Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pittsburgh Art Events: 8/22-23/08.

Sorry that I'm getting a bit of a late start on this one. I just got back from my very first trip to Buffalo, which had a lot more going on than one might expect. I'll post a bit about that during the next few days on Serendipity. Meanwhile, back home in the jewel of the Rust Belt, I'm gearing up for a couple of can't-miss art events this weekend.

Friday

Yes, indeed. This is the very first art exhibition I will have ever attended at a bowling alley. Simultaneously this will also be the first time I have ever shown one of my own works at a bowling alley. On Friday night, between 6 and 9PM, you can witness the "First Showing" of Art Goes Bowling at Arsenal Lanes in Lawrenceville. Curator and gadfly Zombo asked 100 artists to transform 100 beat-up bowling pins, and the results will be displayed to the musical accompaniment of "The Whips". This will be the group's debut performance, and Zombo claims they sound like the Velvet Underground meets the Cramps. That actually sounds enticing.

I don't know what the others have done to their pins, but I promise that my creation will be one of the most low-rent spectacles available for viewing (and for sale- all pins are $25 each). Truth be told, I have seen a couple of pieces by Eric Luden... very nice indeed! I got a glimpse of them (and a few more) at Lucky, the Painproof Man's performance last weekend. If you weren't there for it, you really missed out. It turns out that Lucky has spent time with The Coney Island Circus Sideshow, and the experience is evident in the rapport he develops with his audience. He had the free funnel cakes and popcorn he gave out earlier churning in bystander stomachs. He's reprising his schtick on August 30th, at 6PM at the Zombo Gallery.

Saturday

Have you gotten your tickets to Pittsburgh's annual premiere art party? The Sprout Fund's Hothouse has steadily earned the reputation as one of the best events of the year. This installment brings a full bill of entertainment. Musical acts include Ben Opie's "The Braxton Project", River City 6 brass band, J. Malls, Lucid Music, Harangue, Hands Down, Assembly, Joy Ike, the Grackles, Keeb $, Pandemic and DJ Selecta. There's also a vaudeville carnival production by the Zafira Dance Company... and lots of great food and drinks provided by local establishments like brillobox, Double Wide Grill, Dozen, East End Food Co-op, Enrico Biscotti, The Pennsylvania Brewing Co., big Catering, etc.

But you don't go to Hothouse for the refreshments. The reason for the Sprout Fund's existence is its support of many local entities that work to make our city a better place. Hothouse showcases all of the stuff that the organization has helped to fund over the year. This includes such a diverse range of products and activities that I hesitate to even choose highlights. Suffice it to say, the following featured displays are personal priorities for me this Saturday night: Fe Gallery's preview for In the Making: 250 Years, 250 Artists, the Dr. Sketchy drawing session, the unveiling for the models of the Industrial Arts Co-op sculpture, the life-sized issue of The Original, Unsmoke System's multimedia show, large-scale Gigapan prints of previous Sprout Fund public art, and the sustainability games of Creative Reuse.

Don't forget that Hothouse is a fundraiser. General Admission is $50 at the door (which admits you from 9PM-Midnight). But if you have some extra cash ($150), you can also attend the VIP reception that runs from 7-9PM. And there's a silent auction offering up objects donated by the likes of Bricolage, the Carnegie Museum of Art, City Theater, Dance Alloy, Encyclopedia Destructica, Quantum Theater, WYEP 91.3, and artists like Mike Budai, David Montano, Josh Tonies and yours truly. The location for this year's Hothouse is the upper floors of The Union Trust Building at 501 Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.

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