LOCALarts 2017 Fall

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ISSUE 5 // FALL 2017

RADIANT HALL creating working space for creatives





pittsburgh society of illustrators celebrates 20 years

A PROMISING FUTURE for pittsburgh musical theater

Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar

Buone Feste

Book Your Holiday Party at Senti 3473 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 412.586.4347 sentirestaurant.com



EDITORIAL STAFF Christine Smith Associate Editor & Consultant Editor at Treading Arts | www.treadingart.com

Arlan Hess Associate Editor Proprietor City Books | citybookspgh.com

Laura Domenic

A neighborhood publication focusing on the creativity and ingenuity of the arts in Pittsburgh. For more information email info@localartspgh.com

Associate Editor Curator / Educator | lauradomencic.com

Megan McLachlan Associate Editor


PUBLISHER Jeff Rose jrose@local-pittsburgh.com

Jeff Young Joesph Hollinger Christine Smith Rachel Saul Rearick

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kelli Koladish creative@local-pittsubrgh.com


Questions about LOCALarts or advertising opportunities? Contact us at (412) 215-6759

Katelyn Ruffing

Carrie Rose DESIGNERS Hayden Rose


arts | Issue 5

Miguel Montoya



Mock & Co diamonds and Jewelry. Pittsburgh premier luxury jeweler. located at Paul Michael Design 3453 Butler street.


Skelton Jewelry


Deep Greene Woodworks

Jonathan Chamberlain


Reiko Yamamoto



Monmade offers local solutions to your personal or professional design challenges. We help you discover and collaborate with the creative people making specialty goods in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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ARTS PGH ISSUE 5 FALL 2017 20 AIR 5 10 THINGS I LEARNED IN BUSINESS with james fredrick

11 RADIANT HALL creating working space for creatives

15 ART OF FACTS pittsburgh society of illustrators celebrates 20 years

19 FEATURED POET jeff young

the artists image resource

24 TREADING ARTS fall events list

26 Q&A with artist scott hunter


36 FUNCTIONING FURNITURE brian ferrell’s meticulous handiwork

38 A PROMISING FUTURE for the pittsburgh musical theater

41 CITY BOOKS shortlist for fall

34 CREATING A COMMUNITY through art and the Mine Factory

42 THE THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY comes to town arts | Issue 5



Things I Learned


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1. Story “I remember driving into the city of Pittsburgh in the 90s and vowing I would place art in one of those buildings. I look now and see James Gallery in projects all over the city.”

2. The power of art to elevate environments “Space does not feel complete without art, it can be the inspiration or the finishing touch.”

3. Longevity/reputation “Being in business for over 40 years, we continue to change and adjust our plan to meet a dynamic art market. Being here to serve artist and clients is key. We are dedicated to this region and determined to expose Pittsburgh to the global market.”

4. Full service & knowledgeable for our client “We are a visual company in terms of our approach, services and strategy. We are well-rounded, open to change and driven to please.”

5. Team “The James Gang is a team of creative individuals. We work separately and collectively to share project experience and source exposure.” We enjoy our roots in Pittsburgh while branching out on national level.

6. Something quirky? (Creative) “We haven’t seen it all, but we’re looking for it.”

7. Something you learned, or that touched you when working with an artist “The human aspect of what we do. We are in the ‘adoption’ business. Artists create and give part of themselves. We find ‘good home’/placement for their gifts.”

8. Something you learned when working on a consulting project or commission “Be there. Sweat the details. Get in early to influence decisions that affect the outcomes.”

9. Relationships “Experiencing art can be very personal. Life and business sometimes overlap. Our gallery has been designed for entertaining...our clients, friends and family.”

10. Staying engaged How to stay relevant in changing times: service, connecting, experiment, research, ask questions...”What if...”

…James Fredrick

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Ryan Lammine &


Radiant Hall

nside the unassuming, red brick building on the corner of Plummer and Cotton Way in Lawrenceville lives Radiant Hall’s flagship community of artists’ studios. The rent-controlled spaces - which have grown to include three locations throughout the Pittsburgh area - provide affordable working spaces for the city’s creatives. “We get artists that would otherwise have to work in their basements, or attics,” Ryan Lammie, Radiant Hall’s Executive Director, says. “We also have younger artists who have just moved into the area after college.”

