Pittsburgh has become a mecca of East Coast non-profit art culture. Between the Mattress Factory, the Andy Warhol Museum, SPACE and the Wood Street Galleries, the Cultural Trust has the ability to take calculated risks and make a huge splash with exhibits. It has created an expectation of cutting edge art being discovered and showcased.
One of the most anticipated events in the city is the quarterly Gallery Crawl where the Trust celebrates the transformation of the Cultural District, new exhibits being installed in the galleries and Pittsburgh’s growth into a word powerhouse. The Trust invites attendees to help them celebrate this decade long tradition by Instagraming their favorite Gallery Crawl memory using #CrawlPGH by July 18, 2014. Your photo may be selected to promote the September 26, 2014, Gallery Crawl!
As part of crawl after dark – a part of the crawl introduced just this year – the trust will be taking over the August Wilson Center in downtown for the night and transforming it into
CONSOL Energy Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh
Music, open bar, comedy, art, activities, noshes, and more! Visit TrustArts.org/cosmo for details.
Event Sponsors: UPMC, UPMC Health Plan, First Commonwealth
7 p.m. VIP admission, 9 p.m. general admission, tickets: $25–$125
Show your Crawl map for a $5 discount at the door.
Below is a list of free events that will be opening for the crawl. The Trust’s own website describes them as:
Art. Music. Dance. Architecture. Film. Networking. Fun.
The Gallery Crawl is a free quarterly showcase of art and entertainment in the heart of the Cultural District. All events take place at a variety of galleries and spaces and are FREE and open to the public. The event is ongoing between 5:30 and 9:00 pm, and patrons may start at any location.
You can see an interactive map of all the events here.
There is an amazing amount of art debuting that night. If you are worried about parking – as a lot of people are when they travel into downtown – there are many options that can help you. I have some information about one option on this page and BikePgh is sponsoring the event with Pop Up Bike Parking: Locations include Katz Plaza, Eighth Street & Penn Avenue, 917-919 Liberty Avenue.
Only a few of the events that night:
SPACE Gallery – located in downtown Pittsburgh on 812 Liberty Avenue – will be premiering a new modern exhibit. Cataloging Pattern will continue the run of cutting edge works by SPACE – and its sister gallery Wood Street – that has become so intriguing for me recently. I try to visit each gallery as much as possible not only due to their close proximity to our apartment but because they try to constantly push the sensory and intellectual envelop. (check out this brief video of the last awesome exhibit at Wood Street)
According to the press release:
The exhibition, guest organized by Kristen Letts Kovak, investigates the links between visual, perceptual, and cognitive patterning, and it features more than 50 artworks by nine artists. Each artist chose one aspect of patterning to investigate: seriality, rhythm, rehearsal, behavior, permutation, morphology, expectation, and repetition.
Kovak’s exhibition explores the diverse role that patterning can play, noting that the process of creation often follows a pattern itself: intention, execution, and then resolution. Yet, even this pattern falls apart as the artists’ original intention inevitably shifts.
“We constantly break our own patterns as we investigate them more deeply and uncover our faulty assumptions,” says Kovak. “I wondered, if the cycle of establishing and breaking patterns is fundamental to the act of making art, wouldn’t it appear as an underlying theme in seemingly disparate artworks?”
Each artist—through differing aesthetics, media, and content—finds his or her own balance between ordered predictability and the irregular or unknown. As a group, the artists demonstrate that breaking a predicted pattern is more significant than establishing one, and they use pattern to reveal what is otherwise hidden.
Salinda Deery transcribes the repetitive motions of factory labor into abstract paintings. She treats her large canvases like an assembly line, repeating her marks as she walks alongside the surface. The resulting paintings resonate with the history of her movements and call attention to the interruptions in her routine. She resides in Elkhart, MD.
Aaron Henderson and Ted Coffey collaborate on a series of kaleidoscopic videos. Beginning with documentation of military drills and shopping riots, they transform repeated acts of aggression into morphing visual and auditory patterns. Their work vacillates between representation and abstraction, and chaos and order. Henderson resides in Pittsburgh, PA, and Ted Coffey lives in Charlottesville, VA.
Kristin Kest is an illustrator and storyteller. Her drawings bring to light the role of gender and class often underlying the stories we tell. While set within the context of imagination and fantasy, her characters are heroic because of their humanness—articulating moments of boldness, tenderness, and physical labor. She resides in York, PA.
