Arts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival announces lineup, new features

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Squonk Opera's "Cycle Sonic" - PHOTO COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
  • Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • Squonk Opera's "Cycle Sonic"

The festival’s 57th annual incarnation, June 3-12, will be broadly familiar: a Point State Park-based footprint, lots of bands, the artists’ market, large-scale outdoor public artworks, a juried visual-art show, festival food.

There’s even the welcome, lately near-annual tradition of a new show by performance-art rock-band faves Squonk Opera.

And it’s all still free, thanks largely to the title sponsor in what’s officially titled the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

But according to info released today by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, there’ll be a few new wrinkles in the festival-going experience, and this year’s public art has a local bent.

For one, the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s CREATE Festival, which last year merely happened in conjunction with the arts fest, is more fully integrated – and it, too, is now free. The day-long festival, will take place June 9 at the Fairmont Hotel, with talks, the Innovation Salon exhibition and more.

Things will also be more comfortable and culinarily pleasing for some fest-goers. Sarah Aziz, the Trust’s new program manager for special events, announced that for the first time the festival will include sensory-friendly “breakout areas” for people on the autism spectrum. Also look for the fest’s first ever feeding room for parents and kids, with a changing station, quiet space for breast-feeding and more.

For those on solid food, there will also be extended availability of food trucks.

At today’s press conference, at the Trust’s Peirce studios, Downtown, Aziz also recapped the previously announced musical guests, including opening-night headliner Michael Franti.

The public art, which in years past has often featured work by visiting artists, this year offers work by three locals.

In Gateway Center, look for large-scale installation “Multiverse Wall,” by Jesse Best (CREATE Festival’s featured artist of the year), and “Dandelions,” street signs mimicking the ubiquitous plant, by Carin Mincemoyer. Meanwhile, Point State Park will host the visionary “WindNest Prototype,” a quarter-scale model of a proposed artwork that doubles as a renewable-energy generator, by Trevor Lee (of Philadelphia-based Suprafutures) and Pittsburgh-based Land Art Generator Initiative.

The surrealism-minded Squonk Opera’s latest, Cycle Sonic, gets six performances June 11 and 12.

Also on the performance front, for the first time Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.’s Theatre Festival in Black and White (with black playwrights directing one-acts by white playwrights, and vice versa) is part of the arts fest.

For a full schedule, see here.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Dance classes and storytelling at Pittsburgh's Market Square this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 8:21 AM

A series of special programs take place in Market Square tonight and tomorrow to highlight Dutch artist Allard van Hoorn's audio installation Mix-n-Match, a larger-than-life illuminated "record player."

The "spindle" of "Mix-N-Match" - PHOTO COURTESY OF OFFICE OF PUBLIC ART
  • Photo courtesy of Office of Public Art
  • The "spindle" of "Mix-N-Match"
This weekend's selections include public dance classes from Arthur Murray Dance Studios, an outfit with more than 260 dance studios in 21 countries. Three of its studios will converge tonight to lead an outdoor class including salsa and line dancing after house artists perform a spotlight performance. The event takes place from 7-9 p.m.

Tomorrow, volunteers from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Hazelwood will recreate their performance for Mix-n-Match; their track, "Flower Beds," was one of the eight featured on the giant jukebox's playlist. The track features the sounds of tape ripping and a group of Hazelwood residents speaking amongst themselves.

In addition to the live performance, the library will offer other forms of full-fledged family fun including a visit from the story mobile, readings by Hazelwood residents, stories from the library's Reading Buddy program, kite-making and other games, all in honor of April being the Month of the Young Child. Free copies of Will Hillenbrand's book Kite Day (Bear and Mole) will be distributed. The event takes place 1-3 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public, courtesy of the Office of Public Art and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Volunteers work on the "Mix-N-Match" audio installation earlier this year - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC ART
  • Photo courtesy of the Office of Public Art
  • Volunteers work on the "Mix-N-Match" audio installation earlier this year
Mix-N-Match runs through April 30.

