Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12/23/14 - 12/31/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.


Theft count upheld against Pittsburgh police detective (Action 4 News)

Western Pennsylvania police chief gets lucrative buyout, despite scathing report (Pennsylvania Independent)

Fights close Monroeville Mall (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Pittsburgh based bike Magazine, Urban Vello shuts down (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Penn Avenue in Garfield reopens to two way traffic after years of construction (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Ohioville borough's former police chief falsified and forged records to increase state aid (Pennsylvania Independent)


Cleveland NAACP calls emergency meeting of lawyers to address police misconduct, protect protestors (

Evaluation of officer who killed 12 year old, Tamir Rice, raised many red flags

Cleveland's "I can't breath" police case happened four years ago (

Cleveland police union defends fired cop, saying others did far worse (

East Cleveland cell phone service provider cuts off service for non-payment as city considers bankruptcy (

Operator of Cincinnati and Cleveland casinos on the brink of bankruptcy (

Filmmakers launch Kickstarter for documentary about Cleveland's Swingo's Celebrity Inn (Cleveland Scene)

Review: Kirk Mangus/ Things Love survey show of the late Ohio ceramicist @ MOCA Cleveland (Art Hopper)

Other Pennsylvania Urbanism and Transit news

10 charged in major PennDOT corruption probe (

Pennsylvania legislator  used taxpayer dollars to advance his acting career (The Morning Call)

Pennsylvania considers handing York School District to charter operator (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Other Police Abuse, Corruption and Civil Liberties news

Rand Paul will bring up police militarization in Senate next year (BuzzFeed News)

Horrifying civil liberties predictions for 2015 (Washington Post)

Two architects of "broken widows" policing go on the defensive (CityLab)

Tension rises after police shoot another black teen near Ferguson, Missouri (Reuters)

Off duty, black cops in NY feel threat from fellow police (Reuters)

No charges against Lodi California police in killing of mentally ill man (CBS Sacramento)

New Mexico cop arrested for Christmas Eve sexual assault (New York Daily News)

Alleged towing kickbacks land Miami cops in hot water (Miami Herald)

Ex-Baltimore cop alleges retaliation for reporting police brutality  (Reason)

In Brooklyn gun cases, suspicion turns to the police (The New York Times)

Family of toddler injured in Georgia Swat raid faces over $1 million in medical bills (Think Progress)

Washington state police gain more military firepower (Seattle Times)

Want to cut down on police brutality? Make police pay for their own misbehavior (The Week)

The NYC police union has a long history of bullying City Hall (CityLab)

E-Cig users and vapers need to join anti-drug war movement (Huffington Post)

Drug War fuels rather than fights crime (

Law enforcement now inspecting sewage for clues about community drug use

Other Urbanism and Transit news

New Jersey is a terrible place for small businesses, analysis finds (

"Social urbanism" experiment breaths new life into Columbia's Medellin (The Globe and Mail)

The smartest cities rely on citizen cunning and unglamorous technology (The Guardian)

Rise in loans linked to cars is hurting poor (The New York Times)

Florida passes New York to become the 3rd most populous state (US Census Bureau)

San Diego urbanism took a beating in 2014 (Opinion) (Voice of San Diego)

2014's dumbest local ordinances (CityLab)

How the San Diego suburb of Vista, California became the capitol of craft beer (CityLab)

Other Arts, Architecture and Archeology news

Deaccessioning crisis has UK museums group contemplating stricter guidelines (Hyperallergic)

A new book argues quilts are art  (Hyperallergic)

Dizzying dioramas of the world's major cities (Hyperallergic)

Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" takes a look at art fraud (The Art Newspaper)

Year of record sales but at what cost to the art? (The Art Newspaper)

Cuba's art scene awaits a travel boom  (The New York Times)

Hello! Exploring the superweird world of Hello Kitty (Boing Boing)

20 years of street photography shows people around the world are pretty boring (CityLab)

It's been a big year for outrage in public art (CityLab)

The art world's patron satan (The New York Times Magazine)

The 15 weirdest and wildest art stories of 2014 (Artnet News)

Japanese "vagina kayak" artist indicted, faces up to two years in prison (Artnet News)

Son of former Beatles manager wins $1 million art lawsuit (Artnet News)

Monday, December 22, 2014

12/17/14 - 12/22/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news again dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.

The Pittsburgh City Paper did an excellent 3 part story on problems with the city's unmarked. "99 cars".


