Short List: June 30 - July 5 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Short List: June 30 - July 5

See new art at Unblurred; help make the World’s Largest Paper Quilt; catch Gab Bonesso in the Rocks; watch a doc on Alice Walker

FREE EVENT: Fri., July 1 – Art

Come July, the local arts scene quiets down, but you wouldn’t know it this weekend: There’s plenty going on, not least tonight, at the Penn Avenue Arts District’s monthly gallery crawl, Unblurred. A few galleries have notable openings, including Bunker Projects, which holds a reception for Overgrowth & Underbrush, a group show for 12 local artists using personal stories to explore “memories, nightmares and fantasies from the forest of Pennsylvania.” At Most Wanted Fine Art, the Café Con Leche series for Latino artists continues with new work by Maggie Negrete and Alison Zapata. BOOM Concepts hosts artist and illustrator Tim “Paizley” Powell’s (pictured) No Fate, a solo show exploring self-determination in a world where humanity often goes disregarded. The Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, meanwhile, holds the closing reception for a show of recent works by Sarah Zeffiro, who makes drawings and mixed-media paintings, and Tom Mosser, who is pursuing the novel technique of painting with tennis balls. Still, come to think of it, and despite all this activity, Unblurred might seem a little quieter than usual: The typically packed Assemble Artspace has closed to facilitate its move to bigger digs a few blocks down Penn, and to prepare for its reopening, in September. Bill O’Driscoll Most events run 6-10 p.m. Fri., July 1. 4800-5500 Penn Ave., Bloomfield/Friendship/Garfield. Free.

Thu., June 30 – Screen

One of Pittsburgh’s newer favorite spots salutes a longstanding local icon, as the Bayardstown Social Club honors Rick Sebak, whose folksy WQED documentaries about local lore and culture have long informed Pittsburgh’s image of itself. Tonight, the backyard-style Strip District gathering spot holds the second of two parts of its Sebak film festival, showing A Hot Dog Program and Kennywood Memories. Hot dogs (with toppings bar) are on the menu, and Sebak himself will attend. BO Doors at 7 p.m.; screening at dusk. 3008 Penn Ave., Strip District. $10.

Fri., July 1 – Artmaking

Have you ever broken a world record? Artists Katy Dement, Albert Pantone and Amy Masters plan to construct the largest paper quilt in the world this weekend in the Society for Contemporary Craft parking lot, and they need your help. To join the World’s Largest Paper Quilt project, bring your shredded paper and learn how to create new handmade paper from trash. (You might get a little wet.) Using scraps reduces waste and keeps the material out of even the recycle bin. Talk about going green. Tyler Dague 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Also 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily Sat., July 2, and Sun., July 3. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 412-261-7003 or

Art by Robert Villamagna

Fri., July 1 – Art

Gallerie Chiz has only kind words to say about this year’s Associated Artists of Pittsburgh’s annual exhibition, at the Carnegie Museum of Art. But Chiz is also convinced that plenty of good work was left out of the show. Starting tonight, the gallery draws on the venerable tradition of the Salon des Refusés to honor work by 17 artists including Richard Harydak, Laura Jean McLaughlin, Ron Nigro and Joyce Werwie Perry, none of which made AAP’s cut. Tonight’s reception features live music. BO 5:30-8:30 p.m. Exhibit continues through July 30. 5831 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. Free. 412-441-6005 or

Fri., July 1 – Screen

Born in 1944, to a family of Georgia sharecroppers, Alice Walker became a writer, poet and activist whose signature work, the Pulitzer-winning novel The Color Purple, was adapted into a celebrated film and hit Broadway musical. Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar’s acclaimed 2013 feature-length documentary Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth tracks Walker’s extraordinary life in literature, civil rights, anti-war causes and more, with interviews of Walker and friends and collaborators including Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover and Sapphire. Tonight, ReelQ, Pittsburgh’s International LGBTQ film festival, in partnership with Pittsburgh Black Pride, holds a free screening at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s big tent on the North Side. BO 8 p.m. 318 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free with RSVP at

Sat., July 2 — Festival

What better way to celebrate Independence Day then by going back in American history? Today and tomorrow at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, old-fashioned summer games, a pie-eating contest (nothing says “holiday” like overindulgence) and a recitation of the Declaration of Independence transport visitors to the 1800s for a rural Fourth of July celebration. TD Noon-5 p.m. Also 1-5 p.m. Sun,. July 3. 401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella. $6-14 (free for children under 5). 724-587-3412 or

Sat., July 2 – Comedy

It’s a homecoming of sorts for one of Pittsburgh’s favorite locally based comedians. 

