Friday, January 26, 2007

Check out art this weekend.

Are you ready to brave the wintry streets for the good of art? It's been a long dry spell here in Pittsburgh. The holiday season is always gruelingly slow in terms of quality openings. And January really wasn't much better. I hope you caught the Bill Miller show over at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts- because if you didn't, you really missed out. I was familiar with his stuff before I went to this show, but this work blew away anything I had seen previously. Unfortunately it was quite a bit out of my price range. You can check out his web page. Anyway... this weekend holds a bit of tantalizing promise.

Friday, Jan. 26th (tonight)

The big event is the seasonal downtown art crawl, sponsored by the Cultural Trust. Start the evening at SPACE Gallery (812 Liberty Ave), with a show curated by Thad Kellstadt. I know the work of quite a few of the participants, and can say with some confidence that this show (HOME/AWAY) will be well worth attending. Look for these artists in particular: Chris Lisowski, Josh Bonnet, Jesse Jamaica McLean, Jae Ruberto, and (of course) main-man Thad K.

Then trip across the street to Future Tenant (801 Liberty Avenue) for Work With Me. This exhibition is a series of collaborations by the artists involved. Thad K. pops up here too. It looks like he owns the 'burgh this month. Despite the fact that this gallery tends to rotate through a small stable of local creators, the work is usually intriguing and memorable. This show opened last weekend, but I haven't seen it yet.

Make sure to sample a selection of international artists at the Wood Street Galleries (601 Wood St, 2nd Floor) group exhibition, Thread. This place typically includes a lot of high-falutin' rationale for its curatorial choices... and I don't feel like translating artspeak. So if you are interested in reading about what you're gonna see later- then check out this page. (Here's a sample... "The curatorial model of Thread physically emulates the structure of a web log. Here at Wood Street Galleries, the exhibition is parsed into four categories, simulating threads in a conversation about the resurrection of craft aesthetics within technology-based contemporary art making. ") Umm...yeah, whatever.

I'm going to make it a point to check out "artists who create traditional art using untraditional materials and artists who create untraditional art using traditional materials." (That's their words, folks.) This happens at Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery (937 Liberty, 2nd Floor).

and... I'll cross my fingers and hope there's something worthwhile over at 707/709 Penn Avenue. By the way, all these events happen between 5:30 and approximately 9PM.

Saturday, Jan 27th

Follow up your Friday with a visit to the rapidly gentrifying Lawrenceville neighborhood. I'm not going to tell you that you won't be able to buy hookers and crack there anymore, but I'd have to assume it's a lot more difficult now, what with the new "Weed and Seed" grant.

Your first stop is the Digging Pitt Too (45th and Plummer Streets) for the New Artist Preview. Get a sneak peek of Marci Gehring's intricately involved and enormously-scaled paintings. Marci's got a solo coming up at the main branch of Digging Pitt (4417 Butler Street), and it's opening on April 14. New work by Christiane D. (of Soma Mestizo fame) will confound you with its esoteric surrealism. And David Gonzales and Dyer Fieldsa seem to be an approriately-matched pair for a new series of collaborations. Come from 7-8:30 PM.

And then proceed down to Hatfield Street for three more gallery openings, including events at Trinity Gallery (4747 Hatfield St.) and the Society for Cultural Exchange. These joints don't seem to put much effort into advertising their wares, so I don't have too much information for you. But hey, at least you know that something is going on down there... which is something that the millions of people that don't read my blog can't say.

When your done with the art... sample some of the fine night spots that are popping up in the area. The Brillo Box (4104 Penn Avenue) has become the urban hipster mecca. And in keeping with the theme, it is owned by artists. If Punk Rock is more your style, check out the American Legion-style grit of Belvedere's (4016 Butler St.) - they gots Pabst! And Ray's Marlin Beach Bar has morphed into Remedy (5121 Butler Street). Get a bite to eat there. Tony, the new owner, is an affable guy. Tell 'em Merge sent ya.

By the way... I caught notice of an event called Carnival Poetica- which starts at 12PM on Saturday at the Shadow Lounge. There's a whole list of performers... but sightings of Bob Ziller and Darryl Fleming are anticipated.

FINALLY... go to the Beehive in South Side (1300 East Carson Street), on Sunday from 6-9PM, for Mark Panza's first solo show of photography. Mark's extraordinary aptitude for presentation is patently evident in this stunning series of works, juxtaposing human and natural construction.


Blogger Dagrims said...

So much for Ray's. Well, it was a fun-looking place when I visited.

It's posts of yours like these that make me wish you lived in my town, so you could tell me the best places to check out over the weekend.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M,Thanks for the time you take to inform & Intigue. You are an art community service and I sure do appreciate the efforts and perfect way you write.M

2:18 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I think Id have a lot of fun taking you around to see stuff during a First Friday or art crawl. It'd be interesting to hear an outsider's perspective.

Yeah, it is a shame about Ray('s).
But hopefully Tony will create a good environment there. He's taking down all the wierd Lynchian, old key west elements. It's sad to see that stuff go.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


Thanks for the kudos. I'll try my best to continue meeting those standards.

9:36 PM  

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