The organization allows a unique and enviable opportunity for artists looking to expand their practice or simply work alongside others in a community setting. The open-studio model, says their website, “is designed to encourage our members to actively engage with one-another through artistic collaboration, shared knowledge, and communal resources.” Each location is made up of communal workspaces and various facilities like kitchen areas and restrooms, and, each has rental options based on the need for individual work room as well. Artists can apply for half-, full-, or double-sized studios with accordingly reasonable price tags. What started as a search for personal studio space for Lammie has burgeoned into an ongoing effort in community building. The project’s hallmarks are sustainability and professional development. Radiant Hall hosts annual

Written By Hayley Woodman

open studio events each year, inviting the public in to see what transpires behind each locations’ particular facade. “Some people don’t know we’re in here,” Lammie laughs. “Or they wonder why artists even need studios. So, we can show them what we do.” He mentions the desire to incorporate more ‘lifestyle’ activities into Radiant Hall’s opportunities for public engagement. He strives to strike a balance between community awareness of Radiant Hall and its mission, and too much attraction-like visibility, which might overwhelm the surrounding neighborhoods. A bike tour of the organization’s three locations, for instance, to interact with Pittsburgh’s already active cycling community. As for the artists that are accepted into Radiant Hall, they receive not only a studio, but a membership with the organization. Lasting from one to six months, the memberships provide 24/7 access to the studio space, utilities, wifi, and basic studio supplies; the artists create a profile on the

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Radiant Hall website; are offered help with self-promotion; and are included in exhibitions hosted by the studios and other events that take place there. And for the past few years, Radiant Hall has taken part in numerous Pittsburgh events involving the arts, including FULLTIME Creativity Fest, and the Lawrenceville Studio Tour, as well as partnered with organizations such as Allegheny City Brewing and Casey Droege Cultural Productions to present panel discussions or trivia nights. This April, it sponsored Radiant Hall Happy Hour at Remedy Lounge and Restaurant as well as the Pittsburgh Art Exchange in Homewood at its Susquehanna location. In the past, the Studio Dinner Series offered the opportunity for a five course dining experience with one of their artists in their Lawrenceville studio, catered by culinary artists like Plated Trade, with proceeds going towards the operation of Radiant Hall. For a brief time, there was also the Radiant Hall Work program, which connected artists from the community with clients as a third party agency. The press release noted that it also assisted with job placement for some of the artists with more technical or specialized skills. Although short lived, Work did complete five murals for local organization Alloy 26. The dissolution of Work was part of a small run of bad luck for Radiant Hall in the last year, which also included a setback in expanding into a fourth location: what was supposed to be the new Lower Hill District site, inside the Energy Innovation Center. It was unfortunate, but “we always have four or five irons in the fire,” Lammie says. And he’s optimistic about future settings for Radiant Hall studios. Already, there are plans for more upstairs studio space in the Susquehanna location in Homewood (it currently has two floors with 23 studios altogether). Lammie is also eyeing a possible downtown site. At the moment, Radiant Hall Studios consists of 65 artists in three locations, and the tentative five-year plan is to more than double that number to 150. There’s also a focus on eventually owning most of the buildings where Radiant Hall studios reside, to allow for more permanence.

What started as a search for personal studio space for Lammie, has burgeoned into an ongoing effort in community building.

Ben Filio


arts | Issue 5

Each of the locations is run by a studio director that started out as a member artist. The directors each have current studios in their respective locations, as does Lammie, allowing them to work as community facilitators. This is one of the wonderful parts of Radiant Hall - that the members know that through the development in their art and engagement with the artistic community they are a part of there, their efforts are recognized, and there is possibility of advancement and reward. Radiant Hall boasts of eclectic and accomplished alumni, listed on their website alongside their current artists. They include painters, sculptors, writers, photographers and more, showcasing a wide array of talent and inspiration. For example, Larry Berger - a former Nova Place artist - is the Founder and Executive Director of SLB Radio Productions (SLB), which produces the Saturday Light Brigade, a long-running public radio program. Lauren Knapp is a Lawrenceville Radiant Art alumna, working in photography and filmmaking, and has worked for PBS and been broadcast on WQED. And Julie Mallis, another alumna of the Lawrenceville location, is an artist that teaches and specializes in electronic, time-based media, and has shown throughout the country.

Ryan Micheal White

Radiant Hall became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014, opening up the possibility of tax-deductible donations towards its operation. And, as the Donation page of their site notes, Pittsburgh’s property values are rising, making Radiant Hall’s mission ever more important, but thankfully they have never yet had to raise the price of their memberships. The cheapest is still $135/month for a half studio-an incredible rate for emerging artists with limited funds. Which is just what Radiant Hall is about: staying accessible, and maintaining “security and well-being” for its artists.