Todd Keyser investigates the relationship between the mass-produced and handmade image. Working on top of digitally printed photographs, he meticulously paints color striations onto their surfaces. His marks mimic both the underlying geometry and the hidden digital pixilation. Keyser resides in Pittsburgh, PA.
Kristen Letts Kovak integrates historically and culturally unrelated patterns into singular images. By imposing patterns onto an unfamiliar context, she interrupts the established design and creates new visual alliterations. The resulting paintings continuously slide between tangents and a larger superstructure. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA.
Maria Mangano creates mixed media and installation artworks that investigate taxonomy and ecology. She uses the repeated nature of printmaking to study visual and behavioral links between species. Her delicate pieces shed light on the fragile web of nature’s interaction in an urban environment. Mangano resides in Pittsburgh, PA.
Brooke Sturtevant-Sealover studies the lives of individual plants. She intricately charts each plant’s daily movements and growth patterns. Her marks are, in essence, chosen by the plants, but the method of recording is determined by the artist. The layers of collected data and live specimens become both a scientific record and a launching pad for aesthetic investigations. She resides in York, PA.
Rebecca Zilinski’s ink drawings map cognitive and behavioral responses. Her work is quiet and meditative, revealing its intricacies over time. While at a macro level she is articulating a predictable pattern, closer investigation reveals the unpredictable behavior of her media. Zilinski resides in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Cataloguing Pattern’s opening reception will be from 5:30-9pm on Friday, July 11th and is a few weeks before the next edition of the music SPACE event on July 25th featuring two local bands. Gallery Hours: Wed & Thurs: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri & Sat: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public. SPACE is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For more information about all gallery exhibitions featured in the Cultural District, please visit www.TrustArts.org.
At Wood Street Galleries (pictured above) above the T Station at 601 Wood street: La Cour Des Miracles debuts. According to the press release, it’s an interactive robotic installation and will run from July 11th to September 7th. The exhibition opening and reception will be on July 11th from 5:30 to 9pm.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of La Cour des Miracles (The Court of Miracles) by artists Bill Vorn and Louis-Philippe Demers. The exhibition is on view at Wood Street Galleries July 11–September 7, 2014. An opening reception takes place during the Trust’s quarterly Gallery Crawl Friday, July 11, 2014, from 5:30–9 p.m.
La Cour des Miracles is an interactive robotic installation that reacts to viewers’ presence in a multimedia environment. This installation follows the artists’ approach to creating fictitious spaces designed for machine populations and cybernetic organism societies, in which viewers become both explorers and intruders. The title of the exhibition originates from the slum districts of Paris—cour des miracles—in which begging was a means of survival for the populations of these areas in the 1600s. Beggars in these cour des miracles faked injuries, deformities, and diseases in order to receive more alms, and once returned to their home in the slums, their ailments were miraculously cured.
By creating a universe of faked realities, the artists suggest that the aim of this installation is to induce viewers’ empathy toward the “characters,” which are solely articulated metallic structures. Six robotic characters populate the installation: The Begging Machine, The Convulsive Machine, The Crawling Machine, The Harassing Machine, The Heretic Machine, and The Limping Machine.
Also on view is Vorn’s DSM-VI, a robotic universe that stages creatures expressing symptoms of “abnormal” psychological behaviors and stuck with some serious “mental health” problems, such as neurosis, psychosis, personality disorders, paranoia, schizophrenia, depression, delirium, and other forms of behavior and mental disorders. The project title is inspired by the reference manual published by the American Psychiatric Association: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM.
Sometimes glorified, sometimes highly criticized, the DSM-V describes and classifies human behavior disorders and mental diseases. With this project, Vorn proposes DSM version VI. Just as La Cour des Miracles is conceived around the idea of “the misery of the machines,” the DSM-VI project pursues Vorn’s creative work on the metaphor of the living by now investigating the notion of a “psychosis of the machines.”
The installation is presented as a “tableau vivant,” or living picture—a vast and complicated labyrinth reminiscent of the cages of a zoological garden or the corridors of an asylum for the mentally ill. In this strange universe made of metal scaffoldings, electrical cables, and suspended ducts, vague and evasive shapes can be seen through the haze. Mysterious creatures inhabit this place, sometimes totally uninterested when the viewers walk by, sometimes completely wild and crazy because of the intrusion in their intimate environment.