99 problems: What public records reveal about the city's unmarked police units
 (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Police records show "99 units" lack department-wide mission, regulation, oversight (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Run-in with Jordan Miles wasn't first controversial incident for three 99-car cops (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Councilman seeks to prevent Pittsburgh police from acquiring surplus military equipment (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Oakmont's businesses, walkability gain notice of empty-nesters, downsizers (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)


Scenes from the Department of Justice investigation into the Cleveland Police Department (Belt Magazine)

Cleveland police officer accused of shoving girlfriend down stairs, knocking her unconscious (

Made in Cleveland: The rise of the maker economy in Cleveland (Cleveland Scene)

Why I left Los Angeles for this (Belt Magazine)

Fodor's names Cleveland a top 25 travel destination (Freshwater Cleveland)

Stepping up efforts to create a more livable, connected downtown (Freshwater Cleveland)

Ashtabula, Ohio

Couple moves from NYC, turns old meat market into dining destination (Cleveland Scene)

Other Ohio Urbanism, Arts and Transit news

Columbus, Ohio "complete streets" engineer and intern run over on downtown sidewalk (Streetsblog USA)

Other Pennsylvania Urbanism, Arts and Transit news

Pennsylvania police seize couple's $160,000 wine collection, want to destroy it all (Reason)

D.A. charges 2 Pennsylvania lawmakers with corruption in sting (

PA state legislators commonly engaged in jobs, investments that benefit from their office (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Recusals are rare in Pennsylvania Legislature (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

West Virginia and Appalachia

Appalachian Christmas traditions are still alive (Wilkes Journal-Patriot)

Parade will bring Appalachian dancing to Brooklyn (The Brooklyn Paper)

Other Urbanism and Transit news

Perth Amboy, New Jersey police chief charged with theft, suspended without pay (

Former Louisiana police officer indicted for multiple incidents of assault (US Department of Justice)

Oregon State Police detective pleads guilty to forgery, destroying evidence in major case (

NYC, cop accused of stealing and pawning jewelry stolen from boyfriend's mom

NYPD cop suspended after video shows brutality (The Chicago Tribune)

Former Saratoga County, NY Sheriff's deputy sentenced for dealing drugs (Albany Times Union)

Police killings increase calls for independent investigations (Times News)

Former suburban Chicago deputy police chief found guilty in brutality case (CBS Chicago)

Police violence sparks disability rights movement (Al Jazeera News)

Gunman executes 2 New York cops in "Garner Revenge" (New York Post)

How corrupt is your state government? (Acton Institute)

The rules of engagement: How militarized police units enforce the law around the world (Washington Post)

How far will cop unions go to halt reform? (Reason)

Millennials fleeing government employment (Reason)

Is Ann Arbor affordable? Nope. (And that's official) (SE-ME Start-Up)

Why the rent is too high, reason #239 (The Urbanophile)

High-end home sales surging in Southern California (Contra Costa Times)

A scary sign that more colleges may be forced to shut down football programs (Business Insider)

The simple change to truck design that could save lives (Streetsblog NYC)

To build safer streets, cities have to challenge state departments of transportation (Streetsblog)

Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct (elevated highway) must come down

The importance of driving to the US economy started waning in the 1970's (Streetsblog)

Other Arts and Archeology news

Brazil's most popular film is about militarized police

After outcry, Flickr stops selling prints of creative commons photos (Hyperallergic)

The Tate Museum digitizes 52,000 artifacts from the lives of British artists (Hyperallergic)

The lost histories of women at war: photo essay (Hyperallergic)

The physics of Pollock (Hyperallergic)

Mexican museum overwhelmed by popularity of Yayoi Kusama retrospective (The Art Newspaper)

Syria and Iraq's neighbors can help contain the looting (The Art Newspaper)

Uzbekistan museum staff replaced collection with forgeries, then sold originals (Artnet News)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Three Canton Exhibits Highlight Prolific Folk Artist Who Documented 19th Century Pennsylvania and Ohio

Ferdinand A. Brader, immigrated to America from Switzerland and for more than 20 years produced almost 1000 intricate pencil drawings. Most are accurate likenesses of farms and local houses from Eastern, Pennsylvania to Ohio.

The large drawings on craft paper have only been recently appreciated as both great folk art and a detailed look at rural life in the region.

From the Canton Art Museum exhibition page

"Ferdinand A. Brader was born in Kaltbrunn, St. Gallen, Switzerland in 1833. Many details of Brader’s early life are incomplete, but by the mid-1860s, he had married and had a son—and he had also likely begun drawing. Brader came to the United States in the early 1870s (according to research, possibly following a brother) and traveled extensively in Pennsylvania and Ohio. As payment for room and board, he created large pencil drawings of the farms and properties where he was given temporary residence. Families have passed down stories that he slept in a barn or other outbuildings.