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2008 East Carson Street Pittsburgh PA 15203 412-431-3337 mhartframe.com fine art . picture framing . professional art services


call for details


s t c a F f O T AR By Hayley Woodman

ciety The Pittsburgh So lebrates of Illustrators ce ary this its 20th annivers s Art of year alongside it the Senator Facts exhibit at ry Center. John Heinz Histo this past Having opened hibit, July 22nd, the ex ound area which centers ar retations illustrators’ interp d unique of little-known an , runs Pittsburgh stories works into 2018. The 53 ed by of art were select bers’ jury from PSI mem submissions.

Ilene Winn-Lederer

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An inspired look into the process of illustration opens Art of Facts, through a video of artist Sophia Pappas’ creative journey developing her exhibit piece, “The River.” Pappas takes us through the conception of “The River,” into the researching and gathering of information she worked to distill into the resulting work of art. Multiple drafts show us how the original idea transformed into what we now look at, revealing the story behind one illustrator’s technique.

Kathy Rooney

Art of Facts: Uncovering Pittsburgh Stories is indeed all about stories. Split into five sections, the exhibit explores the reasons behind illustration and the myriad topics the art form is used to discover. Small introductions at the beginning of the sections provide jumping-off points for visitors, directing their attention to a different role illustration plays in our understanding of history, tradition, and our emotions towards each. The styles of illustration are appropriately varied--some exuberantly impressionistic, some restrained and realistic.

Mark Bender Kurt Pfaff

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Lindsay WrighT Fred Carlson

Phil Wilson

There are steelworkers’ wives in The Women of Homestead, by Christie Biber. There are labor organizers and steel barons. Pittsburgh’s music connection is highlighted in Fred Carlson’s graphite work, Pittsburgh Early Jazz. We learn about the first baby incubators exhibited here in Luna Park: Shhh...Live Infants by Leda Miller (the First Prize Winner of the show). And we’re invited to reminisce about our own families with Jeff Bruner’s set of prints, Women’s Lives, Women’s Work, which showcase the memories of women who lived through the region’s coal and coke era. Accordingly, the stories we’re treated to are at times familiar, at others unknown, but always important. The wide-ranging stories mean few can come away appreciating nothing new about some aspect of Pittsburgh’s past. Visitors can enjoy the Art of Facts exhibit in the History Center’s first floor Barensfeld Gallery until March of next year.

Ashley Cecil

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4110 Old William Penn Hwy, Monroeville, PA 15146 | 412.810.0040

art consultation - gallery rental - custom framing 413 south main street, pittsburgh pa 15220 412-922-9800 | jamesgallery.net


arts | Issue 5


When I was young people used to tell me how beautiful you are How you came with the house, money, happiness and car So I started to look for you until I find out who you are To find you I started pumping gas, shoveling snow and raking leaves Momma always told me to find you the right way because you never stayed long with drug dealers and thieves As I got old I started to love you more even though I never met you yet You started to show up in parts of my life but I was too afraid to step to you because I didn’t know how far I’d get So I settled for your sister instead because in my head she was easier to get in bed But really I hung around her just to get closer to you Because they say I have to experience her in order to have you So the love I had for her wasn’t really true it was more see thru because I saw right thru her to see you I knew that eventually I would fail her, because she was a test I never studied for so I failed her

Jeff Young Jeff Young, our featured poet this issue, is the founder of Young Lungs Motivation: a program designed to embolden young people to live with purpose. Some of the areas that the youth focus on are the spiritual, financial, mental and emotional aspects of their lives. The end result of the program is the “One Word that will Change Your Life” challenge where the participants select one word to focus on and apply to their everyday life. So, what’s your one word?

I was in love with failure Until I met you, you let me see the angel in you so that I can see the devil in her She let me sleep with her friend’s distraction and temptation Never did I go into contemplation about what they were doing to my life I thought she was holding me tight a night until I started to feel her knife So I got outta bed and decided to change my life. I studied you from guys who had already met you so when I finally get you I would know the things they knew And if I ever mistreat you I hope that you would correct me because I know in order to keep you I must protect she I pray that you teach me exactly how to treat you, in 2016 success it was nice to finally meet you

Photography by:

Artists Image Resource 20

AIR By Joseph Hollinger

Artists Image Resource or AIR as it’s commonly referred to, is a project-focused facility on Pittsburgh’s Northside. AIR specializes in fine art printmaking which includes intaglio, relief, digital, and silkscreen printing. AIR’s building on Foreland street continues to evolve dynamically as a project itself. I met with one of the cofounders of AIR, Robert Beckman, to discuss what makes AIR so unique to Pittsburgh.