Bill Vorn, based in Montréal, has been working in the field of robotic art for more than 20 years. His installation and performance projects involve robotics and motion control, sound, lighting, video, and cybernetic processes. Vorn holds a Ph.D. in communication studies from Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. He teaches electronic arts in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University, Montréal. Vorn is responsible for the robotic art research-creation lab of the Hexagram Institute at Concordia University. Vorn’s work has been presented extensively internationally, and he received numerous awards. He has worked in collaboration with many Canadian artists, including Edouard Lock, Robert Lepage, Gilles Maheu, Istvan Kantor, and Louis-Philippe Demers.
Louis-Philippe Demers is a multidisciplinary artist using machines as media. He worked on the conception and production of several large-scale interactive robotic installations, so far realizing more than 225 machines. His robotics works are found in theater, opera, subway stations, art museums, science museums, music events, and trade shows. Demers has participated in more than 70 artistic and stage productions while collaborating with recognized artists, such as Bill Vorn, Christian Möller, Stelarc, Robert Lepage, Peter Gabriel, and Le Cirque du Soleil. His works have been awarded several prizes and featured at major international venues. Demers is associate professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Wood Street Galleries is located at 601 Wood Street. Gallery hours: Wed. & Thur. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The gallery is free and open to the public. Wood Street Galleries is a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Support for Wood Street Galleries has been provided by the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Additional support provided by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
The 707 Gallery at 707 Penn Ave debuts Some Begins: Stories of Telepathy and Miraculous Objects. According to the press release for the show:
It is an exhibition exploring the associative and myth-making capacities of objects and text from the collaborative practice of artists Meg Shevenock and Jamie Boyle. The exhibition is on view July 11–August 24, 2014, at 707 Penn Gallery. An opening reception takes place Friday, July 11, 2014, from 5:30–9 p.m., during the Trust’s quarterly Gallery Crawl throughout the Cultural District.
Some Begins is a collection of primarily sculptural works that exemplify what Shevenock and Boyle call their “belief in the crazy spirit world of objects,” marks the first exhibition devoted solely to their collaborative practice. Only very briefly, over the past seven years, have the artists lived in the same city. This physical distance between them serves as a crucial layer to their belief in the power of objects, their artistic process, and the works on view in Some Begins.
Several of the sculptures in the exhibition are arrangements of accumulated materials and objects, which the artists gleaned from daily life in their separate cities. Shevenock and Boyle’s separate—yet at times almost telepathic—experiences, reflected in these physical materials and objects (which in themselves resonate with their own history of use at once understood and unknown) are conflated in these sculptures.
The diaristic configuration of the exhibition allows a narrative to unfold and repeat and overlap through objects and fragments of text.
Rejecting the classification of “found objects” in reference to the materials of their work, the artists place a sense of agency in, and collaboration with, the bits of material—eye glasses, pencils, scraps of written notes, threads and string—that comprise a majority of the works in the show. And, some things become other things: Shevenock and Boyle have created reproductions of some of the objects, recasting them in various forms alongside original artifacts and throughout the exhibition as a means to construct a myth and deepen the felt experience of their materiality and expressive qualities through repetition and repositioning.
“In our initial encounters with these materials, the energy between self and object is palpable, heart-racing, and the ritual of picking items up off the ground feels secretive, like a code that connects us with the past vital lives of the materials now in hand,” the artists state. “Very often, we later find evidence of telepathic connection between objects we separately encounter; for instance, one afternoon we both picked up a pair of nearly identical, wireframe glasses.”
However, while some of the work feels weighted, it also comes with acknowledgement of the absurd: “Laughter and a sense of humor are also central to our evaluation—recognition that one is not alone in the world and a true miracle is sometimes evinced through the hilarious or outrageous.”
A written text, a collusion of the artists’ biographic details, both imagined and real, which they refer to as their “mythography,” accompanies the exhibition.
Additional events debuting for the crawl:
Memento Mori by Mary Mazziotti
A set of billboards reminding the viewer that life can be short and its end unpredictable.
Cell Phone Disco by InformationLab
This surface visualizes the electromagnetic field of an active mobile phone. Several thousand lights illuminate when you make or receive a phone call in the vicinity of the installation.
805 Liberty Avenue
A Mt. Washington resident, gallery owner Kurt Shaw has been documenting the amazing sunrises over the city for more than three years and posting them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram with the moniker FROM_PITTSBURGH_WITH_LOVE. This “People’s Choice” exhibition showcases a selection of his most “liked” photo posts.