Gab Bonesso: Human Explosive finds Bonesso performing in McKees Rocks, the town where she spent the first three years of her life. (Her parents, Beanie and Starr, owned Michael’s Lounge, a neighborhood bar.) Bonesso went on to study theater at Duquesne University and build a career in comedy that’s taken her around the country and off-Broadway; she’s featured for headliners like John Hodgman and Jen Kirkman, and performed locally and nationally as half of the anti-bullying musical duo Josh & Gab. But tonight is Bonesso’s first show ever in the Rocks. Also on the bill at the Parkway Theater (best known as a moviehouse) are comics John McIntire and Michael Buzzelli. BO 8 p.m. 644 Broadway Ave., McKees Rocks. $8-10 (21 and over).

Photo courtesy of Mike Faix for the National Aviary

Mon., July 4 — Exhibits

The National Aviary showcases new wings all summer long at its Butterfly Gardens, a great chance to hand-feed butterflies and take photos. Also, the ancient art of falconry is demonstrated in Soar!, which takes place twice daily this summer on the Aviary’s SkyDeck rooftop theater. Hawks, falcons and Dillon, the massive martial eagle, will demonstrate their hunting abilities, flying high over the heads of the crowd. And yes, the Aviary is open most holidays, including today. TD 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 5. 700 Arch St., Allegheny Center. $14-25. 412-323-7235 or

Tue., July 5 — Art

Two very different painting exhibitions open today at BoxHeart Expressions. In the main gallery, Susan Constanse’s Long Songs: Symphonic Paintings explores various elements of light, air and earth, and highlights her work with shades of copper. On the second floor, Shawn Watrous presents a variety of media combinations (acrylic, graphite, charcoal, patterned fabric and translucent vellum, to name a few) in his exhibit, Childhood Feedback. A free reception with both artists takes place at the gallery on July 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. TD 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Exhibit continues through Aug. 12. 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-687-8858 or

Tue., July 5 – Music

Charles “Poogie” Bell is truly jazz royalty. His father, Charles Sr., was a pianist and teacher who literally introduced Poogie to giants of the genre; the drummer and Pittsburgh native went on to perform with such luminaries as Roberta Flack, Erykah Badu, David Bowie, Pearl Bailey, Chaka Khan and Luther Vandross. Bell continues his impressive international recording and touring career with the Poogie Bell Band, which visits Katz Plaza today for BNY Mellon Jazz’s JazzLive series. TD 5 p.m. 667 Penn Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-456-6666 or

Tue., July 5 – Stage

Pirates fans contemplating deals with the devil to aid the flailing Bucs can check out Damn Yankees. Pittsburgh CLO’s new take on this classic Adler & Ross musical comedy stars John Ridley as Joe Hardy, the everyman who sells his soul to become the slugger who leads his favorite team against the hated Yanks. Broadway vet John Bolton plays the Mephistophelian Applegate, with CLO favorite Sarrah Strimel as the temptress who sings “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.” The first of eight performances at the Benedum Center is tonight. BO 8 p.m. Continues through July 10. 237 Seventh Ave., Downtown. $25.75-80.75. 412-456-6666 or

Tue., July 5 – Words

“The old Italian touched my lover’s arm / in front of the church on Liberty / and sung some Italian gibberish / so beautiful and deserving / it made me want to punch him in the mouth.” The venerable Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series continues tonight, and “plain-spoken” will be the byword: The readers include Bob Pajich (that’s an excerpt from his “Bloomfield Driver”) and the similarly down-to-earth Lori Jakiela, Dave Newman, Heather McNaugher and Adam Matcho. The free Tuesday readings at Hemingway’s Café, with new local readers weekly, continue through July 26. BO 8 p.m. 391 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free.

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