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What was the genesis of AIR? AIR was created as a print and imaging laboratory that would support the mature working artist and mentor the aspiring artist. In the late 1990’s, AIR provided support for the Mattress Factory and the Warhol Museum primarily by providing resources for creative and educational projects. From the beginning, AIR was looking to bring in artists with an emphasis on increasing their access to print making and expanding practice. The model of see one, do one, teach one was utilized and is still an ongoing teaching model at AIR. When AIR started in the late 90’s there were not many opportunities for artists to have access to print making. Pittsburgh had a small but thriving artist community, and AIR wanted to provide space for artists to be able to create work.

What is the purpose of AIR? While access for artists to the facilities for printmaking, and the exhibition gallery are vital components, AIR is mainly a platform for our artists to focus on expanding their discipline. The artists are actively involved in interrogating culture, and the studio works to carve away the pretense that often surrounds the work of the artist. AIR provides a safe space for artists to feel free to communicate their messages and the studio works to increase the transparency of the artist’s methods. AIR also engages artists in teaching programs with local youth from Pittsburgh Public Schools such as Barrack Obama Academy and Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School (CAPA).

Where does AIR go from here? In the future, AIR will continue to be focused on artist’s projects. Additionally, there’s an ongoing push to support younger artists moving to Pittsburgh. Increasing participation in AIR’s educational programs for K-12 and higher education is an integral piece to ensure AIR’s ongoing sustainability as an organization. While AIR will remain artist-centric, it continues to move to be more open to the public. This is being facilitated through works such as AIR’s recent Active Voice project, and by transferring knowledge through classes, and by efforts to continue to build a more humane model that engages new artists and the public.

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810 IVY STREET SHADYSIDE | (412) 621-2919

A unique public-private partnership that is supporting the growth of entrepreneurship in our region’s innovation economy and connecting that growth to underserved communities and the residents that live in those communities. urbaninnovation21.org



EVENT PICKS Here’s a preview of what’s happening this season so grab your calendars and start enjoying!



MF@40: Then and Now Thursday, November 9th 7-9pm | $15 | Mattress Factory | Mexican War Streets The MF art gang is reassembling for a not-to-miss celebration of the museum’s storied past and exciting present/future. Expect all of the usual revelries enjoyed at MF’s legendary parties. Tag then and now with #MFthen


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The Down and Dirty Dance Party Friday, October 20th | 8pm | Pay what moves you! | 21+ Spirit Hall | Lawrenceville Attack Theatre transforms Spirit Hall into one of their infamous, one-night-only extravaganzas with their impressive performances, a mind-blowing Ian Brill light installation and a rotating crew of beat-pulsing DJ’s.


Opening Reception: Interiors with Impact Friday, December 8th 6-9pm | FREE Pittsburgh Glass Center | Garfield Join the opening party for Monmade’s Winter showcase and peruse specialty products that are made with heart and skill in the Pittsburgh area. Get inspired, meet new friends and treat yourself to a piece of handmade furniture, lighting, tableware or home goods - the show runs until 2/18!

Radiant Hall Fall Open Studios Saturday, October 21st | Lawrenceville Saturday, October 28th | Nova Place Saturday, November 4th | Susquehanna 11am-6pm | FREE Pick a date, or all three, and check out the inspiring and friendly locations that make up Radiant Hall’s artist studios. You’re sure to see beautiful artworks, meet interesting folks and learn something fascinating.



TEDxPittsburghWomen Bridges Friday, November 3rd | 6-10pm | $20-25 Ace Hotel | East Liberty Spend the evening absorbing some ideas worth spreading as TedxPittsburgh presents their first ever Women oriented event. Listen to Boss Ladies talk live about how they’ve built bridges between their ideas and the world.


Langston Kelly Human DJ + Body Artist Courtney Lynn Czarniak Friday, December 15th | 6:308:30pm | $10-15 Frick Pittsburgh | Point Breeze Reserve a spot for dinner at the cozy Café before experiencing the galleries through a lively performance that will give an imaginative look at The Frick’s upcoming exhibition, Undressed: A History of Fashion in Underwear.

is run by Christine Smith & presents aesthetically rich editorials on TreadingArt. com and produces culturally driven events.


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How you would describe your art to someone who couldn’t see it? Think about a moving musical composition or a good story read aloud that captivates your attention. I like to think someone can react emotionally to my abstract work in a similar way one might be consumed with a good piece of music. My figurative work is about telling stories and sharing memories using images instead of words.

Some of your work, Time of Death, for instance, has a dystopian quality, what inspires your style? I had always enjoyed the storytelling in pre-Renaissance painting, like in the chapel frescoes of Giotto. I try to assemble paintings like Time of Death with strange but beautiful moments, suggesting a story and inviting interpretation. They may have a dystopian feel but always have some kind of moral order or presence of faith and a dose of humor.

