

SATURDAY 10 am - 2pm
Join Professor Richard Wukich and Professor Ian Nettleship for an intensive hands-on
session of learning to build ceramic water filters, the history, current uses, and the current reserch
and world-wide useability potential. Water borne diseases and access to clean water are some of the
world’s biggest health and sustainability challenges - the ceramic water filter is an economic
and production-friendly response to this urgent need. *$30 SUGGESTED DONATION
SATURDAY 10 - 2pm

The Children‘s Library is bigger, better and has moved upstairs! Help us celebrate the
renovations and innovations in the 2nd floor of the library building. Games, art, food
and interactive activities will take place giving us a sneak peak of the programming
in the Children’s Library and Teen Space! all ages (under 8 accompanied by an adult)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Off Broadway Musical, The Roberto Clemente Story gets some great reviews

Walked past Manhattan's Puerto Rican Traveling Theater on my way out of NY and saw this!

No, the reviews are not universaly great, but many people seem to have liked it. Clearly, the love and interest in Clemente's life runs very broad so lots of people want this to be amazing.

Venue: 47th Street Theatre, 304 West 47th Street, New York
Prices: $37.50 - $47.50
Performance Dates: February 14, 2012 - March 23, 2012

Wondering if anyone has seen this?
Tickets On Sale Thru: March 23, 2012
Box Office/Info: (212) 529-1545

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Photos of Braddock in 1980

I found this on YouTube, all shots taken by on person who lived in Braddock in 1980.

Been meaning to get back and do a more in depth series of posts about the Mon Valley.

American Modernism @ Metropolitan Museum of Art

My post on The Met's American Wing might have left the impression the museum had few holdings of 20th century American Art.

Actually, they have some awesome stuff, but it's hung in different areas of the museum.

For example

The Alfred Steiglitz photo collection

The Alfred Steiglitz painting collection.

Basically, the collections are huge so it's easy to lose where things are or grasp the total.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Shocking Before and After look at Cleveland's Warehouse District

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These images are pretty self explanatory. Cleveland's warehouse district in 1960 vs today. It's not so much that all these great, historic, well located buildings are gone, but that the city replaced them with--nothing. Pointless, destruction.

This GIF has been going around.

via NPR
via buzz feed

Youngstown's Rust Belt Brewery looking to expand, turns to Kickstarter

From The Vindicator

"The brewery has struggled to meet rising demand for its product, especially after it introduced four of its beers — the Irish Red Ale,

Blast Furnace Blond Ale, Coke Oven Stout and Old Man Hopper’s IPA — in six-packs late last year.

Beer was previously available in 22-ounce bottles; the switch to standard 12-ounce bottles doubled labor time, including labeling and boxing, which still is done by hand."

Rust Belt is already stocked at local Giant Eagles and a other stores in the Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland area and it's beer distributor would expand sales into Columbus and Cincinnati... if Rust Belt can produce enough beer.

Check it out on Kickstarter.

Karen Lillis Book Release Party Thursday March 8th

Thursday Night Book Release Party in Polish Hill!Karen Lillis, a wonderful writer, is having a book release party this week
Events will be held at Lili Coffee Shop and Copacetic.
6:00pm Meet & Greet at Copacetic... (3rd Floor)
7:00pm Reading at Lili Coffee Shop (1st Floor)
8:00pm Book signing at Copacetic (3rd Floor)
From CP Short List:
Thu., March 8 — Words
Blogger, journalist and small-press advocate Karen Lillis is as busy as anyone on the local lit scene. Lillis' experience with small presses also includes publishing on them: Watch the Doors as They Close (Spuyten Duyvil), her second novella and fourth full-length work of fiction, bows tonight with a release party and reading at Copacetic Comics. The novella's narrator is a Brooklyn woman struggling to create a portrait of her recently departed lover. Joining Lillis is acclaimed, and now-Pittsburgh-based, zine-maker Ocean Capewell (High on Burning Photographs). BO 6-9 p.m. 3138 Dobson St., Polish Hill. 412-251-5451 or

Additional presss release information about Karen Lillis and Ocean Capewell:
"Karen Lillis is the author of four books of fiction: the novels "The Second Elizabeth" (Six Gallery Press, 2009) and "i, scorpion" (Words Like Kudzu Press, 2000); and the novellas "Watch the Doors as they Close" (Spuyten Duyvil, 2012) and "Magenta's Adventures Underground" (Words Like Kudzu with New York Nights, 2004). Her fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010, and her article on the independent presses of Pittsburgh was a finalist for a Golden Quill Press Award in 2007. She blogs at Karen the Small Press Librarian and she is the creator of the online literary portal, Small Press Pittsburgh.
Ocean Capewell was born in Queens in the 80's. She moved to Pittsburgh purely for the hell of it, and is the creator of the long-running zine "High On Burning Photographs". She recently completed her first novel, "The Most Magnificent Rot", a queer punkhouse tour de force that's searching for a good publisher. She spends her days battling bureaucracy at the welfare office and spends her nights baking cookies, writing her second book, and trying to unblock her second chakra."