Brader’s monumental drawings (30-by-40 inches and larger)—using paper and graphite pencil, which were readily available at the time—are dramatically accurate scenes, and they are mostly portrayed from an elevated perspective. Brader’s first drawings of farms and homes were made in Pennsylvania and dated 1879. Brader presumably created several hundred drawings in the counties of Berks, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Lebanon and as far west as the counties of Somerset, Beaver, and Allegheny. The majority of Brader’s drawings were done in Ohio. His first Ohio drawings appeared in Tuscarawas and Columbiana counties in 1884. From research, it appears Brader’s Ohio pictures were done in nine different adjoining counties: Portage, Medina, Wayne, Stark, Summit, Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Tuscarawas, continuing through 1895, with the majority featuring subjects in Portage and Stark counties. While best known for his farmstead pictures, Brader also recorded scenes of both the Portage and Stark County Infirmaries; railroad stations; and rural industries, such as grist mills, potteries, mines, and quarries."

The curator even put all the known locations on Google Maps!

From the New York Times

"Brader was, by all accounts, homeless. A German-speaking native of northeast Switzerland, he came to the United States in the 1870s, around the age of 40, after a career carving wooden molds for baked goods and textile-printing equipment. He left behind a wife, Maria Katharina Karolina, and a son, Carl Ferdinand, in Switzerland; little is known about them.
His drawings filled cheap paper sheets up to nearly five feet long, depicting window frames, weather vanes, porch benches, street signs and pets. He also created flowery birth certificates for his clients’ children.  
Andrew Richmond, a curator of the Canton exhibitions, said that Brader catered to industrious immigrant families proud of their new acreage. The marketing pitch, Mr. Richmond said, was in effect, “Why not capture the dream in a drawing and hang it over the fireplace?”  
Brader was paid for his work partly with room and board. He advertised by displaying renderings at stores in nearby towns. In the winter, when he could not sketch outdoors, he moved into public infirmaries. He eventually went back in Switzerland, after inheriting a small family fortune, but died before he could spend much of it. "

All three exhibits run from December  4, 2014 - March 15, 2015

Canton Museum of Art
1001 Market Avenue North,
Canton, Ohio

McKinley Museum
800 McKinley Monument Drive, NW
Canton, Ohio

Little Art Gallery,
North Canton Public Library
185 North Main Street,
North Canton, Ohio

Obviously, I would love for a local museum like The Frick, Westmoreland or Heinz History Center to host an exhibit. Sadly, this probably won't happen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/10/14 - 12/17/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup

Note: Weekly news dominated by police brutality and abuse issues. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.


Pittsburgh evening street parking charges delayed (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Many in Allegheny County share the transit pain (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Once a trend, creative church reuse is now a modern tradition in Pittsburgh (Pop City)

Forbes ranks Pittsburgh as America's second smartest city (Forbes)


White Castle will close all 5 restaurants in the Cleveland/Akron area (

Cleveland mayor on collision course with Justice Department over police violence (

Cleveland Police's telling response to Tamir Rice and the DOJ report (Rust Wire)

Canadian columnist sees Cleveland's HealthLine BRT as a model (Toronto Sun)

Many long-eligible acts headed for 2015 Rock Hall class in Cleveland (WKSU News)


An illustrated mythology splashes over Akron Art Museum walls (WKSU News)

West Virginia and Appalachia

Why did Green Bank West Virginia ban wireless signals? For Science. (The Atlantic)

Last public hanging in West Virginia remembered with historic marker (The News Center)

Kentucky's moonlight schools (Appalachian History)

Other Urbanism and Transit News

Interactive Map: US police have killed at least 3,100 people since 2000 (Vox) (There is no official database of police fatalities)

Police brutality and living out of fear (Time Magazine)

San Fransisco cops found guilty of theft and corruption (KTVU News)

Texas cop uses stun gun on elderly man over inspection sticker (Huffington Post)

Video shows cops lied about traffic stop death of elderly man in Florida (CBS News)

San Jose cop suspended for threatening protestors of police brutality on Twitter (Vice News)

Time for a police offenders registry: A police job is a privilege not a right (Reason)

Did Congress stop marijuana legalization in D.C.? (Reason)

Regional transit app on the way for Chicago commuters (Mobile Payments Today)

Five signs America is falling in love with public transit (CNN Travel)

NYPD still doesn't investigate all fatal traffic accidents (Streetsblog)

The high cost of unwalkable school districts (Streetsblog)

A widely used planning manual tends to recommend building far too many roads (Citylab)

The Chinese government is building "affordable housing", in Brooklyn (Citylab)

Towards canine equity in the city (The Urbanist)

Other Arts and Archeology News

19 free art museums you should visit over the holidays (Huffington Post)

The evolving face of Santa, as seen in the Smithsonian's vast collections (

Cathedrals hunt for stolen bible pages worth millions (The Art Newspaper)

Getting to know the artisans who make other people's art (Hyperallergic)

Overcoming conflict: India and Pakistan to share pavilion at Venice Biennale (The Art Newspaper)

