Friday, October 03, 2008

Pittsburgh Art Happenings: Weekend of 10/3-4/08.

Is it possible that anything other than politics can hold my attention for more than a short period of time? It would be nice to have some distraction. Luckily there is plenty of art to see around town this weekend to clear the imagery and lingering words from last night's debate. And what makes it even better is that the shorter your attention span is- the more you'll get to see!!

Friday:

The tough decisions are going to have to be made tonight. Typically in Pittsburgh, a lot of art events fall on the same date. It's possible that you could skip around town and actually be in the physical presence of just about everything, but you aren't likely to enjoy yourself with such a strategy. For the purpose of simplification, I'm going to focus on what I'm interested in.

If I get the opportunity, I'm going to start the evening early... say 5:30 perhaps. That will give me enough time to get downtown and find a parking spot, once all the restricted ones become available at 6PM. As is my usual routine for these seasonal events, I wil start my exploration on Liberty Avenue. If the lines aren't long, I'll run through Wood Street Gallery (601 Wood Street). I don't expect to spend a lot of time there, because I haven't liked anything in that space for close to a year. This time around they've got "immersive environments" from Austrian-native Kurt Hentschlager. I'd suggest that his work appears compelling, but I've been wrong before with Wood Street. Have a look at his site, and decide for yourself.

Then I'll stop at Space Gallery (812 Liberty Avenue) for a group show called "Make, Shift, Home". I'm likely to enjoy looking through and picking a favorite or two out of the ten artists involved. It's co-curated by Mario Marzan and Sharmila Venkatasubban (who I'm unfamiliar with) and I don't recognize any of the artists' names. I do know that Venkatasubban has put together shows at this gallery before. After that I'll go to 707 Penn, where my friends Paul Roden and Valerie Leuth have an exhibition of their woodcut prints. They are an extremely talented couple and own Tugboat Printshop over in Larryville. I expect this to be a highlight of the evening.

I'll choose to leave for Unblurred on a high note. Hopefully I'll get there around 7:30 or so. Normally I'd make the Clay Penn my home base, but I don't think Laura Jean has anything planned there this month. So I'll probably get right to the juicy center of things. I'll make a quick pass through Garfield Artworks (4931 Penn Ave.), where on occasion I am pleasantly surprised. I don't know "Evil Twin" (I think Gina Favano is from Philly), and I couldn't find examples of her work online. But I did learn that she's into working on cars that run on vegetable oil.

ImageBox (4933 Penn) has Charles A. Smith II and Brian J. Olmstead. They are promising a "unique contemporary abstract event", but I bet the spread will be a draw as well, as the two are co-owners of a catering company. Modern Formations (4919 Penn Ave.) has Creation by Accident: Works by Aimee Manion and Sebastian Van Gorder. Just judging by their hot card, I'd have to say that this is promsing. After I hit my favorite spots, I'll wander around stopping in anywhere that catches my eye. This usually includes the International Children's Art Gallery (5020 Penn Ave.) and Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn Ave). Of course the main attraction is seeing such a wide variety of people on one single night.

Saturday

Save a bit of energy for two openings on Saturday. The Panza Gallery (115 Sedgwick St. in Millvale) brings you the portrait and landscape paintings of Mark Mclaughlin. This painter has that flat and illiustrative style that many associate with "outsider art". It should be a lively reception (7PM-?). And Moxie Dada (1416 Arch St. in the North Side) is offering up (6-9PM) A Beholding: Prashna Paramita Parasher, a body of work to challenge the Western perspective.

Enjoy it while it lasts. The politics are returning soon.

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