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Monday, April 29, 2013

Arts Festival Programming Announced

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

People who like the Three Rivers Arts Festival basically the way it’s been shouldn’t have any complaints about the 2013 edition. But people hoping for something new should find it, too — starting with the flashy re-opening of the Point State Park fountain, on the opening night of the Dollar Bank-sponsored June 7-16 festival.

As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced this afternoon at the Wyndham Grant Pittsburgh Downtown, you’ll know it’s all on when you see the Point Park fountain, after a lengthy reconstruction, spurting again. And you won’t be able to miss that because they’re going to light the bejabbers out of it in something called Riverlights at the Point.

According to Lisa Schroeder, of Riverlife, the “new and improved” fountain will be the focus of a three-night light-based artwork called “Pittsburgh Spectral Ascending.”

Hard to describe precisely at this juncture, but it involves artists with international resumes setting up on top of PPG place and shooting the fountain with lasers.

Lasers, people.

The festival, as usual based in and near Point State Park, also includes a river-borne, light-based art installation; more room for the artists’ market; a bigger Giant Eagle Creativity Zone for kids; and — just what your life’s been missing — a “10-foot tall inflatable transparent Buddha,” afloat, by artist Chang-Jin Lee.

Here's an image from the juried show, by Maxwell Perim:

Perim_Maxwell_-_000042_300615_935245_1159.JPG

If you're seeking a reprieve from funnel cakes and curly fries, come by for the new Food Truck Fridays.

Even the music lineup at feels fresher than usual. Most of the mainstage acts, including openers Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and closing-night bill-toppers The Airborne Toxic Event, haven’t played the fest before, nor been in town lately.

Other notable names include Grupo Fantasma, Glen Hansard, Lucius, Jontre and Red Baraat (pictured below).

Red_Baraat1_by_Erin_Patrice_O_Brien.JPG

Hard to complain about the more familiar acts, either. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, for instance, is back. And the fest’s second annual bluegrass day is headlined by none other than the genre’s biggest name, Ralph Stanley.

Other things that’ll return include the indoor Juried Visual Art Exhibition and that ongoing Zero Waste Initiative (this year especially targeting plastic bottles).

The festival’s also happening in conjunction with several other summer shindigs, including the Pittsburgh Pridefest (June 14-16); Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival (June 7-9); the June 15 ceremonial dedication of the Great Allegheny Passage; and the Americans for the Arts Conference.

And as always, of course, the festival is free.

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