Short List: November 17 - 21 | Featured Events | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Fans of Jon Rubin's art -- notably his interactive, retail-tweaking storefronts like the Waffle Shop diner/talk-show -- might find his latest exhibit a departure. For one, Rubin's Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year show is a gallery exhibit, rather than a repurposing of public space. For another, the three short videos that mostly comprise it primarily explore domestic space. "I'm Not Me" is 10 silent minutes of five teen-agers, their skin painted silver, sitting in a bedroom and listening to music we can't hear; Rubin, 48, says it's about how teens are "all just performing being human. … They've seen how humans behave and they're trying it out for the first time." The contemplative "October 2, 2004, to the Present" reflects the birth of Rubin's daughter, now 7, by recording a series of giant soap bubbles in his house. And "HERETHEREHERE" traces the geography of a walk from the Carnegie Mellon assistant art professor's Point Breeze home to the PCA … as taken through some 50 houses along the way. The piece partly echoes John Cheever's famous story "The Swimmer," Rubin says. And it's not so different from his public-space work; he's still "trying to make things that might be familiar more unfamiliar." Bill O'Driscoll Opening reception: 5:30-8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 18. 6300 Fifth Ave., Shadyside. $5 donation requested. 412-361-0873 or


Thu., Nov. 17 -- Art

With its nearly 1,000 images of Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers spanning five decades, the Carnegie Museum's new exhibit Teenie Harris: Photographer is vast. Get some perspective, and share it with other enthusiasts, at tonight's Culture Club get-together. Following a happy hour, guests including photographer Charlee Brodsky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman and curators Linda Benedict-Jones (of the Carnegie) and Cecile Shellman (of the August Wilson Center) discuss their favorite images, salon-style. Bill O'Driscoll 5:30-9 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10 (includes one drink ticket). 412-622-3131 or


Thu., Nov. 17 -- Music

Composer Jake Heggie -- known for his Dead Man Walking opera -- adapted 2008's Three Decembers from an original work by famed playwright Terrence McNally. This chamber opera unravels over Decembers in three different decades, depicting an actress more dedicated to work than to her two adult children, including a son whose homosexuality she has rejected. Darker secrets loom in Microscopic Opera Company's Pittsburgh-premiere production, starring sopranos Mary Gould and Erica Olden, and baritone Daniel Teadt. The first of four performances is tonight at Pittsburgh Opera. Amy Kuhre 8 p.m. Show continues through Sun., Nov. 20. 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District. $25-30. 412-281-0912 or


Thu., Nov. 17 -- Planning

One of this town's nicer long-term stories is the transformation of the riverfront from industrial DMZ to somewhere people can actually see and use the river, from trails to kayak launches. The process continues tonight at the Society for Contemporary Craft with the first public meeting of the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard project. Learn about the project's early planning stages from local and federal officials, and have your say about its transit, ecology, land-use and urban-design aspects as the Lawrenceville phase moves forward. BO 6-9 p.m. 2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Free. 412-255-6439 or

Art by Leslie Ansley. Image courtesy of the artist.

Fri., Nov. 18 -- Art

Common Ground: Affrilachia! Where I'm From exhibits work by African-American artists from Appalachia. Work by Affrilachian painters and sculptors is seen throughout the city: Leslie Ansley's vibrantly blue-toned mural, All in a Day, stands at the corner of Forward and Murray, in Squirrel Hill. She's among the artists showcased at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The show also includes found-object tableaux by Indiana natives Kyle and Kelly Phelps, brothers who remember their factory-worker father with depictions of overworked wage-earners. Tonight is the opening reception. AK 5:30-10 p.m. Exhibit continues through March 17. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Free. 412-258-2700 or


Sat., Nov. 19 -- Outdoors

Since 2001, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association has worked to restore one of the city's vital streams. The group promotes awareness of the watershed as more than urban infrastructure: It's a foundational ecosystem prone to degradation during heavy rains. Initiatives providing area residents with rain barrels and rain gardens help prevent pollution and flooding by diverting run-off. Venture Outdoors leads Nine Mile Run Hike, a seven-mile trek along its stream through Frick Park to where Nine Mile meets the Mon. The association's Lisa Brown is the guest speaker. Pack a lunch and RSVP online for meeting point. AK 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $6-10. 412-255-0564 or


Sat., Nov. 19 -- Music

Pittsburgh Gospel Choir holds its annual fall concert at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. The group marks five years since its founding by the late Ralph Murray. The afternoon's program includes such standards as "Even Me," the spiritual "A City Called Heaven" and gospel/choral hybrids like "My God Is an Awesome God." The choir is directed by Herbert V.R.P. Jones. BO 4 p.m. 116 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty. Suggested donation: $10. 412-613-5825 or

Sat., Nov. 19 -- Art

Mary M. Mazziotti is known for her darkly witty embroidered comics featuring a cheerful Grim Reaper out and about on the streets. Now Mazziotti walks another alley into the dark side. I'm Not Making This Up: The True Fairy Tales is a series of painted and embroidered panels (12 large, six small) based on the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. The exhibit recalls the unexpurgated original fairy tales, which routinely featured decapitations, mutilations and murderous parental betrayal. The pleasant dreams begin with an opening reception tonight at The BE Gallery. BO 6-9 p.m. Sat., Nov. 19. Exhibit continues through Dec. 17. 3583 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free.


Sun., Nov. 20 -- Comics

Comics fans, comics creators and comics vendors gather today for the Pittsburgh Comic Book and Collectibles Show which New Dimension Comics hosts at its Century III Mall location. Special guests include The Walking Dead actor Jeremy Ambler, Disney artists Pat Block and Shelly Block, veteran comics artist Ron Frenz and an R2-D2 described as "fully functioning." (Is that like being "anatomically correct"?) Freebies await the first 100 attendees. BO 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Century III Mall, West Mifflin. $3. 412-965-1487 or

Sun., Nov. 20 -- Art

The Tibetan Book of the Dead describes "Bardo Thodol" as guided transition between death and reincarnation. The meditative practice leads individuals through the dying process by explaining the soul's process of physical transcendence: shallow breathing, paling skin and oneness with "eternal light." As part of the exhibit Gertrude's/LOT, Buddhist and acupuncturist Tyler Phan and artist Lilith Bailey-Kroll present Death in the Age of Bardo at The Andy Warhol Museum. Phan contextualizes Bardo for modern-day apprehensions about death. Kroll screens her film "Blow Out" and demonstrates "practice dying." AK Noon-1:30 p.m. 117 Sandusky St., North Side. $15. 412-237-8300 or 

Mon., Nov. 21 -- Birds

Great blue herons, ospreys and Canada geese are a few avian neighbors facilitated by the confluence of Pittsburgh's three rivers. Brian Shema, conservation director for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, has led local and out-of-state birding expeditions for the past six years, bringing casual and serious birders closer to regional biodiversity. His presentation Traveling Birdwatcher spans these expeditions and profiles some of the 500 species observed in places like the Rio Grande Valley, coastal Maine and Central California. Tonight, Shema presents photos and stories at the National Aviary. AK 7 p.m. 700 Arch St., North Side. $8-13. 412-258-9445 or

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