What keeps you up at night? I like to paint at night. I am no good in the morning, so I am often kept up at night by a desire to keep painting. If you are asking what it is I worry about most, it is the quality of my work. I am rarely satisfied. When I am working on a painting late into the evening I am usually feeling pretty good, like I can do no wrong. The next day however, that same painting looks absolutely terrible to me.

Tell us about the delightfully familiar Nonie Series and what brought it to life? I’ve been painting from the same small stack of faded Kodak prints for years and Nonie made appearances in several large canvases. After a few smaller studies began to resonate with people I decided to look closer at the photos themselves. The paintings came to be as much about the faded color and cropping of the print as it was about her life and experiences. It began to make sense as a series because it gives the viewer that same rush of memory as when flipping through a stack of cherished photos.

Photographs by Patrick Hogan

What does the Pittsburgh art scene need the most? Well, Pittsburgh needs more people to recognize the quality of work being produced right here and more people willing to buy. It definitely is taking off, though, and that is exciting.

What’s been your most meaningful piece to create?

I like to think someone can react emotionally to my abstract work in a similar way one might be consumed with a good piece of music.

It is always the one I am working on that’s the most meaningful. While there have been some paintings that I look back on more favorably than others, it is always the one on the easel because I am never sure where it is going to take me next.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of being an artist? Finding balance. Balance between having confidence in my work and trying to do better. Balance between pursuing my true vision while remaining marketable, and balancing work while supporting a family.

Two things you want to accomplish? I don’t know about specific accomplishments, but my goal is to be able to continue focusing on making art and refining a consistent but varied body of work.

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T: 724.515.5983


CELEBRATING 25 YEARS! Now Accepting Holiday Reservations


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2228 E. Carson Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side 412-488-1818 | Free valet parking



GALLERY GUIDE Welcome to the LOCALarts Gallery Guide. We created this space to highlight and appreciate all the galleries doing great things in the Pittsburgh area. Our goal is become a place where art lovers and artists can find out about upcoming shows, open galleries taking artists submissions, and events that otherwise may not see the light of day. As we begin building our listings, we may have unintentionally left out some galleries. If we did, please accept our apologies in advance, and please make sure to email info@local-pittsburgh.com to be included in our next edition.

SHADYSIDE / REGENT SQUARE / BRADDOCK / WILKINSBURG / Unsmoke Systems Artspace unsmokeartspace.com/contact

recurrent rhythms IN THE GALLERY October 6 - January 28, 2018

Concept Art Gallery

Robin's Nest Gallery & Gift Shop robinsnestpittsburgh.com





412 . 441. 5200


Mendelson Gallery mednelsongallery.net

PGH10 (+2) Main Gallery


Zivi Aviraz, Robert Bowden, Eva Damianos, Sylvester Damianos, Kathleen DePasse, Lila Hirsh-Brody, Mark Panza, Phiris Kathryn Sickels, David Sparks, Susan Sparks, Dirk Vandenberg, and Francine VandenBerg.

November 21 - January 12

Gallery 4

Distortion (2nd floor gallery)


Kyle Ethan Fischer, Carolyn Pierotti, Caleb Thimell


Almost 17 & # we're still here

November 21 - January 12

January 23 - February 23, 2018

Group exhibition featuring artwork by 54 artists that have exhibited with us over the past 16 years, as well as 17 artists with exhibitions scheduled in 2018 and 2019!


412 . 687 . 8858

Four Winds Gallery

Mark Evers Antiques and Art Gallery



412-682-5092 Maser Galleries masergalleries.com



Moments and Souls 11 November features the Photography work of Richard Burke and Dale Schmitt

Bunker Projects http://www.bunkerprojects.org



412 . 606. 1220

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GALLERY GUIDE Fieldwork Gallery fieldworkgallery.com

412-204-7223 International Children’s Art Galleries facebook.com/icag5020/



Modern Formations LLC

November 6th - January12th


Opening reception will be held the evening of Friday, November 10th.

Most Wanted Fine Art most-wantedfineart.com


Silver Eye Center for Photography silvereye.org



SOUTH / Le Poire Fine Art Studio & Gallery le-poire.com/fine-art

412-921-0912 South Hills Art Center southhillsartcenter.com robertdaley.com

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Art of Steel 412-288-9945 CAPA Gallery 412-338-6129 Future Tenant Art Space futuretenant.org





412-417-6021 Shaw Galleries shawgalleries.com


412-431-1810 Artisan Tattoo Gallery


Lotenero Art & Design Studio

412-661-0641 Penn Avenue Pottery 412-281-9394


The FEIN Art Gallery

412-328-4737 Mostly Mod & ARTica Gallery

709 Penn Gallery

412-944-4159 Society for Contemporary Craft contemporarycraft.org


Borelli Edwards Art Gallery/be Galleries www.begalleries.com

412-687-2606 Gallery G Glass Inc www.gallerygglass.com

412-683-1700 Gallery On 43 Street galleryon43rdstreet.com



412 . 922 . 9800

Revision Space cindy-lisica.squarespace.com






Crown Antiques & Collectibles

Ioema Collection




412-434-6425 or 6426


Nations Art Gallery & Framing

707 Penn Gallery

Wood Street Galleries







arts arts || Issue Issue 55


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PITTSBURGH’S PREMIERE WINE EDUCATORS Corporate and Private Events, Fundraisers, Staff Training; more.