Cleveland Heights moves to green up it's zoning code

From Green City, Blue Lake

Cleveland Heights is an inner ring suburb just east of Cleveland very close to University Circle.

With its new mixed-use zoning designation and new maximums for parking lots, Cleveland Heights looks to set the stage for more infill development—an act to strengthen its traditional, pedestrian friendly districts. New developments can preserve green space instead of parking; by not requiring a minimum number of parking spots tied to retail square footage formula, the city can alter land-use patterns and break the mold on the worst aspects of big development—the one size fits all solution of paving over lots of open space for a too-large parking lot to fit only the busiest day of shopping in the year.

The city is to be commended for encouraging more biking, especially for those short trips which can be avoided by “requiring conveniently placed, well-designed bike parking for new uses and long-term. Covered bike parking with locker and shower facilities will be required for offices, university buildings and hospitals exceeding 25,000 square feet.”

Bike parking has been consistently cited as the biggest impediment to increased trips made by bike, so the security of knowing there will always be a place to lock up is a good first start (the city would make an even stronger case by developing a bike parking design guideline so that its clear which bike racks are of high quality, and to spell out placement, lighting, security and shelter options).

Sounds off hand to be really great but it's not a done deal.

"The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the proposed sustainability zoning at 7 p.m. on March 14 and April 11 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 40 Severance Circle. City Council will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 26 at the Community Center, 1 Monticello Blvd. The Planning Commission will forward a recommendation to City Council, which is expected to approve the amendments at a regular meeting April 16."

Here are the actual proposed updates

This post is not actively supporting these proposals. If it were up to me, almost all zoning would not exist. (one can still have basic safety-fire regulation) However, if one is to mandate zoning it would be much more logical to allow logical mixed use density and cap the amount of allowed parking, rather than force parking minimums like most zoning codes do. The general thinking here seems right.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Private art collector to open exhibition space in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio, actually has a much larger number of major contemporary art collectors than the Pittsburgh area.

Ron Pizzuti, a Columbus area real estate developer with a considerable contemporary art collection will open an exhibition space in Columbus's Short North arts district.

Pizzuti Collection

The Pizzuti Collection is a non-profit organization, which will present exhibitions of contemporary art with a mission to foster cultural understanding and educational exchange.

In Fall 2012, the Pizzuti Collection will open in our permanent home in a newly renovated building in the Short North, Columbus’ Arts District, at 632 North Park Street. We will have a program of temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, selected from the private collection of Ron Pizzuti. There will also be a series of artist talks, guest lecturers and an art library/reference room

I'm a pretty big fan of small museums and exhibition spaces which often connect better to their neighborhoods as well as show off the personal tastes of collectors.

This one looks like a potential gem.

Images from The Met's New American Wing

Even though I have a press pass to The Carnegie, I don't feel free to take pictures in a museum with a pretty strict no photo policy.

Allowing, photography has it's pros and cons. In a crowded museum, like MOMA, one can be overwhelmed by the masses who want a picture of themselves in front of every work on their "bucket list". And, yes sometimes a flash goes off, which is really bad for most work. Damaging flash bulbs are one of the good reasons many museums banned photography.

The Met, being large enough to rarely feel too crowded allows photography in most of it's permanent collection.

I don't take shots too often, but here's a look at some of the newly reinstalled American Wing.

Boy, it looked great! Somehow the museum was so huge, this part of the collection sort of got lost before. A few highlights.

A collection of early American art and folk art--on semi permanent loan from the troubled Museum of American Folk Art

Great Collection of Early American and early colonial Paintings

Whole room of amazing John Singer Sargent paintings

Several really important Thomas Eakins works.

A very strong display of American impressionism- Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam etc...

A strong display of works Frederic Remmington and other western artists.

A very strong selection of Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture.

An incredible selection of Tiffany Glass

Some great Albert Bierstadt paintings.

Many amazing Winslow Homer works.

From what I could see, the collection drops off at the start of the twentieth century and includes almost no American modernism, ashcan school or later American paintings. To a large extent, I think these are grouped in other parts of the museum.

The Whitney Museum is one of the best places to see American Modernism and regionalism. The Brooklyn Museum also is home to an amazing selection of Hudson River school, Winslow Homers and ashcan school works. Sadly, the cheesy, distracting, "educational" way this part of the collection is set up makes it hard to appreciate.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Nashville's new downtown zoning code puts human interaction and walkability above cars

The stereotype is that the high growth, "new south" is all about highways and sprawl. Actually, a lot of cities in the region are building out light rail systems and opening up to more sustainable urban design.

Nashville might be taking the lead with it's new zoning code.

From The Switchboard Blog

“The Plan calls for a ‘thoughtful mixture of uses including residential, retail and office, to ensure that Downtown doesn’t close at 5 p.m. or even after the concert ends or the restaurants close, but is instead a welcoming home for a diverse residential population.’ Multiple stories encourage multiple uses within each building, increasing the likelihood that one of the uses will be active at any given hour. Compare this to one story buildings which lack activity during the off-hours of the single use.