Smithsonian's Asian Art collection goes online (The Art Newspaper)

Virtual galleries open new markets for art (BBC News)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12/4/14 - 12/10/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Cleveland officer who shot 14 year old considered unfit for duty by another police department (PBS Newshour)

National questions about police hit home in Cleveland (New York Times)

Cleveland Police evade Ohio's mandatory DNA collection law (Jurist)

Major expansion of The Cleveland Institute of Art nears completion (


Port Authority drivers ordered to stand trial for Pittsburgh bus crash (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Pittsburgh mayor stars on reality TV show, "Undercover Boss" (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

LBPC to unveil plans for a more walkable, bikeable Lawrenceville (Bike Pittsburgh)

US Steel keeps headquarters in Pittsburgh for a price (Pennsylvania Independent)

State liquor laws hurt young musicians (Pittsburgh City Paper)


Why 2015 could be the year for medical marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Independent)

Climbing employee pension costs squeeze state budget (Pennsylvania Independent)

No escape from pension math in Pennsylvania (Bloomberg News)

Harvard study ranks Pennsylvania among top 5 most corrupt states (CBS Philly)

Philadelphia regional transit system, SEPTA finally ditching tokens and paper tickets (NBC 4)
Other Urbanism and Architecture News

Can different training make police officers guardians, not warriors?

Do federal stats undercount police killings? (PBS Newshour)

More than 1000 people have been killed by police in 2014 (Reason)

Houston police chief calls drug war a "miserable failure", says Feds need to lead reform (Huffington Post)

Walkability vs. affordability (Washington Post)

More Americans are behind on car payments (CNN Money)

How a train station offering no new service cost $4 Billion in NYC (New York Times)

"Latino Urbanism" influences a Los Angeles in flux (Los Angeles Times)

Why the Da Vinci fire has L.A. urbanists rethinking downtown's future (Los Angeles Times)

Tech Culture and rising inequality: A complex relationship (CityLab)

Why Nashville is still America's music city (Next City)

Detroit artist: Actually Detroit isn't so cheap (Next City)

Copenhagen plans to expand by building artificial islands (CityLab)

Late-night transit service to expand from San Francisco to East Bay (San Francisco Examiner)

Other Arts and Archeology News

Pioneering Brooklyn Art space, Galapagos moves to Detroit (Detroit Free Press)

How Mosaics are shaping Haiti's future (Hyperallergic)

Miami graffiti artist in critical condition after cop runs him over (Hyperallergic)

Photographers irked as Flickr profits from creative commons images (Hyperallergic)

Museums and market finally warming to works on paper (The Art Newspaper)

A documentary traces the history of video game graphics (Hyperallegic)

Can satellite fairs give artists their first big break? (The Art Newspaper)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

11/26/14 - 12/4/14 Arts and Urbanism Roundup


Story of the first commercial radio broadcast (Appalachian History)

Central Catholic High School building new science, math and technology building (Essential Pittsburgh)

Local holiday markets for black Friday and beyond (Essential Pittsburgh)


Round up of Cleveland reactions to Tamir Rice shooting (Belt Magazine)

Boy Shot (Belt Magazine)

Home is where the football-hungry heart is (Freshwater Cleveland)

Inside the bizarre Cleveland Bazaar and ten years of peddling indie Cleveland arts (Freshwater Cleveland)


"A champion of the people": Youngstown says goodbye to Jim Trafficant (Belt Magazine)

Other Urbanism and Architecture News

Respected science journal, Nature publishes sober report on long term shale prospects (Houston Chronicle)

"Don't change the arts district" Says guy who arrived last year (LA Curbed)

New downtown LA shuttle service is "like a free Uber" (LA Curbed)

Loup: The love child of Uber and a bus service (Re/Code)

Leaving Paris for her suburbs (Washington Post)

NYC ground-zero transit hub to cost over $4 billion- twice original estimate (Fox News)

New Jersey Transit sending train crews to "charm school" (

New elevator is like a vertical mass-transit system (TreeHugger)

The horror every day: Police brutality in Houston goes unpunished (Texas Observer)

Hundreds of killings by police not included in homicide statistics (Fox News)

Rise of walking for fun and fitness as a social trend (Huffington Post)

Other Arts and Archeology News

Christie's chief makes surprise exit (The Art Newspaper)

Who will pay for Miami's new and improved museums? (The Art Newspaper)

Historian spots lost avant-garde  painting in background of kid's movie (Hyperallergic)

The revelry and luxury of Art Basel Miami Beach (New York Times)

How private collectors helped make Miami an Art Destination (West Virginia Public Radio)

5 famous stolen pieces of art (And where to see them) (Huffington Post)

Archeologists find Medieval City in UK (The Telegraph)

Long time New York Times, art writer resigns after several plagiarism incidents (ArtNet)