HIGHLAND PARK, 412-665-9000





GALLERY GUIDE NORTHSIDE / MILLVALE / Introspec ralphproctorgallery.com


844-278-6996 Mattress Factory Art Museum mattress.org

412-231-3169 Randyland http://randy.land


Fireborn Studios

Utrecht Art Supplies

Harts Art on Consignment 412-431-0453

Top Notch Art Supply

South Bank Galleries 412-488-6688 Vessel Studio

412 . 821. 0959


412-779-2471 Michael Hertrich Art and Frame 412-431-3337 Sojourner Art Gallery


411 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

412-683-4444 Artist & Craftsman Supply Pittsburgh 5603 Hobart St, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

412-421-3002 Pittsburgh Center For Creative Reuse 214 N Lexington St, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

412-473-0100 LOOM 2124 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-586-4346 Crystal Bead Bazaar

The New Bohemian


4521 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201




Studio Eight27 412-945-0827

460 Perry HwyPittsburgh, PA 15229

724-816-7944 Eclectic Art & Objects Gallery 412-734-2099 Artists Image Resource artistsimageresource.org

Jessie Best Galley jessebest.com

Abandoned Pittsburgh abandonedpittsburgh.com

SEWICKLEY / Eclectic Art & Objects Gallery eclecticartgallery.com



ART SUPPLY STORES / 1930 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203









Michael Berger Gallery


Bock-Tott Gallery

arts | Issue 5

Stamp Fanci 412-931-1109 Blick 5534 Walnut Street Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Luke Wholey’s WILD ALASKAN GRILLE 2106 Penn Ave

Reservations recomended, call:

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CREATING COMMUNITY with Michael Walsh, Carlos Mare, and Mia Tarducci By Laura Domenic

Michael Walsh, originally from Highland Park, first began as a graffiti artist. Instead of following a career path that’s clearly marked, his is one that he forges with high energy and determination, hovering outside the mainstream. His curiosity led him to California to work on sculpture and to continue to learn about other artists. Channeling his two-dimensional designs, his sculptures have utilized welding, casting and threedimensional printing. Since his return to Pittsburgh two years ago, he has used his time for intensive exploration of art making. His recent projects include designing elements for the interior of Park Bruges restaurant to creating a bike rack for the city installed this October. “I’m really thankful for the opportunities I have been afforded in Pittsburgh since my return,” Walsh said. “I’m also happy to see a changing dynamic in the city, part of which is fueled by an influx of new people and a welcoming of the national and international scene.” His graffiti sculptures are a reflection of his personality fueled by connection and collaboration with others. -This collaborative spirit is what drove him to open up his studio in Larimer for an informal residency, a place for creating work, dialogue and camaraderie with other artists. His first trial by fire resident artist is Carlos Mare aka Mare139, a New York City artist known for pioneering the space between hybrid contemporary sculpture and graffiti sculpture. They connected a few years ago, when one of Walsh’s digitally carved marble sculptures was on exhibition in Italy and Mare saw his work online. “I was intrigued by Michael’s work,” Mare said. “His language was unlike any other of the other young and upcoming artists.” Walsh had been wanting to meet Mare, an artist committed to employing technology since the 1990’s.