For more information, contact Rachel Klipa at 412-391-2060 ext. 237 or visit www.publicartpittsburgh.org.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A conversation with this week’s Pittsburgh City Paper cover illustrator Vince Dorse

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Vince Dorse's 2016 Primary Election Guide cover, and a self-portrait of the artist
  • Vince Dorse's 2016 Primary Election Guide cover, and a self-portrait of the artist

Vince Dorse and I have been cheering every single time Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump win another primary race or caucus. That’s because Vince finished this week’s cover illustration a month ago. and the entire image would have been ruined if one of the three candidates pictured on our cover had dropped out before our Election Guide hit the streets today. (See This Week in City Paper History for what happened to us back in 2012 when Rick Santorum dropped his presidential candidacy.) Usually, artists that work with Pittsburgh City Paper only have a few days to begin and complete their illustrations. But we knew we wanted to use Vince for our concept back in February, so I assigned it out to him then, letting him know he had over a month to take his time and stew over it. An entire month! Only, he sent me a sketch two days later and finished the piece on March 10 … 34 days ago.

That eagerness is one of the reasons Vince is so much fun to work with. Having someone getting excited about the projects you assign out doesn’t just make our jobs easier, it really shows in his work. Vince, who lives just south of Pittsburgh and shares a studio with an “attention-starved cat,” is an award-winning cartoonist: His web comic Untold Tales of Bigfoot won an esteemed Reuben comics arts award for Best Online Comic, Long-Form. This week’s Election Guide is his 10th cover for us, but not the first to feature a controversial figure. We talked to him over email about political cartoons and his first City Paper hate mail.

We finished this cover a month ago! How relieved are you that Clinton, Trump and Sanders are all still in the race?
It’s nice to finally stop worrying whether you’ll make me erase someone from the composition before it goes to print. Normally, I don’t get more than a long weekend to do these covers, but this was finished waaaay early and the suspense over whether it would be killed at the last second has been excruciating. I don’t know — part of me might actually enjoy those rush jobs.

Do you have a favorite political cartoonist?
Every so often, I run into award-wining editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers [from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] at a Pittsburgh Cartoonists Lunch, so I should probably name him here so he doesn’t spill his drink on me — but mostly because he’s really good at what he does. Thing is, I don’t normally seek out political humor/commentary. Despite all the politically-themed illustrations you’ve hired me to do, I’m really not an overtly political guy, so I don’t have a deep well of experience to draw from for this answer. What I will say about Rob’s stuff is that, regardless of the message, he manages to make his cartoons both funny and poignant, and that’s a killer combination when you’re trying to catch even the casual reader’s eye.

If you could put any celebrity in your dunk tank, who would you choose to get soaked?
Any celebrity? From any age? I don’t know. Maybe later-period Orson Welles or Marlon Brando because they’d displace a lot of water and their level of indignation would be epic. It’s a comedy one-two punch.

Have you ever wished a politician you didn’t like would win a race, just because s/he would be so much fun to draw?
All politics aside, I was really glad Bill Peduto ran for mayor of Pittsburgh because that guy is just a blast to cartoon. He’s got really identifiable features that lend themselves well to comedic exaggeration. During the run-up to his election I was doodling Pedutos (Pedoodling?) every week so I’d be ready if you tapped me for a cover or spot illo. And you did! I’m actually mildly disappointed he hasn’t done anything really scandalous enough to warrant more editorial cartoons. But, just so you know, if he does, I’ll be ready.

What’s the best thing about being an artist in Pittsburgh?
You probably know this already, but Pittsburgh’s got this robust community of illustrators and cartoonists that’s amazingly supportive of its members. Interacting with that community, you improve at your craft, you network, you hone oft-neglected social skills — and, honestly, in my experience, the creative community in Pittsburgh has always been very welcoming and generous with their time and energy.
Two of Vince Dorse's past Pittsburgh City Paper cover illustrations
  • Two of Vince Dorse's past Pittsburgh City Paper cover illustrations

Where did you learn your skills?

I’ve been drawing stuff since I was a kid, and I studied art in school, but the learning never really stops. I’m still running through tutorials online, devouring art books and magazines, and pestering other illustrator/cartoonist friends incessantly in an effort to get better at this. I mean, ask a few of your other City Paper cover artists. Vince? Yeah, if I have to have one more discussion with him about line weight, composition or color theory, I'll block his email. But really, learning new skills and improving the old ones is a constantly rewarding facet of the work.

You won a Reuben comics arts award for your popular web comic Untold Tales of Bigfoot, featuring a super cute Sasquatch and his buddy, Scout the dog. What are Bigfoot and Scout up to these days?
Bigfoot and Scout are currently helping me put together an upcoming Kickstarter campaign (that should launch in the next couple months) to get their first story in print. They’re also running around in my head on their next adventure. Still in the outline stage, but I hope to start putting images on paper soon. Can’t wait, really. In the run-up to all this, I’ll probably post some shorter Untold Tales of Bigfoot adventures to work the fandom into an appropriate frenzy.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever received from a fan of your comics?
I get a lot of news stories and links about Bigfoot sightings. But I don’t think of them as strange, I think of them as research.

