Friday, September 07, 2007

Weekend Art Activities.

Quite predictably this first Friday of September offers many options for art diversion. After the extended doldrums of summer, every artist is rolling out his/her special masterpiece. The air temperature is conducive to strolling through galleries and taking in the sights. The blood gets pumping and calls out for the obligatory cocktail after the arduous run-around-town. And the activities are not at all confined to Friday- tomorrow is going to present its own scheduling difficulties. So break out the long sleeves and the comfortable shoes and the checkbook. It's time for some "culture".

"Everyone an Artist" down in Lawrenceville has Malcom Gittens. Traditionally this gallery has confined its exhibitions to the display of work by disabled artists, but they have recently expanded their mission to fit their title. I don't know exactly what Gittens does, nor do I know why his name sounds familiar to me. Does he do portraits of well-loved cartoon characters and classic monsters? Only one way to tell, eh? The gallery is located at 4128 Butler Street. Sorry... I have no clue what the hours are. While you are down on Butler, you might as well check out The Framery. Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has put together a show of political cartoonists. It is a traveling show that originated in the American University Museum. Come see how these guys (and gals?) have taken it to the White House during the Dubya era.

But the big draw tonight is likely to be Sptember Unblurred on Penn Avenue. Unfortunately their webpage seems to be acting up, and it's difficult for me to tell you what's going on without going to each gallery's individual page. The Oakbridge Academy of Arts is having a show for students and faculty at Modern Formations. Don't ask me what this is going to be like... I've never heard of the school. Garfield Artworks is having a group show with at least one artist I'm familiar with (Andres Ortiz-Ferrari). And 5151 Penn is back with a studio art sale to benefit the Persad Center. I can't find any info about what's happening at the Clay Penn, Imagebox or Metamorphose. But there are two Grand Openings tonight- Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn) and Abysinia Gallery (5515 Penn). (On second thought, maybe I give people too much credit... maybe everyone will be at the Great Kennywood Caper instead.)

Anyway, if you are (for some godforsaken reason) stuck in the South Side, you can get a taste of high-toned entertainment and food at the City Theater Open House (5-10PM). I've attended this annual event a few times over the last few years, and I have to say that the food is excellent. But what else happens there tonight? Apparently you can take a behind-the-scenes tour and/or see a sneak peek of the upcoming season. And you can drink wine and beer (cash bar). I don't suppport local theater the way I should, so I encourage you to take up a bit of the slack.

Saturday offers a range of art events all over the city. Apparently there is a "Rock Poster Art" show at Artists Image Resources on the North Side. Too bad they don't seem to be advertising it on their website. I imagine that Mike Budai is somehow involved. If you show up at the wrong time, you can just head over to Sampsonia Way for the Mattress Factory's City of Asylum Poetry Jazz Concert. This event celebrates the fact that Pittsburgh is currently providing sanctuary for two writers who have experienced significant repression in their native countries. It starts at 7:30 PM and it's free. If you have even the slightest touch of sophistication, you'll enjoy the evening. Make sure to get there early, because it's a narrow alley and it gets packed.

Alternatively you can spend another night on the East End. The Panza Gallery in Millvale is having a one-man-show featuring Joe Witzel, entitled Mainly Goldenrod. His intricately constructed depictions of nature in pastel and pen will please the outdoor-lover in you. It's the perfect opportunity to bid farewell to summer. And for those with a more debased aesthetic- it's important to note that the gallery has a kegerator.

Lawrenceville is also calling you back to its formerly sordid streets. You won't want to miss the openings at the Digging Pitt Gallery (6-9PM). John Calandra has put together Conceived Bully- a collection of work by "urban art designers". JC is a big fan of both Warhol and Shepard Fairey, and I'm sure his selection of pieces will reflect that fact. If you've been wondering what you can possibly do with stencils and spray paint- then you won't want to miss this show. Running alongside is Same Frequency, which apparently features three artists that are... uh... nevermind. Just come and see it for yourself.

Finally... I have a grand suspicion that the La Vie Gallery is going to be rolling out the last third of their Endless Summer exhibition series on Saturday night. The problem is that they don't mention any opening on their beautiful website. But let me tell you this right here- it is worth it to make a visit for the possibility that they might be holding a reception. You could get a glimpse of another step in the proprietors' tireless campaign to grab the reins of the Pittsburgh arts scene. And you surely wouldn't want to miss THAT chance. Show up around 8PM.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

9/11 was an inside job.

6:48 PM  

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