“We’ve been very reaffirming to one another,” Walsh describes their working relationship. “It’s rare in genre, to go from tagging to carving marble with a robot or casting metal. All of a sudden, I had someone to talk to.” Over the past year, Mare has made several trips to Pittsburgh to experiment with metal casting as a medium with Walsh’s technical assistance. “Making work in the sanctified space of Pittsburgh’s industrial rigor (and then) adding creative rigor makes it a very powerful experience, to be introduced to this process and introduced this way in the city,” Mare said. He explained that the residency has three main components ¬– heritage, legacy and future. Mare’s formative years were focused on subway painting and hip hop heritage in New York and Walsh came from working with industrial metal fabrication in Pittsburgh. “There is a legacy based on these backstories. We have been exploring how do we advance that for this upcoming time…we need to make art of our time with the tools of our time.” Through these exchanges, they are building this alliance to enhance discourse between sculpture and technology. Work from their collaboration has been featured in the International Sculpture Conference held in Pittsburgh in 2016. Some of Mare’s sculptures created during this time were recently exhibited with his paintings and sketches in Montreal. His show, Breaking/ Algorhythms Recoding B-Boy Bands of the Future, at the Apollo Theatre from October 20 – 28, is part video installation and part sculpture. Working with two accomplished collaborators, dancer and choreographer YNOT and multimedia artist and designer Tobias Gremmler, the show is an amalgamation of graffiti sculpture and urban dance using motion capture to create an abstract motion animation. Utilizing 3D printing technology and virtual space are on the horizon for both Mare and Walsh. Like many artists, their art making practices are not about building discrete, individual objects but more about creating a continuum of works, each being a starting point for the next piece, like an ongoing conversation. -Walsh’s desire to be a part of creating a community that gives and receives support from each other, led him to find more artists with the same vision. In 2016, his work was included in the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Mia Tarducci, a fellow AAP member and gallery owner, noticed his sculpture made of steel enamel and acrylic was unlike anything else she had seen in the city. They struck up a conversation on how to develop an art buying market in Pittsburgh as many artists find more success selling work outside of the region. One of the many possible answers to that question is through The Mine Factory. Founded by Tarducci in 2013, The Mine Factory began as a gallery space and studio collective in North Point Breeze. After transitioning out of that space this past year, it has evolved into a support network for artists and exporting their work beyond the region – that doesn’t require a physical brick and mortar site. In December, The Mine Factory will be presenting four artists – Mia Tarducci, Michael Walsh, Carlos Mare and another Pittsburghbased sculptor, Ed Parrish – at Aqua Art fair in Miami. Tarducci says that the art fair, is “one of the fairs of value to emerging artists by exposing their work to an international collector audience.” Trade shows such as this aren’t cheap, and Tarducci was able to secure a small grant through the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation to make this opportunity possible. “It’s not strange to see all of them are going to Miami,” Walsh said, reflecting on the four artists’ work sharing a similar energy beyond a rust belt connection. These artists have entrepreneurial mindsets, looking to create more opportunities and connections. “It’s an experiment,” Tarducci said of Art Aqua, “No matter what happens, we will have learned something.”

the art of


Brian Ferrell is like the guy next door, except shinier. He has a calm, kind demeanor and appears put together with extreme attention. It’s no wonder that his work is not only inviting, but also sleek and meticulous. 36

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When we met up at the Whitfield, we started by talking about what brought Brian to furniture making. He originally studied metals and jewelry, with both a BFA and an MFA in the subject because as he put it, “the material (metal) was both precise and organic.” He told me that growing up he was always around machines, because his dad was a pilot and frequently worked on his two-seater plane. Brian also mentioned that his dad built their house. He said that he was always influenced by people who said to him, “we could do that.” While in graduate school, Brian began thinking about things in sets. He said, “I would make an object, and then a second object. And then those two objects would need a home, so I would make a tray or a shelf. And then next thing I knew, I thought to myself, why don’t I just make a table too?” Brian worked at Fallingwater when he was in college where he found himself deeply interested in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and other architects. When he would give tours around the grounds, he began telling himself that if other people were designing objects that were meant to complement one another, or items that were made to fit together perfectly, he could approach his own work in a similar fashion. It’s no surprise that Brian’s skill did not go unnoticed. Following graduation he worked for master glass artist Dan Dailey, prior to

returning home to the Pittsburgh region where he is now a faculty member at Seton Hill University. As we got to talking about process, I learned that Brian starts with raw lumber. He carves away at it with power tools until he works it down to a point where he uses small hand tools. Having seen his work in person I have been in awe of the contours, the line, and the shape of his objects. Every area has been delicately addressed, with smooth transitions and progressions. Brian said that of all furniture, chairs are his favorite to make, “because they swallow you.” He told me that “a good chair is comfortable, while still being universal.” His work boasts of mid-century modernism, but with a distinct and personal feel to every piece. If you’re in the market for some beautiful and functional work for your home, you can find Brian’s pieces at Contemporary Craft in the Strip District, or you can visit his website (brianferrelldesigns. com). He said he always enjoys the opportunity to make something custom.

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Pittsburgh Musical Theater Pittsburgh Musical Theater Looks to a Promising Future for Both Its Students and Hedquaters By Megan McLachlan “Make this studio your own.” With these words, Colleen Doyno encouraged students to decorate a section of the Pittsburgh Musical Theater headquarters, located in the West End neighborhood of Pittsburgh. She never anticipated what they would do next. “I was thinking they were going to put pictures on the walls,” she said the Executive Artistic Director at PMT. “When I came in the next day, I could smell spray paint.”