I’m not sure if you remember, but your very first cover for us — a 2011 Christmas-themed illustration of an Occupy Pittsburgh couple protesting in a manger scene, featuring a baby wearing a Guy Fawkes mask — caused someone to rip the page out of the paper and mail it back to us with handwritten insults scrawled all over it because they disagreed with our politics. Have you ever gotten any hate mail for other things you’ve drawn?

Oh, I remember that incident, all right. If I recall correctly, the reader circled my signature and drew an arrow to the word “evil.” That was jarring. In fact, it still comes to mind whenever there’s a politically-charged illustration job from you waiting in my in-box. Who’s Lisa gonna have me rile up this time? But no, most of the time I’m drawing puppies and kitties and Bigfoot, so it’s hard to get worked up too much over that stuff. But who knows? This week’s CP cover’s got trouble written all over it.

I love your behind-the-scenes process blogs, where you give really great details into what goes into making an illustration come to life. Will you have one of those for this week’s cover we can check out?
Of course! Because we had so much lead time on this assignment, I was able to put together a bunch of process images while I was working on it. The finished how-to is up at my process blog, vincedorse.wordpress.com.

You see also see more of Vince’s work at www.vincedorse.com and by following him on Twitter at @vincedorse.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Dance performance highlights gallery event in Downtown Pittsburgh tonight

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 9:10 AM

"Waterfall Vision" (detail), by Jennifer Nagle Myers - PHOTO COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
  • Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • "Waterfall Vision" (detail), by Jennifer Nagle Myers

A performance of an original, site-specific work by local dancer and choreographer Gia T. Cacalano marks the closing reception of Waterfall Vision, an exhibit of new work by Jennifer Nagle Myers at 707 Penn Gallery.

Gia. T. Cacalano rehearses at 707 Penn - PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER NAGLE MYERS
  • Photo courtesy of Jennifer Nagle Myers
  • Gia. T. Cacalano rehearses at 707 Penn
Tonight's event runs 6-8 p.m. A talk by Pittsburgh-based Myers follows the performance.

Cacalano’s performance will respond to the exhibit, which Myers says explores “the relationship between the earth body and the human body.”

The exhibit in the storefront gallery is dominated by “Waterfall Vision,” Myers’ 40-foot-long painting on 69 reclaimed slate roofing tiles that cascades down one wall of the gallery, across the floor, and up the other wall. Though essentially an abstract in black and white gesso and acrylic paint, the painting suggests, among other things, how forms in the human body and the rest of nature echo each other.

The exhibit also includes several smaller works by Myers and a soundscape by Sonarcheology Studios.

Waterfall Vision runs through Sunday. Admission is free.
707 Penn Gallery is located at 707 Penn Ave.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Pulitzer-winner in final week at Pittsburgh Public Theater

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2016 at 12:00 PM

The word “provocative” is tossed around a lot in the arts, but it genuinely applies to Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s 2014 Pulitzer-winner. The Public is staging the local premiere of this drama about Islam, Islamophobia, race, art and more in a post-9/11 New York.

From left: Nafeesa Monroe, Fajer Kaisi, Lisa Velten Smith and Ryan McCarthy in "Disgraced" - PHOTO COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH PUBLIC THEATER
  • Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater
  • From left: Nafeesa Monroe, Fajer Kaisi, Lisa Velten Smith and Ryan McCarthy in "Disgraced"
The play’s set amongst the privileged few, for sure: Its central character, Amir (played by Fajer Kaisi), is a mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer, and other characters include his artist wife; a curator at the Whitney Museum; and the curator’s wife, who happens to be a law colleague of Amir’s.

In his review for CP, Ted Hoover found Disgraced rather too calculatedly provocative. I can see his point: After all, Amir’s wife, who’s into traditional Islamic art, is white; the curator is Jewish; and Amir’s colleague is African-American. Amir himself is a self-described Muslim apostate, a good portion of whose dialogue consists of the sort of condemnations of Islam you might hear at the occasional Republican presidential rally. The only practicing Muslim in the play is Amir’s younger cousin, who’s linked to a local imam who’s up on charges of fundraising for terrorists.