“To be viable, Downtown must accommodate numerous services and functions. By promoting form over use, the DTC allows for a mixture of uses. Because various functions occur at different times of the day – working, shopping and recreating during the day, entertainment and home-life at night – mixed-use, 24/7 neighborhoods use existing infrastructure more efficiently and function in a more sustainable way . . .

“As stated in the Plan, ‘While residential development has flourished in recent years, the creation and enhancement of urban neighborhoods is still a goal. Residential living will thrive in Downtown when residents feel that they are part of a neighborhood, supported by shared public spaces and the services and amenities needed for daily life.’”


One very important thing is that the code is not just aimed at a small area of dowtown, but is aimed at creating cohesive organic connections between a number of core districts.

My experience from NY, is that by real dynamic places can't live alone. To save a downtown, you must create a base of connected core neighborhoods.

One big thing is they are scrapping minimum parking requirements--something Brooklyn still hasn't done!

From Streetsblog

Two years ago, Nashville scrapped parking minimums completely for its downtown, a fact called to our attention by blogger Charlie Gardner. The elimination of parking mandates in the area seems to have proceeded without controversy, based on contemporary news articles.

New York City, in contrast, is moving toward reducing parking minimums in certain “inner ring” neighborhoods, but it remains to be seen whether they will be eliminated or merely reduced. Here, parking minimums are seen as politically necessary.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Tuskegee Airmen on Essential Public Radio, Essential Pittsburgh

A new radio program on 90.5 called Essential Pittsburgh promises to have some interesting programming. A recent episode has fascinating interviews with men who were Tuskegee Airmen during WWII. Our area has a very strong connection to this group. For the rdio program, which has great interviews with 3 of the WWII pilots, go here
Regarding the Tuskegee Airmen:From the Tribune Review, Oct.8,2009:

The Tuskegee Airmen was a group of African-American pilots who flew with distinction during World War II as the 332nd Fighter Group of the Army Air Corps. Joyce Jones, new president of the Sewickley-based historical society and a former teacher, said there is no mention of the Tuskegee Airmen in school curriculum.

"These people came from this area," she said. "The children can relate to that. I'm very pleased, happy and excited (about the society's involvement in the new chapter)."

There were 983 Tuskegee pilots, eight of whom were from Sewickley.

"That concentration, because it's such a small area, is more than Chicago and Detroit, which have millions of people. They had more pilots, but the percentage here is greater," Effort said.

Tuskegee Airmen also came from other Pittsburgh neighborhoods, such as Beltzhoover, Homewood and East Liberty, said Effort.

"These guys are everywhere," said Effort. "Their legacy goes further than the war. They were the creme de la creme of the African-American race."

Effort's vision for the local chapter includes continuing the mission of preserving this piece of history, fundraising and getting children interested in flying.

Jones said the group is planning a large fundraiser for the chapter. Other ideas include starting a Sewickley Tuskegee Airmen Day and having representatives march in Veterans and Memorial Day parades. They are exploring the idea of putting plaques in town listing the men's names.

The society, entering its 40th year, would like to get local schools involved in teaching the Tuskegee history.

Bobonis, along with Effort and his wife, Elaine, are the other founders of the Greater Pittsburgh chapter. Her father, the late Sgt. Vernol Leapheart, was the crew chief of all the combat planes flown by Col. B.O. Davis, commanding officer of the Tuskegee Fighter Group that flew over North Africa and Western Europe during World War II.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Radical Camera @ NY's Jewish Museum : A few Thoughts

Stuffing in a few shows while I'm here, to see the Whitney Biennial.

The Radical Camera, which highlights some of the great photography associated with The Manhattan Photo League makes an important counterpoint to the Teenie Harris show.

The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951

In 1936 a group of young, idealistic photographers, most of them Jewish, first-generation Americans, formed an organization in Manhattan called the Photo League. Their solidarity centered on a belief in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and on a progressive alliance in the 1930s of socialist ideas and art. The Radical Camera presents the contested path of the documentary photograph during a tumultuous period that spanned the New Deal reforms of the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War

The show included around 200 works by around 50 photographers.

Sid Grossman
Bernice Abbott
Bill Witt
Ida Wyman
Lee Sievan
Arthur Leipzig
Morris Engel
Lisett Model
John Vachon
Ruth Orkin
Aaron Siskind
Rosalie Gwathmey
Marion Palfi
Jack Manning
Lucy Ashjian

Anyone who doubts that journalists, artists and photographers can change the world should see this show. In some ways, it was a bit chilling, given what we now know about the way their images of complex, vibrant communities like Harlem as troubled and damaged helped pave the way large scale urban renewal.

"Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at" ... Ruth Orkin

The whole show has a great push and pull between photographs taken to make a point about poor working and living conditions, racism and social injustice and a gut level love and fascination with the street life of New York. (about 75% of the shots are of NY)

Check out the site which includes a number of videos and an amazing map of where some of the pictures were taken.

The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League
The Jewish Museum in New York
November 04, 2011 - March 25, 2012

Columbus Museum of Art

April 19, 2012 -Sept 9, 2012

Pittsburgh Area Lenten Fish Fry Map

An amazing map showing what looks like almost every Fish Fry in the Pittsburgh region.

Fish Fry Map