Short List: July 14 - 20 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

click to enlarge "The Train" - BY ROMARE BEARDEN
by Romare Bearden
"The Train"

We can't show you any art from Space Gallery's Drawn in a Day, because the exhibit doesn't exist yet. But you can watch it being made 1-9:30 p.m. Fri., July 15. That's when 12 artists or artist teams will create large drawings directly on the big gallery's walls, straight through the opening reception of this exhibit guest-curated by Robert Raczka (an occasional CP contributor). But Drawn in a Day is just one highlight of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's summer Gallery Crawl. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture opens From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden. Bearden -- world-renowned for his collages evoking African-American life and culture -- grew up largely in Pittsburgh; this nationally touring exhibition traces his artistic journey. Elsewhere, Wood Street Galleries opens Long Are the Days, Short Are the Nights, with videos, installations and photographs by contemporary Icelandic artists; 709 Penn Gallery opens In Search of Something More, featuring Stephanie Armbruster's paintings; the Trust Arts Education Center hosts Facebook It, a live photo shoot of gallery-goers (that's you) by local professional photographers; and Jason Sauer's Love Letters opens at 929 Liberty, a one-night show employing twisted bicycle parts. Post-crawl, there's Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh, a three-level, cruise-themed party (ticketed) with live music, dancing and more, at 119 Sixth St. Bill O'Driscoll 5:30-9 p.m. Fri., July 15. Downtown. Free. (Cosmopolitan Pittsburgh tickets are $40-125.) 412-456-6666 or


Thu., July 14 -- Film

Last weekend, the three dozen local filmmaking teams in the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project wrote, shot and edited their short films. Now they screen the fruits of their labor -- 24 of the teams in two showings tonight, the other dozen tomorrow. The contest's celeb judges -- including True Blood actor and Mount Lebanon native Joe Manganiello and Saturday Night Live writer Christine Nangle -- are mostly off-site. But you can watch the films vying for prizes at Dormont's Hollywood Theater. The grand-finale screening is July 23. Bill O'Driscoll 7 p.m. (Group A) and 9 p.m. (Group B). Also 7 p.m. Fri., July 15 (Group C). 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont. $5-8.

Thu., July 14 -- Comedy

Sebastian Maniscalco brings his exuberant observational comedy to the Improv tonight for the first of five shows. Ridiculous facial expressions and a general disdain for human behavior permeate Maniscalco's routine, as seen on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, The Tonight Show and others on the late-night circuit. Maniscalco is preparing a new hour-long comedy special this spring, a follow up to the Comedy Central show that catapulted him to fame in 2009, Sebastian Live! Brendan Sullivan 8 p.m. Shows continue through Sun., July 17. 166 E. Bridge St., Homestead. $17.


Fri., July 15 -- Crafts

SouthSide Works Exposed happens this weekend. The retail district's seventh annual three-day street fair includes everything from a drag show and Polynesian fire-dancers to kids' activities and Bon Jovi/Journey cover band Bon Journey. Also visiting is I Made It! Market; Pittsburgh's itinerant indie-craft marketplace gathers some 60 regional artists purveying handmade goods in a big outdoor bazaar. BO 5-11 p.m. Also noon-11 p.m. Sat., July 16, and noon-7 p.m. Sun., July 17. South Side. Free.


Fri., July 15 -- Art

Art, architecture and genetic engineering meet at the debut of Pratique SPACE. The new gallery and "lifestyle boutique" hosts Growing Home-Biology/Architecture, an exhibit of sculptures by Dale Luce inspired by the idea that plants might be artificially modified to grow themselves into shelter for humans. Which would, at least, give new meaning to "couch potato." Tonight's opening reception is free. BO 6 p.m. Exhibit continues through Sept. 15. 4027 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-728-2685 or

click to enlarge Pinball - ART BY CRYSS STEPHENS
Art by Cryss Stephens

Fri., July 15 -- art

Wild Card, the Lawrenceville boutique and occasional gallery, opens its new show, Insert Coin to Play: Pinball Life, tonight with a free reception. The exhibit highlights the pinball machine both as art and inspiration for art. Featured works include intricately illustrated shoes and skateboards, glass mosaics and even a Lawrenceville-themed pinball machine. The exhibit -- which includes a few playable machines -- is timed to precede the annual Professional and Amateur Pinball Association World Championships, held Aug. 11-14, in Scott Township. BS 6 p.m. 4209 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free.

click to enlarge "we are immortal" - ART BY NICHOLAUS ARNOLD.
Art by Nicholaus Arnold.
"we are immortal"

Fri., July 15 -- Art

Capitalism's boom and bust is manifest in Braddock, a once-thriving mill town and for decades a shell of that former self. But members of BrokenDayton Art Machine are here to address not impermanence, but rather immortality through art. The nationally known artist collective from Dayton, Ohio, uses nontraditional and public spaces, and this week it's chosen Unsmoke Artspace. With the exhibit I AM IMMORTAL, artists including Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Breidenbach and Ashley Jonas explore Braddock's own art-and-culture-based revitalization efforts. At tonight's opening reception, please bring items for a time capsule … which will be buried on site at the exhibit's closing ceremony, on July 22. BO 6-10 p.m. 1137 Braddock Ave., Braddock. Free.


Sat., July 16 -- Festival

It's been 150 years since the Civil War, and the Union has plenty of parties in store. Ambridge, located downriver on the Ohio, celebrates its Civil War Day today, with regiments of re-enactors, a field hospital and a Union recruitment office; refreshments are available in the Granary. Up until 1905, the town was known as Economy, the final home of the German Lutheran Separatists, a celibate, pacifist community that nonetheless directly supplied the Union Army and aided war widows and orphans. BS 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 270 16th St., Ambridge. $12 ($6 children). 

Sun., July 17 -- Outdoors

Venture Outdoors, the organization that brought kayaks to Downtown and thousands of hikers, bikers and snowshoers to local trails, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a party under the Clemente Bridge, at Kayak Pittsburgh. Free food, free crafts and free bluegrass music from the Mon River Ramblers would seem like enough, but this party on the North Side also has kayaking, fishing and biking -- all for free, even if you're not a VO member. The grill is hot from noon to 4, and attendees are asked to bring a potluck dish to share. Everyone will be entered in a raffle to win a kayak. And yes, there's a birthday cake. BS Noon-4 p.m. North Side. Free.


Tue., July 19 -- Words

The Steel City Slam poetry team is about to head off to the National Poetry Competition, in Boston, but not before we throw them a party. Shadow Lounge hosts, and there will be rounds of open-mic time for everyone to share his or her best stuff; in between, the team will perform a mini-show to prep for the big day. The event also serves as the official release for the new chapbook Busted Futures/Gentle Dreams, by William James. In short, party over here. BS 9:30 p.m. 5972 Baum Blvd., East Liberty. $5.


Wed., July 20 -- Politics

The flipside of American jobs disappearing overseas is mistreatment and repression of workers abroad. Witness the cases of Tran Quoc Hien, Doan Van Dien and Doan Huy Chuong, three Vietnamese organizers who've spent years in prison for nonviolent activities like starting an independent union. Amnesty Interational Group 39 highlights these men's plight with Workers of the World: Forum on International Labor Rights. The panel talk, at Lawrenceville's Teamster Temple, includes Industrial Workers of the World organizer Kenneth Smith; Pittsburgh City Councilor Bill Peduto; and United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond. BO 8 p.m. 4701 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. 919-260-9535

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