But I’m more on the side of Hoover’s playgoing companion, who found too much of interest in Disgraced not to enjoy it. (To enjoy, I mean, besides the smart performances and Tracy Brigden’s clever direction of the lightning-fast 85-minute show.)

The show’s got a dozen juicy themes and 50 chewy ideas. To name just one throughline: One thing that Amir’s wife, Emily, loves about Islamic art is that because it’s nonrepresentational, it seems to transcend the personal — to efface ego, as the curator suggests. This leads to a discussion (more of an argument, really) about whether the Renaissance, which apotheosized the individual, was such a good thing after all.

Yet the play’s central visual motif is a portrait painted by Emily of Amir after a famous work by Velasquez — who’s nothing if not an exemplary artist of the Renaissance. No spoilers, but the trajectory of this portrait through the play (especially as bounced off of Emily’s Islam-influenced works) is a pretty fruitful one to follow.

Disgraced has seven more performances through Sunday, starting tonight (including matinees tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday).

Tickets are $15.75-60 and are available here.

The Public’s O’Reilly Theater is at 621 Penn Ave., Downtown.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Cartoonist Keith Knight gives free presentation tonight at Pittsburgh's Point Park University

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 1:10 PM

If the weekend's run of comics events wasn't enough for you, there's another one tonight, and it looks like a good one.

Keith Knight, a veteran, nationally syndicated cartoonist known for his provocative takes on race and other issues, speaks at Point Park University.

knight.jpg
Knight, who's based in San Francisco, is the creator of strips including "Knight Life," "K Chronicles" and "(th)ink." It's funny stuff, with Knight weaving more personal stories in with commentary on issues ranging from everyday racism to police violence against unarmed civilians. Point Park is promoting the free talk, puckishly titled "Red, White, Black and Blue," as "an evening of race, media, politics and satire." 

A sampling of Knight's work is currently at Pittsburgh's ToonSeum through May 1.

The talk is at 7 p.m., in the GRW Theater of Point Park University Center, 414 Wood St., Downtown. Knight's presentation will be followed by a discussion with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers and P-G columnist (and noted comics afficionado) Tony Norman. An audience Q&A follows.

Here's more info.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Corningworks’ “Right of Way” at Pittsburgh’s New Hazlett Theater

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Drag has been edging into the mainstream at least since RuPaul’s Drag Race; these days, a fair swath of Middle America is comfortable kicking it about wigs and throwing shade. Of course, our cults of masculinity and femininity have hardly gone missing: What we’re seeing in North Carolina’s anti-transgender law and elsewhere is surely backlash in a culture where issues of gender are being discussed openly like never before.
Jezebel D'Opulence and Beth Corning - PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANK WALSH
  • Photo courtesy of Frank Walsh
  • Jezebel D'Opulence and Beth Corning
The thoughtful and entertaining new show from Beth Corning’s Glue Factory Project pairs the choreographer with local drag icon Jezebel Bebbington D’Opulence for a series of vignettes exploring gender, including what it means to be a woman.
     
Much of the show focuses on women’s struggle for equal regard. In an eloquent opening solo, Corning moves, as if through a dense fluid, beneath a video screen on which are projected pairs of words referring to positive traits in men (“strong,” “virile”) as perceived in women: “dominating bitch,” “slut.” Later, Corning does a clever solo with a dancing mirror (wheeled about by an assistant) in which her character enumerates the careful-stepping strategies women must employ to navigate daily life in a way men take for granted.
   
 “I couldn’t be … entitled to safety,” she says she recognized, and later notes “the privilege of obliviousness” granted men. (The text for this part is by local author Sarah Shotland.)
     
Women must constantly think about how they’re being perceived by others, Corning says. “Being a woman is a performance I engage in every day. And that’s because there’s always an audience.”
     
Segments featuring Jezebel, meanwhile, largely explore what it means to be born in a male body but to consider oneself female. She first appears with Corning in matching unisex garb, in a sequence set to recorded interviews in which Corning asks interview subjects to “identify yourself” (genderwise); in voiceover, Jezebel recounts the difficulties of growing up gay in Puerto Rico.
     
The show’s themes overlap when Corning ends her mirror solo by saying, “I’m exhausted by the act” of being a woman — followed immediately by Jezebel’s first appearance in full drag, in a sequined dress, red push-up bra and four-inch stilettos (also sequined), embracing the audience Corning’s character wishes would grant her a reprieve.
     
