Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things to Do This Weekend. (6/20-22/08)

It's a bit odd to find so much to do in the middle of the month in Pittsburgh, especially in the arts scene. But for some reason this weekend has a few things you might want to consider attending. That should be good news to those of you without travel plans. Now you can tell all the naysayers- "Y'see... the 'Burgh is just as exciting as anywhere else during the summer. Mild climate... lots to do... who could want anything more?" Or you could stay at home basking in the cool of your A/C unit, and cry in your beer while daydreaming about the seashore.

Friday night features an opening for the Group A artists collective at the Fe Gallery in Lawrenceville. I'm happy to report that I am now receiving snail mail hot-cards from Jill and Co. alerting me of events at this spot. This particular group show promises to address political promises (presumedly of the unfulfilled variety). Come see what this shadowy little cabal is up to. The reception runs from 7-9PM. Expect the gallery staff to be a bit distracted as they are laboring to put together the catalog for "In the Making: 250 Years/250 Artists"- an exhibition that will be in place by September. But as far as I am aware, this is the main art attraction tomorrow night.

On the other hand, Saturday is going to demand a bit of prioritization. If you get an early start, you should probably make Artists Image Resource (AIR) your very first destination. They are throwing down with their Annual Summer Bash. From noon until midnight there will be art, music, performances, and refreshments. All you have to do is pay a one-time $10 entrance fee, and you can come-and-go as you please. You can watch local superstar poster-boy Mike Budai do his thing live and in person... Or take a chance on the Artist-Made T-shirt Raffle. The Burndowns and Power Pill Fist will be playing for the hipsters, and I'm told there will be cupcakes and beer from East End Brewery!

Later in the evening you might want to make your way to Market Square for the last (?) Art Olympic Theater. Of course it will be hosted by its creator Tom Sarver (late of the Tom Museum). If you haven't seen any of this series of events, you have to grab the opportunity while you can. Sarver is off to Yonkers (or France?) in the Fall. Come see local and regional artists stumble all over themselves competing to make a sculpture out of random materials in the space of two hours. The contest is to be decided by Jeffry Inscho (Mattress factory), Kurt Shaw (Tribune Review), Al Hoff (City Paper), and Laura Domencic (PCA). Get there at 6PM to see local jazz favorites OPEK open for the event. It's all free and Penn Brewery is providing the suds.

Before you give in to the bars for the night, you should stop by the Wizard of Oddities (4314 Butler Street) in Lawrenceville. This is a relatively new gallery opened by some newly transplanted farmers. The owners are gracious on their occasional forays back into the city, and feature an eclectic mix of local and national artists. Saturday night's opening (@ 7PM) features the watercolors and collage of Bill Ireland and Chris Ingham. Just look for the neon naked-lady silhouette in the front window. If you stayed at AIR all day instead, head a few blocks over to Moxie Dada (1416 Arch Street) for the first installment of their new Summer Music Series (featuring the jazz fusion of "So Say We").

After a couple of busy nights in a row, you probably just want to take it easy with a nice Sunday morning church service. But if you are inclined more toward elitist, black-separatist, Socialist, Muslim, flag-hating, messianic figures (and their villainous associates)- make sure to stop by Zombo Gallery (4900 Hatfield St., Lawrenceville) between noon and 4PM for some baked goods. Sales benefit Barack Obama's campaign and MoveOn.org.

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