Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pittsburgh Art Events: 12/ 11-12/09.


Space Gallery (812 Liberty Avenue, downtown) has a group show of creators who have somehow affiliated themselves with the monolithic complex of institutional arts organizations throughout the area. "Behind Our Scenes" includes 34 artists who work in a variety of mediums, and is curated by Laura Mustio & Nicole Rosato. The opening runs from 6-10PM.

You can see a variety of student productions at the Melwood Screening Room in North Oakland (477 Melwood Avenue) this evening by attending an event unveiling thesis screenings. Not only will you have no idea what you might see, but you can also avail yourself of a free reception to follow (7PM).


Artists Image Resource (518 Foreland Street on the North Side) is opening its doors for a preview of "Pittsburgh 250 Portfolio, 2009 Projects Portfolio", from 7 until 9:30PM. Along with the output of its 2009 Resident Artists, there will be work from Pittsburgh 250 Portfolio artists (Delanie jenkins, John Ritter, Glenn Kaino, Nick Bubash, Hiroki Otsuka and Shepard Fairey) . If you don't know about the services that AIR offers, or what the organization has done for the past 13 years, this is a good chance to find out.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pittsburgh Art Events: 12/ 4-5/09.


The calendar informs us that it is once again time for Unblurred, on Penn Avenue. Instead of giving you a full rundown here, I'll merely divert you to the official website of the Penn Ave. Arts initiative, which has ALL the details. I do, however, insist that you make it a point to stop at Most Wanted Fine Art to see the work of fellow Unicorn Mountain denizen Tibi Chelcea.

If you have a taste for a bit of music, I recommend you check out Slim Cessna at Club Cafe (in the SouthSide) at 10:20PM. While his legendary Auto Club is a burst of mad energy and revelation, his local band is shaping up as a formidable act to be reckoned with. Sure, there's gospel and country roots included... but don't fool yourself- these guys rock. Believe me, you need a dose of this to get yourself in the mood for the holiday season.


Sometimes it's kind of pleasant to have something to do midday, before its time to head out for your particular brand of nightlife. So why not grab a cup of coffee, and peruse some art by Hannah Reiff at the Morning Glory Coffeehouse (1806 Chislett Street) in Morningside from 5-8PM? She's advertising "wintry prints / drawings / collages". While you are at it, check out the neighborhood's new Sprout Fund mural nearby.

Over on the South Side, the Michael Berger Gallery
(30 S. 6th St.) has an opening for your enjoyment earlier in the day (12-5PM). It's entitled Sundown of the Last Dynasty Hung Liu: Tapestries & New Prints. That's an explicit enough title to give the prospective viewer at least an inkling of what one might see.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pittsburgh Art Events: 11/ 13-14/09.

There are plenty of art-related odds-and-ends around town this weekend. They are dispersed throughout the city, so you'll have to put a bit of thought into what you might be desirous of seeing.


I've never attended a faculty art show at CCAC, but I am aware that some of the most passionate educators can be found at our nations' community colleges. You can see the annual show over at 808 Ridge Road on the Northside campus between 5-7PM.

Last week, it was puzzling to discover that the new Fast>>forward Gallery (3700 Penn Ave) had apparently decided to distance itself a bit from the monthly Unblurred event. I noticed its conspicuous absence on the promotional literature. But I've recently discovered that the reason it wasn't open was because co-founder Craig Freeman had a solo down at Zombo Gallery. That explains this week's opening reception for Breath Deep: An Ecological Exhibition by Ross Hardy (6-10PM).

And while we are on the subject, there's another 2-day exhibition at the Zombo Gallery. This one is entitled Mod as a Hatter (that's cute... right?) and features work by someone named CZM. I've also caught wind of the news that Zombo and Co. will soon have regular hours, when they open up their doors (4900 Hatfield Street) for a fashion boutique. Sometimes I wonder where Michael and Julie find the energy and time to be involved with their various projects.

You can also catch the unveiling of Matt Marino's current preoccupations at the Crazy Mocha in Bloomfield (4525 Liberty Ave), and stop by the grand opening of Gallery Sim (1735 East Carson St.) in the South Side. Kathleen Zimbicki has curated the show at this location. It's been awhile since there has been a viable cultural presence on that side of town, but who knows? A few venues have been active down there lately. Might there be a third "First Friday" art walk soon?


The ToonSeum opens its doors for the first time at 10AM. It is one of only three museums in the nation dedicated to the art of cartooning. From what I hear, it will focus heavily on the type of strips that have been delighting American newspaper readers for over a century. I've also been told that Bill from Copacetic Comics Co. has been asked to run the gift shop, AND that he'll be offering some pretty sweet specials for the occasion of the Grand Opening. The ToonSeum is located at 945 Liberty Avenue, downtown.

Luke & Eloy Gallery
(5169 Butler St.) has a daytime reception (11AM-5PM) for Paper or Plastic, a group show featuring stuff by creators from across the country, and you can follow that up with a visit to the Christine Frechard Gallery (5871 Forbes Ave) in Squirrel Hill. Hisham and Kamal Youssef are the featured artists there, and the opening lasts from 5-8PM. If it's anything like their inaugural event, you should get there early if you want some of the divine refreshments they put out.