Archly, Jezebel reads from an academically worded essay about the seeming contradictions of drag as a performance of womanhood — and a caricature, at that. But these are contradictions Jezebel immediately erases with her signature performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” – expertly lip-synced, with the moves and cheekbones to do Miss Tina proud indeed.
     
A later segment featuring both performers includes some amusing audience interaction and a demonstration of how each approaches walking in heels.
     
Corning and Jezebel have different movement styles – the contrast between a seasoned drag artist and a life-long professional dancer and contemporary-dance choreographer. Yet so much of drag is mime, after all, and Jezebel brings unquestionable authenticity.
     
Each of the show’s two big themes – the struggles of women for equality, and womanhood as performance – could support a show by itself. To integrate them is ambitious, and in Right of Way the overlap is both enjoyable and provocative. (Though I'm tempted to sum it up with a quote from RuPaul: "You're born naked and the rest is drag.")
     
Right of Way has four more performances, starting with tonight’s at 8 p.m. and concluding with the 2 p.m. show on Sunday.
     
Tickets are $25-30 and are available here. Admission to the Sunday matinee is pay-what-you-can at the door; regular-priced tickets can be purchased online ahead of time.
     
The New Hazlett Theater is located at 6 Allegheny Square East, on the North Side.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

“Miss Julie, Clarissa and John” at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

This week brings the final four performances of this new play that most critics have been loving as much as CP’s Ted Hoover did. Audiences seem to have been pleased, too: Playwrights extended the show’s run a week to make possible these four extra shows.

Tami Dixon (left) and Chrystal Bates in "Miss Julie, Clarissa and John" - PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL L. MANKER
  • Photo courtesy of Gail L. Manker
  • Tami Dixon (left) and Chrystal Bates in "Miss Julie, Clarissa and John"
Indeed, I can’t add any better advice than this: Go. Mark Clayton Southers, the troupe’s founder and a seasoned playwright, has outdone himself with this drama inspired by August Strindberg’s 1888 classic Miss Julie, about an illicit affair between a rich woman and her father’s top servant. Sagely, Southers retains the time period but transfers the action to Virginia and makes the servant a freed former African-American slave. All this builds on Strindberg’s dynamics while opening up a vast thematic and emotional range.

The production nails just about everything, from scenic designer Tony Ferrieri’s raw-wood set to the sharp direction by Monteze Freeland. The acting is top-notch: In Tami Dixon’s hands, the impetuous Julie becomes a chilling portrait of white privilege avant la lettre, while Kevin Brown is solid as John and Chrystal Bates (one of Pittsburgh theater’s best-kept secrets) spectacular as John’s woman, the servant Clarissa.

Self-love and self-hate, the complicated politics of desire and, of course, America’s tortured history of race –- Southers gets it all down. A favorite moment: The magic that Southers works with John’s retelling of the fairy tale of Snow White as a way of professing his love for Clarissa. It's funny, shrewd and deeply moving all at once.

Shows remain at 8 p.m. nightly tomorrow and Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $25-30 and are available here.

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre is located on the third floor of 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

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A conversation with this week’s Pittsburgh City Paper Pirates Preview cover artist Joshua Gragg

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Pittsburgh artist Joshua Gragg and his Pittsburgh City Paper cover illustration - PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSHUA GRAGG
  • Photo courtesy of Joshua Gragg
  • Pittsburgh artist Joshua Gragg and his Pittsburgh City Paper cover illustration


When I emailed local artist Joshua Gragg to see if he’d be interested in illustrating Jung Ho Kang for our Pirates Preview cover, he was quick to agree: “I LOVE Kang.” I knew he was a huge Pirates fan before I reached out to him; he frequently posts illustrations of Pirates players on his Twitter account  and his Instagram, so what better artist to choose for this week’s cover? Plus, editor Charlie Deitch and I have been itching to use him for another portrait since he did such a great job last year on a cover illustration of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

Gragg, 35, lives in Bethel Park with his wife, Jenna, and two kids, Ben and Ellie. In addition to creating art both traditionally and digitally, he also works full time for a weather website doing front-end design and development. “Most of my days are spent building web ads and trying to get people to click on something.” When he’s not doing that, he’s “playing with my kids, messing around in the garage with various projects or playing drums in my basement.” And chances are, if the Pirates are on TV, he’s also watching.

