Friday, November 02, 2007

Art Around Town This Weekend.

The sheer number of art events in Pittsburgh tonight and tomorrow make it just a bit easier to stomach not being at Agni for the opening reception on Saturday night. I always get disproportionately excited for Unblurred First Fridays. Sometimes my feelings are even justified, and I find something I have to buy. A big part of the allure is the concentration of events being held- a rare thing around town nowadays. Add in that many of my friends are in regular attendance... and it's a 'no-brainer'.

Checking the schedule for tonight, I see that many of the regular venues have stuff going on. Modern Formations, Metamorphose, the Clay Penn, and Imagebox are typically advertising receptions. Interestingly, I don't recognize any of the names of the artists involved this time around. That fact gives the night a bit of a 'grab bag' aspect- I don't have particularly high expectations to be thwarted. There are also a few places that look to be on hiatus again, notably 5151, the Gallery and Garfield Artworks. But on the other hand, there is a new spot this month. The Tunnel Gallery is set to open at 5515 Penn, with artwork, beer and music. Additionally the Pittsburgh Glass Center has a reception for the collaboration between two individuals who work with glass and ceramics. It's been a long time since the work at that location turned over.

If you are looking for additional diversion, it can be found at Melwood Filmmakers in North Oakland. Tonight's the kick-off for their annual Three Rivers Film Festival. This is the kind of thing that I'd frequent regularly if I could stand to watch movies in public. I've had a look at the program for this year's schedule, and I can say with authority that it looks fascinating (see for yourself here). They cover all the bases- locally-produced films, documentaries, shorts, drama, and repertory. At 9PM they are welcoming visitors for their gala reception. Local band New Invisible Joy is performing, and there should be plenty of food and alcohol on hand. If you miss it, they are having a string of parties throughout the festival- just check out their schedule on the website. I see that cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger is actually coming to town (November 15th at Concept Art Gallery) to discuss his films. That sounds promising. How often do you get a chance to meet a living legend?

Saturday has more goodies in store. Jacob Ciocci of Paper Rad fame will be on hand at Filmmakers (7:30 PM) to present a compilation of found images gleaned from 8 bit video game systems and the seldom seen corridors of the internet. Meanwhile the Remedy bar in Lawrenceville has hung their inaugural display of art on the third floor. Tomorrow is the reception for a collection of photographs by local shutterbug Matt Niemi. Stop in for some cocktails and say "Hi" to Matt.

The highlights of the weekend for me will undoubtedly be a pair of openings in the neighborhood that feature artists I am well familiar with. The Zombo Gallery hosts the work of lowbrow art star Mitch O'Connell. If your tastes run toward tattoo flash art, then you won't want to miss Never Forget to Get Drunk. The New York Times may be touting the growing sophistication on Butler Street, but leave it to Zombo and O'Connell to remind us not to forget our roots. Will there be a wide array of refreshments on hand? Take a guess.

Finally, La Vie Gallery at Butler and 36th street is unveiling a group show to commemorate their one-year anniversary. Ben Kehoe and Thad Kellstadt, two of my absolute favorite artists with ties to Pittsburgh, will be represented. I've said it before and it bares repeating- this is the finest and best gallery to come to our fair city recently, and I heartily recommend that you make a point of stopping in and looking at their vision for a burgeoning arts scene. I'll be there, trying to distract myself from the opening reception I'll be missing up there in the big city.

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