If you'd prefer to get out of town (but not that far), you can venture out to DV8 Espresso Bar & Gallery in Greensburg (208 South Pennsylvania Avenue) for a solo show of Gabe Felice's intricate and fantastical paintings. Felice regularly produces an output of wondrous images on wood that suggest medieval engravings and illuminated manuscripts. If you went to see the Visionary Arts Festival this past August at Schenley Plaza, you would have had a hard time missing Gabe, toiling in front of his tent, and working up a back stock of affordable inventory.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pittsburgh Art Events: 11/ 6-7/09.


For some reason, I've been particularly anticipating this month's Unblurred. The last couple of weekends have been dead on the local arts scene, and I'm looking forward to what the various venues will be putting out.

I'm most excited to find out that artist, curator, educator, and former gallery-owner Bob Ziller is opening up a book store! It's located at the old Red Star Ironworks garage at 4810 Penn Ave. Ziller says that he is starting with an inventory of 3400 books, and that everything will be priced at 50% listed price. He's also doing another installment of his Pittsburgh Beautification Project, so stop in and find out what that is all about.

Meanwhile, "Pigeon Pair" is at Modern Formations (4919 Penn Avenue), serving up the work of Christian Breitkreutz & Jason Rosemeyer. I've been keeping an eye on C.B., and I'm eager to track his development.

The building housing the misleadingly-named International Children's Art Gallery (5020) is opening all three of its floors. The second will feature recent stuff by James Maszle, and Richard Rappaport will be up-top.

There will also be music by Brass Chariot, Duane Jones Duo and Al Zavacky at the new Irma Freeman Center for Imagination (5006 Penn), a group show at Garfield Artworks (with Maggie Black from WV), Cory Bonnet & Ryan Dunmeyer at Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn Ave), and creations on glass by Joseph Holtz at Imagebox.

Shadyside offers its monthly dose of openings as well. Gallerie Chiz (5831 Ellsworth Avenue) has a group show called "A Convivial Collection...New Creations" that includes work by Philippe Paulin Derville, Ben Oddi, Joyce Werwie Perry, Carlos Sanchez-Vegas & Randie Snow. It runs from 6-9PM. Patrick Ruane is over at Gallery in the Square (5850 Ellsworth Avenue), and the Mendelson Gallery has Bob and Paul Bowden (6-9PM).


Zombo Gallery (4900 Hatfield St.) returns with another one of its idiosyncratic weekend shows. You get the opening on Friday, and if you miss that... the closing on Saturday (6-10 PM, both nights). This time around, it's "Lickity-Split!" with Craig Freeman , supplemented by sculptures by Seth LeDonne. Don't miss the madness of this space.

If you never made your way over to Moxie Dada at the Firehouse in the North Side (1416 Arch Street), this absolutely and without reservation will be your very last chance. The closing for "Dia De Los Muertos Y La Resurreccion: The Existencial Crisis" runs from 6-9PM. If you have been a regular habitue of the space, then I'm sure you'll recognize a lot of the creators represented. While it's sad to see such a stalwart of the local scene pass on, it will be exciting to see what the people behind Moxie Dada do next. Its proprietors have ensured me that they are not giving up, but just moving on to other projects.

Oh, and by the way... the Three Rivers Film Festival opens this weekend, and you can find a list of the events here.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Quote of the day

From the Associated Baptist Press website:

"And, frighteningly, Christians seem at the very least to be as susceptible as the population at large to the habit of spreading false stories."

Read the full story HERE.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pittsburgh Art Events: 10/ 16-17/09.


"3-Way", the new exhibit at Fe Gallery (4102 Butler St, Lawrenceville), runs from 6-9 PM, and features the work of Anna Mikolay (Director of Education at the Mattress Factory), Josh Tonies, and Laura Tabakman. This non-profit venue typically shows art without regard to commercial imperatives, so there's a good chance you will see some stuff to make you go "hmmmm?!"

Have you had the opportunity to check out Maxo Vanka's murals at St. Nicholas Church in Millvale (24 Maryland Ave.)? If you haven't, this is the perfect chance- they are having a "50%-off flea market" this weekend. On Friday, it runs from 5-8PM and on Saturday, it's 8AM-2PM. Along with a dinner and a lunch, they are also welcoming people to tour the church itself.


Spend the day (10AM-6PM) in Lawrenceville checking out artist studios. Despite the rapidly increasing price of real estate in this neighborhood, artists haven't (yet) been completely priced out. Although many of the participants are more of the "crafter" sort, you should take this opportunity to invade some strangers' spaces. Unlike the typical "house tour", this event is free. Make sure to stop by Encyclopedia Destructica (156 41st Street) to see where their magic is realized.

