Friday, November 03, 2006

Pittsburgh offerings.. this weekend.

I imagine that by the time you read this post, it will probably be too late for you to alter your evening plans. But if you are still casting about for something to do in Pittsburgh tonight, I recommend you take your butt to the Penn Avenue Corridor (from Main St. in Lawrenceville to Negley Avenue in East Liberty) for this month's First Friday (events run generally from 7PM-10PM).

You can stop by at Jason Sauer's sidewalk art sale, out front of his not-yet-open-but-anticipated gallery, Most Wanted Fine Art at 5015 Penn Avenue. The Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn) has a funky space-age glass display that I saw last month- it's worth a stop if you missed it. Unicorn Mountain contributor Joe Deferrari is at Modern Formations (4919 Penn), and there are a couple of promising group shows at Garfield Artworks (Lost and Found- art made with "materials and images that have been taken for granted") and 5151 Penn (Seeing Red- 34 graphic designers from all over the place). I'm certain that taking a trip to Unblurred will be worth your time. I'm just hoping I don't find anything that I feel compelled to buy this time around.

Whatever you do... do not expend all your money and energy on Friday night, because there is plenty to see and do on Saturday as well. In fact you'd be better off planning your itinerary ahead of time so you won't experience regret because you missed something important. Stop by the East End Brewing Company in Homewood for a Charity Open House (2-5PM). For $20 you'll get to try eight of the lovingly-crafted beers that caress our fair city, and you'll be benefitting local children with disabilities. They also promise food, but that's not really the point, is it? But don't get too smashed... you've got plenty to do.

Panza Gallery in Millvale is premiering the work of two regional artists- Jim Rettinger and Joab Naylor. Rettinger is a long-time sculptor who incorporates metal, wood, alarm clocks, assorted rural implements, faucets, etc... to create fantastic dream-like assemblages that evoke nightmares of nostalgia. Naylor has spent the last five years, save one that he spent as a SEABEE in Iraq, putting together a rich collection of free-flowing figurative paintings and self-portraits. His recent exploration includes using ropes to add texture and flow to his work. The show begins at 6PM.

The Digging Pitt galleries in Lawrenceville are closing three shows- a Pittsburgh Alumni Show, a solo show by Kate Temple, and a group show including Tom Sarver, Jean McClung and David Gonzalez. By checking out their two closely-spaced locations (4417-19 Butler St. and the corner of 45th and Plummer Streets), you'll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of well-crafted art by an array of local and national artists. Take the opportunity to ask John Morris about his flat files... they offer a treasure trove of work. If you are really good, the staff may give you the lowdown on an art-party on the second floor of Digging Pitt Too. Let that be our little secret, mm'kay?

If you have a chance to stop in the uptown neighborhood, drop by 1029 Fifth Avenue to have one last look at the Sage Building. This has been a center for arts activities for years, but is sadly facing destruction to make way for a new hockey arena. They are having an event called "In Lieu of Condemnation" this Saturday from 5-10PM. For a mere $5 you can listen to DJs, check out art by Horsie, James Simon, and Mary Tremonte, etc... and benefit the Hill House Center. It sounds like a good time.

Perhaps none of these options appeal to you. Maybe you are more aurally inclined... Check out the Fiery Furnaces at Mr. Small's Theater in Millvale (Friday, 9PM) or Los Straitjackets at the Rex Theater in the Southside (Satuday, 8PM). Or if you need some family-oriented spectacle... you could pop up to the existing civic arena for the 135th season of the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus. They are in town until Sunday. And the Three Rivers Film Festival starts this weekend. Here's the website. Now go amuse yourself... and no more complaining that there is nothing to do.

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