Friday, October 05, 2007

October 2007 Unblurred.

Guess what? First Friday is here again, and the galleries and assorted establishments along Penn Avenue are featuring "fun and frolic". October is always a great time for Unblurred, and this should be no exception. True... we'll be having unseasonably warm weather, but that's certainly not going to keep people holed up in their homes. There's a lot going on this month, so come on out and play.

What's new this time? Well, the Sprout Fund has moved into their new headquarters at 5423 Penn Avenue, and they are holding an Open House. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging the community with public art. Their most high-profile project has no doubt been the mural program, in which they pay artists "competitive" wages to complete large scale paintings in neighborhoods throughout the city. But they are also involved in "civic engagement, talent attraction and retention, and catalytic small-scale funding". They've been known to support small-scale local projects with seed awards, some of which have been received by concerns as diverse as Jefferson Presents and The RiverCubes Project. Finally, they also sponsor the annual Hothouse party- perhaps the biggest art event/party of the year. What better way to find out exactly what they are up to then to hear it from their own mouths? Show up tonight, armed with questions. You'll get to eat some refreshments provided by Whole Foods, and soak up entertainment from Dave Bernabo, Ben Harris and the Zany Umbrella Circus.

The Clay Penn (5111 Penn Avenue) is back again! Stop by and say hi to Laura Jean, and check out new paintings and assemblages by Jorge Myers. He's a dedicated artist and advocate of the Hill District. While you're nearby, stop in at 5151 Penn- apparently reports of the gallery's demise were premature. Paper cut-up artist Linnea Glick has an opening for her solo exhibition tonight. She's demonstrated some facility with representing evocative seasonal symbols in silhouette. Her accomplishments also include being assistant director of Pitt Arts.

Back in the heart of the Penn Avenue Corridor business district, Modern Formations (4919 Penn) is rolling out another group show. This collection of work is dedicated to "celebrating the mysticism and varied symbolism of trees". If that sounds creepily hippie-esque to you, then know this... Lauri Mancuso is among the participating artists, and she ain't no hippie! While I don't recognize any of the other names in the show, the curators have a good collective eye and they put out a nice spread. Across the street, Metamorphose (corner of Penn and Gross) is rolling out their festivities- tonight they are featuring painter Susan Constance and Matt Dearboff (who apparently is inspired somehow by Frank Lloyd Wright). The former has a long tradition of toiling in the arts in the 'burgh. Come out and give her the accolades she desrves. Meanwhile there's also a band, featuring the ubiquitous Barrett Black (and an aquarium full of ice-cold beer). Oh yeah... check out the Autumn fashions of Marci Gehring and Monica Phillips.

You're down on Penn Avenue, and you might as well make it a point to see everything. Go straight to ImageBox (4933 Penn) and check out the New Age works Charles Smith. I suspect that they will be quite calming. And Jason Sauer over at Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn) is no longer the Newest Kid on the Block. Check out his space to see if he falls prey to the dreaded "sophomore slump". Afterwards (if you know what's good for you), avoid clogging up the BrilloBox. I'd like to enjoy its extraordinary charms in peace.

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