Apparently Shepherd Fairey is in town again, for his opening reception for "Supply and Demand" at the Andy Warhol Museum. The museum is encouraging all to come and meet the artist. I used to have a modicum of respect for Fairey... until I realized what a raging hypocrite he is. The guy has been freely appropriating the imagery of other creators for years, and in fact has built his career on the practice. So it galls me that he has sued others for so-called copyright infringement. Anyway you can meet him after 6PM, and meet his lawyers if you decide to appropriate his very own methods.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Pittsburgh Weekend Events: 10/2-3/09.


Is this the night of the seasonal Downtown gallery crawl in the Cultural District? It sure is, and naturally it falls right smack dab on the same night as Unblurred. What a surprise! The shower of events in the midst of the Golden Triangle gets under way at 5:30PM.

937 Liberty has a a group show of work focusing on a single object (I hear tell this will contain multiple perspectives on "rope"). The folks behind it belong to The Pittsburgh chapter of the American Society Of Media Photographers, which means that they get paid to make their images. That's cool. That must mean they are legitimate. Don't hold that against them.

SPACE (812 Liberty Avenue) is unveiling some "high-concept" project called Transfer Lounge, described as "a unique opportunity for artists from different parts of the world (from what I can gather- Valencia, Spain and Pittsburgh) to actively exchange their views and ideas around issues of mobility and transition." Unfortunately this tells me virtually nothing about what you might see if you make a visit.

Don't forget Soulpurpose at the 707/709 Galleries (Penn Avenue). The G20 might be over, but you can still see at least one curator's ideas about a balanced representation of local artists. Apparently Jen Cooney's "The Secret Lives of Stories" is still at 707, and this would be the single compelling reason for me to venture Downtown on a Friday evening. I saw her work a couple of years ago when the PCA and Filmmakers jointly hosted their Biennial, and it was easy to get caught up in her visual world. She seems to love Bigfoot, and for this reason alone, I must someday meet her.

Finally, I want to mention that a French Artist is showing installation art "highlighting simultaneously both the simplicity and the complexity of reality" (emphasis mine, quote theirs) at the Wood Street galleries. And that wraps up one crawl!

If you're going to Unblurred instead, consider dropping in on the Friendship Development Associates' birthday bash at 6PM. Be aware that this does cost money ($7 in advance, or $10 at the door). With all the free stuff going on this night, I'm sure the lines for beer won't be excessively long.

Despite what some other media sources are saying, Rick Byerly is reporting that the Rob Larson/Mike Egan collaboration is opening at Modern Formations (4919 Penn Avenue)
on Friday night. These guys have both appeared in the gallery before, so I know they are worth a stop. Egan does simple day-of-the-dead inspired paintings, and Larson appears to employ stencils and photographic prints extensively. It'll surely be an interesting mix.

Other Unblurred highlights include images from Susan Constance at Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn Ave), glass work by Sheila Klein at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn Ave), a 3D exhibit of Joseph Materkowski's abstract paintings at FAST>>FWRD (3700 Penn Ave), an Autumn "ensemble" at SPACE (4823 Penn Avenue), and a collection of stuff over at Garfield Artworks that includes (among others) multimedia creators Becky Corrigan and Evan Knauer. Whew.

Of course Shadyside has their version of First Friday too, so you can go and check out a reception for Cliff Enright's watercolors over at Mendelson Gallery (5874 Ellsworth Avenue). They are rather bright abstracts that contain a broad enough palette to match any decor. Meanwhile Cory Rockwood has some more of his "Painted Shaped Canvassesd" over at Gallerie Chiz (5831 Ellsworth Avenue). I've seen some of his works over at Moxie Dada, and I enjoy their subtlety. Rockwood shares the space with Ryder Henry, whose futuristic cityscape paintings impressed me very much during this past August's Visionary Arts Fest in Schenley Plaza.

As if the concordance of art events during first Fridays in Pittsurgh isn't already overwhelming, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (in the heart of East Liberty) is having a roll-out/call for artists for "Go East!", that is evidently seeking to compete with the other two regular monthly extravaganzas. They promise " A combination of live music, dance, theatre, film, spoken word, and more...crafts marketplace, music, free food and drink." Make sure to bring samples of your work on CD/DVD if you are interested in participating in such future events.

And if you happen to be in the Homestead area, you'll be close by the Pump House & Water tower, where four artists (including former Digging Pitt regular and current blog contributor Jean McClung) will display their work inspired by the Carrie Blast Furnaces (see Bittersweet Harvest for some previews).


Another exhibition space is opening this weekend in Squirrel Hill, to join the ranks of Sirani Gallery on Forbes. The Christine Frechard Gallery (5871 Forbes Avenue) will feature emerging, as well as international artists, and their grand inaugural celebration kicks off between 5-9PM with a group show of locals, including the very talented Aimee Manion (another veteran of VAF). If I had my way I'd already own one of her paintings, but I fear she's quickly leaving my price range.

Pitsburgh Society of Artists is having their annual show at Borelli Edwards in Lawrenceville (3583 Butler Street). The opening reception is from 6-8:30PM. I was too busy to submit anything, but that doesn't mean I won't stop by.

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