Trust Arts Education Center
805/807 Liberty Avenue
Belly Dance Show
Belly dancing is the oldest form of dance, having roots in all ancient cultures from the Orient to India to the Middle East. It is based on one of the social dances called Raks Baladi and is performed by people of all ages and both genders during festive occasions. Performances at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m.
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP)
The Pittsburgh chapter of the ASMP is showing images from its personal and commercial works.
Mars Is Underwater by Ricardo Iamuuri (2013 RAW Pittsburgh Musician of the Year)
Mars is Underwater is the first segment of Slaves To Cool, a series conceived of and produced by multimedia sound collage artist Ricardo Iamuuri. He performs a live original score, accompanying his sound art with additional video works from Darian Stansbury and Alisha Wormsley. Experimental, improvisational, and collaborative, Mars is Underwater lives at the intersection of theater, film, music, and performance art. Performances at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
African Beats and World Cup History
Cameroon Football Development Program
Take a journey through the rich history of African nations’ contribution to the greatest soccer competition on earth, the FIFA World Cup, from 1930 to today. Enjoy friendly soccer juggling competitions, Mama Sylvia’s famous West African cuisine, and dance to the best in African pop music by Pittsburgh’s DJ Aiken. The exhibition is curated by Cameroon Football Development Program, a Pittsburgh-based youth development organization that provides leadership, life skills, and health education to boys and girls on the soccer field.
809 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh Filmmakers presents regionally produced short films on a loop by Ivette Spradlin, Tom Fisher & Stefano Ceccarelli, Michael Pisano, and Christina Claiborne. 5:30–9 p.m.
Tiny Harris Gallery
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Photography Alumni group show.
Arcade Comedy Theater
811 Liberty Avenue
Pop in for some laughs, featuring Pittsburgh’s best sketch, improvisational, and alternative comedy. Time to play!
Catholic Charities Susan Zubik Welcome Center
212 Ninth Street
A photography exhibition curated by students from Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth and Arts Program.
820 Liberty Avenue
Join Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s largest and longest-running indie craft fair, for hands-on crafting using recycled materials. Learn about ways to get involved in Handmade Arcade’s next event on December 6th at the Convention Center. Make it; take it—easy and fun!
Amazing Books *open until 8:45 p.m.
929 Liberty Avenue
Live music by Brad Yoder, 6–8 p.m.
THERE Ultra Lounge
931 Liberty Avenue
Amalgamations, recent works by Donnie Toomer
Having earned a BFA in printmaking and book arts from the University of Georgia, Donnie Toomer’s current modes of expression include aerosols, encaustics, printmaking, and assemblages from recycled and found objects.
937 Liberty Avenue
The Takeaway: Made With Love
This artist-curator project by Robert Raczka features nearly 100 amateur artworks handpicked from thrift-store collections across several states. Throughout the run of the exhibition, visitors are able to enter into a free lottery for a chance to take home their favorite piece from the show.
New Hazlett Theater CSA Performance Series Preview
The new crop of CSA artists perform, including folkloric theatre with Anya Martin, contemporary circus/dance with Jil Stifel and Ben Sota, spatial investigations with Jennifer Myers, and intimate dance with Roberta Guido. Each of these artists is part of the larger New Hazlett Theater Community Supported Art Performance Series. For a complete lineup of CSA performances, visit www.newhazletttheater.org/#CSA
Third Floor, Pittsburgh Playwrights Gallery
Batik works by Saihou Nije and a slideshow of Nije’s Twinning Project, a photographic exploration of kinship ties between Africans and African Americans.
971 Liberty Avenue, second floor gallery: NOT UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE
Sculptures, paintings, and pottery by Jess Bala; handmade jewelry by Valerie Pollak; and live music by The Willful Souls.
Neighborhood Legal Services Association
928 Penn Avenue
Let’s Make Amends!
An examination, both serious and light-hearted, of both successful and unsuccessful Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. What Amendments would you propose? Which is your favorite failed Amendment?
Urban Pathways 6-12 Gallery *open until 9 p.m.
914 Penn Avenue
Middle School Art Show
Three middle school teachers from Urban Pathways Charter School, Manchester Academic Charter School, and Propel East bring their students’ artwork together to display middle school talent—with games, artist market, prizes, and art-making opportunities!
