c. David Grim (taken 6/21/11)
The seasonal Downtown Art Crawl has come around again, and I don't see any rain in the forecast. That gives me reason to believe it's going to be crowded.
Robert Raczka is "guest-curating" Drawn in a Day at Space Gallery. For this, Raczka has chosen 12 artists (or teams of same) to create works directly on the walls, right through the opening reception. With the crowds that these crawls attract, this has the potential to get a bit chaotic.
Garfield staple Jason Sauer is poised to roll out new work at 929 Liberty Avenue. The promotional notice I've read says that instead of demolition car parts, Jason has used bicycles to make this latest batch of mixed media works. It's being put together by the Moxie Dada folks, and it's good to see them active once again in the local scene.
Meanwhile the August Wilson Center for African American Culture has print works by dead local hero Romare Bearden and Wood Street Galleries has a collection of work by Icelandic artists. Stephanie Armbruster's paintings are at the 709 Penn Gallery. Plus you can still catch the journalistic work of one-time Pittsburgh Press photographer Alan F. Reiland (1927-96) at the Shaw Galleries (805 Liberty Ave.).
In Lawrenceville at Wildcard (4209 Butler St.), you can visit the opening reception for Insert Coin To Play: Pinball Life (6-9pm). A new neighborhood-themed pinball machine created by Andy Scott will anchor the display of a collection of pinball-themed art. There's supposed to be some kind of tournament too. Proceeds (improbably) benefit Bike Pittsburgh.
Y'now, last time they came around I missed the Pretty Things Peep Show at the Rex Theater. My general aversion to all things South Side kicked in, and I couldn't bring myself to make the trip on a Friday evening... when things in that part of town get as close to unbearable as seems possible. Still this tempts me, especially when I look at these... Anyway, it starts at 9PM and costs $15 to attend. And if you make the effort to brave Carson Street, stop in at the Brew House (2100 Mary Street) too for the opening (7PM) of a show by Jorge Luis Santana.
Or if you love birds (which I don't), go to the Mattress Factory for the "Stray Birds Sunset Full Moon Performance", with "bird musician" Michael Pestel and Butoh dancer Taketeru Kudo. It's almost guaranteed to be better and less silly than it sounds. Or it could be gruelingly pretentious. That would be a shame. I don't know when it starts because the listing I saw omitted that crucial info.
And then, of course, there's always Braddock... with its shabby-chic art offerings. A collective called BrokenDayton Art Machine appears at Unsmoke Systems. Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Breidenbach and Ashley Jonas are included, and the group plans to bury a time capsule at the closing, to be held on July 22... and if you go, you're supposed to bring something to put in there. The Opening Reception is this Friday from 6-10PM.
Stop by at Lili Cafe in Polish Hill (3138 Dobson Street) for a rare late night (6-8PM) at the shop, and a reception for "Low Key", featuring the works of a talented pair of local artists, Victoria Cessna and Laura Jean McLaughlin.
The Polish Hill Arts festival begins at NOON. There will be authentic Polish food, kids activities, artist tables, and bands... this year they include Timbeleeza (Brazillian samba drumming), The Panther Hollow String Band (old-timey country), Bridgette Perdue (singer-songwriter), Lungs Face Feet (Cumbrian-influenced brass band), FOOD (rock), and Moldies and Monsters (oldies covers).
And if you have the time, you should stop by at Morose & Macabre's House of Oddities and Miss Hush Present: The Return Of Subculture Vulture Counterculture Flea Market (Whew!). This event runs from 2-10PM at 4013 Butler Street. Its organizers are advertising "New & Used clothing and wares, art, crafts, and food from the underground". Plus there will be DJ's.