We caught up with him over email after he was done with this week’s cover illustration.

You specialize in celebrity portraits. Any celebrities take notice of their likenesses yet? (I heard through the grapevine that Bill Peduto’s mom liked the cover you illustrated of him for us last year.)
I started doing celebrity illustrations about two years ago or so for fun. I kind of stumbled upon a process and developed a style that people responded positively to, so I just kept making them.

I’ve gotten the occasional “like” from a celebrity on social media and U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman recently shared an illustration I did of him from his Instagram account. 

Joshua Gragg's 2015 cover illustration of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto
  • Joshua Gragg's 2015 cover illustration of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto

You create your illustrations digitally. Has that always been your preferred medium?
I’ve worked with computer design and animation ever since I was a teenager, but I really started to refine my skills at Pittsburgh Technical Institute in Oakdale, where I attended as an adult student from 2008-2010. While there, I got much better at Illustrator and Photoshop and gained exposure to various applications and techniques that I’ve since built upon and use daily.

I can tell you’re a big Pirates fan because I’ve seen you post illustrations of different players like Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen, and you seemed pretty psyched when I told you we wanted to feature Jung Ho Kang. Do you have a favorite player?
I absolutely love the Buccos! I have different favorite players for different reasons. I love Cervelli’s fiery passion and Josh Harrison’s hustle and swagger. Marte also seems like a dude who knows how to have a good time, and how could you not love Jung Ho Kang? His smile and passion transcend language barriers. Plus, he has a portrait of himself tattooed on his ankle! How rad is that!? That said, they all bring something to the overall team characteristic that makes them so fun to watch and root for. 

Give me a prediction for the team this year.
I think we need Kang to bounce back from the injury, and for the starting rotation to hold it together until we can call up one of those young arms from Indy this summer. We also need to do better against the NL Central and avoid the wildcard game all together. We do that and the sky is the limit for this team. Go Bucs!

Any projects coming up you want to share with everyone?
I’m gonna have a booth at the Steel City Con at the Monroeville Convention Center April 15-17 where I’ll be selling my prints. You can also see more of my work at www.popmediaillustrated.com.


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Downtown walking tour illuminates Pittsburgh's light art

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 4:25 PM

"The Puddler" (detail) - PHOTO COURTESY OF RENEE ROSENSTEEL
  • Photo courtesy of Renee Rosensteel
  • "The Puddler" (detail)

The Office of Public Art
has always sought to illuminate the art we don't notice in our everyday lives, but its newest guided walking tour takes that literally by examining public art that experiments with light.

Tomorrow's Art Experiments with Light: Downtown Walking Tour covers four works — "Rivers of Light," "168 Lightbulbs," "The Puddler" and "Mix-n-Match."

"Rivers of Light," Jane Haskell's 1984 creation in painted aluminum, neon and glass block, sits inside the Steel Plaza T station at the platform level. The 5,000 square-foot environment plays with splashes of color — including warm hues in the morning and cool shades after dusk — to create the illusion of dancing river waters.

Above the entrance to Wood Street Gallery, Jim Campbell's 2001 piece "168 Lightbulbs" displays differing images using alternating light from (yep) 168 bulbs. Some of the representations include people crossing the street, traffic and even the image of Claude Shannon, the father of information technology.

"The Puddler," a work of stained glass built into the facade the 300 Sixth Avenue Building, is more of an urban mystery. While the piece was fabricated by Harriton Carved Glass Company, in 1939, the artist is unknown. The mural depicts a figure puddling steel — or placing iron into a hot furnace then stirring it. The piece is lit up at night and features animated sparks from the hot metal, a tribute to the Steel City.

The newest contribution to Pittsburgh light art, "Mix-n-Match," is the brainchild of Dutch artist Allard van Hoorn. The installation involves a series of LED bulbs laid out in the form of an oversized record-player that light up in tandem with audio tracks incorporating sounds recorded with groups of local residents. (The groups include Downtown street-cleaners and Point Park tap-dance students.) It was incorporated into the heart of Market Square last Friday.

The Office of Public Art's Rachel Klipa will lead the bilingual tour — presented in both English and Spanish.

Art Experiments with Light: Downtown Walking Tour is presented in collaboration with the Office of Public Art, Welcoming Pittsburgh and Café con Leche.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. The tour begins at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Steel Plaza T station, platform level.

Call 412-391-2060 or visit www.publicartpittsburgh.org to register.

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