909 Penn Avenue
At the Museum by Tom Mosser
The exhibition features framed prints and original canvases of the ongoing At the Museum series. The work includes the globally famous A Golden Retriever at the Museum painting that went viral last year. It will be the first time the piece has been displayed in public. The work is presented in downtown’s newest residences—the Lando Lofts at 909 Penn!
901 Penn Avenue
Cox Contemporary is the newest gallery in the Cultural District. Formally a bank and then a photographic studio, the gallery showcases artists from around the world, as well as regional artists. The debut exhibition is a set of paintings by Justus Cox. His practice concerns the human condition, and he appropriates materials from books, magazines, and medical journals.
819 Penn Avenue
Niche Inheritance, a window installation by Dakotah Konicek
A homemade device used to aid in the mobility of technological advancement, this work combines technology of air filtration used by NASA with the mobile dependency of a wheelchair.
Triptych Piano Trio
Triptych Piano Trio is a rising chamber group in the Pittsburgh music scene. Christi, Patrick, and Victoria are senior music education majors at Duquesne University. Triptych Piano Trio is setting out to share music, both old and new, to diverse audiences in the Pittsburgh area.
Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
810 Penn Avenue, seventh floor
fünf: Celebrating Five Years of Art on the Walls
This exhibition features many of the artists that have participated in the Art in the Walls exhibition program. Since October 2010, Art on the Walls has successfully grown and expanded to different offices and organizations in Pittsburgh, resulting in more than $17,000 in sales.
808 Penn Avenue, second floor
Come checkout Bend Yoga’s New Look! Drop by to see the new space. It will have Bend Yoga tees and tanks, handcrafted jewelry, yoga mats, class coupons, and champagne! Free yoga classes: 6–6:30 p.m., and 7–7:30 p.m. Pre-register: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Night Market *open until 11 p.m.
Penn Avenue & 8th Street
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership presents the Summer Night Market, an outdoor market that features some of Pittsburgh’s most creative independent vendors of food, music, art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, games, and more!
709 Penn Gallery
709 Penn Avenue
Portraits of Air bySusan Goethel Campbell
An exhibition featuring air filters that were distributed to Pittsburgh residents who attended the 2013 Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. The returned air filters provide unique insight into Pittsburgh’s air quality.
7th Street & Penn Avenue
Live Music by The Pressure, 6:30–10pm
Carnegie Library Button-making and Books
We supply the materials, you supply the creativity! Want books? Buy them (for next to nothing) from our Friends.
WYEP Live Remote Broadcast
655 Penn Avenue
A Response to Life
Watercolors by Mari Yobp and oil paintings by Daniel Yobp.
Live music by Reggie Watkins, 5:30–7:30pm
PNC Legacy Project
600 Liberty Avenue
The PNC Legacy Project is celebrating Black History Month. Oral histories include Tony Award winner Billy Porter, Pittsburgh Courier Publisher Rod Doss, Olympic champion Swin Cash, civil rights advocate Alma Speed Fox, and trumpet player Sean Jones.
Dream Cream Ice Cream
539 Liberty Avenue
Showcasing seasonal Dreamer The Prez Show, an internet radio show that features live performances and interviews of up-and-coming music acts across the globe. C.H.R.I.S. Mitchell will be interviewed and perform with a live band.
208 Sixth Street
Meet Your Makers
Meet several of the boutique’s artists in person. Live music is provided by Jonathan Dull.
142 Sixth Street, third floor
Bombyx Collectivepresents POLYMORPHIA
The Bombyx Collective presents original movement and aerial arts in an exploration of changing states and forms. Liquid, solid, vapor; nymph, adult, corpse; smooth, striated, nodular. The artists take on and investigate the qualities of beings and matter in their varying morphologies. Performances at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Olive or Twist
140 Sixth Street
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Alumni & Student Show
Browse photography and graphic design pieces, and meet the creative minds behind them. www.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
136 Sixth Street (above Melange Bistro): NOT UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE
Free dance lessons and demos: Swing at 7:30 p.m.; Bachata at 8 p.m.; Salsa at 8:30 p.m.
107 Sixth Street
Live Music by Pittsburgh tango band Aqui Tango, 6–8 p.m.
107 Sixth Street
Examine various plates of raw food and then guess what each of the deconstructed dishes would represent as a completed plate. Anyone who answers correctly can be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate to dine at Braddock’s.
**I will be adding more information the closer we get to the crawl.