Doyno joined PMT in 1995 with her own The room bounced with bold bubble letters musical background. “I grew up in the dance world. I’m a tapper. I believe so bright hues like black, gold, and purple. “It heartily in the mission. We can make this a was a complete shock, but then I started reading all of the things on the walls.”The government is very generous with walls wore messages like, “Remember my name,” “We are Family,” and “Second providing for these kids.” Family.” Classes include acting, tap, ballet, musical theater workshops, and more, culminating “It was ugly, expressive, and beautiful.” in what’s known as “Super Saturday,” when Since 1990, PMT has enriched the lives of parents drop off their kids for all-day classyoung singers, dancers, and actors in the es from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some students Pittsburgh area at an affordable price, with the mission that everyone deserves a shot at arts education. Each season, PMTputs on a variety of shows, including performances at the Byham Theater Downtown.


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come from far away as Altoona to participate in the Super Saturday programs, with others from Beaver, Butler, and Washington counties. Not only is this one-day weekend program more convenient for Mom and Dad, but it’s also a boost to the local economy.The annual Dancing in the Streets outdoor extravaganza closes down Main Street for performances by PMT’s Xtreme een T Broadway troupe and welcomes local stores to be part of the celebration.

Being deeply rooted in the region is another mission of the organization, with instructors required to have some sort of local connection to the community. single person has local ties or connections. Many grew up in the PMT system. Pittsburgh has the best in the business right here. It’s amazing how many instructors and students end up back here.”

But not all students necessarily end up Broadway bound, which is completely OK and also part of the mission. “A lot of them stay in the arts. Many of them do not. [PMT uses] art as a vehicle for students to be articulate and have self-assurance to feel good about themselves. They use their art skills and more, which essentially are communication skills.” Of those who stay in the arts,

breakouts including Katie Terza, who performed in NBC’s Peter Pan Live! in 2014 and Dan DeLuca who played Jack Kelly in a national tour of Newsies, but there are plenty of other success stories as well that can be found on the PMT website, with students touting “I’m a PMT kid!” on their time at PMT and have positive memories, as depicted on the wall of photos. “Their friendships seem to last forever because of what they love to do,” said Doyno. “Not

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based on culture or geography.” Doyno is hoping to raise money so the 105-year- old building where friendships and skills are developed can undergo a huge renovation. PMT purchased the building in 2014 and learned that before they could framework. “Little did we know we bought a building that was about to collapse.” Soon, the building received a new rations just to keep it standing. The proposed overhaul includes a new entrance way, a marquee above the Sanctus Street entrance, a front entrance from South Main Street, a lower stage and performance area, a cafe, an accessible classroom, and alterations to the auditorium. “My goal is 7 years total. I was thinking $7 million in 7 years.” The new building would not only positively impact the PMT students, but also the Pittsburgh region. In a recent report from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council on arts and culture expenditures, Greater Pittsburgh ranks at or near the top among benchmark regions, including


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Baltimore and Nashville, when it comes to economic impact on jobs, household incomes, and tax revenue. Pittsburgh also ranks in

And with this facelift, PMT can

expenditures and jobs among regions with larger populations, like Chicago and Boston.

“This city is full of amazing talent.”

community, musical theater and the region at large, for years to come.

When it comes to Pittsburgh’s even had a hand in Oscar-winning movies. with us on Fences for costumes and makeup,” said Doyno. “That happened in our building.”

For more information on PMT and how to become involved or make a donation to the renovation, visit pittsburghmusicals.com or Pittsburgh Musical Theater at 327 South Main Street.

Fall Reading ‘17


The City Books Short List! Sherman Alexie, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A loose collection of photographs, poetry, and prose, this intimate memoir will make you want to share family secrets you didn’t know you had. If you liked Alexie’s, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, you will love this.

written by Arlan Hess

Emily Fridlund, History of Wolves: A book that balances on the pinpoint edge between good and evil, this atmospheric novel about a young girl’s developing identity meanders like a trail through the woods in which she lives. Nuanced and mesmerizing, this is what happens when a fairy tale goes wrong. Sam Kean: Caesar’s Last Breath: History meets environmentalism in this light-hearted discussion of a serious subject. Weaving anecdotes about spontaneous combustion and hot air ballooning with tales of the Roman emperor’s assassination and foul “wind,” Kean disguises hard facts with humor and enthusiasm. Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: Roy fans are almost obligated to read her long-awaited follow up to The God of Small Things. A lyrical story in the vein of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and Salman Rushdie, this culturally inclusive yet politically divisive story follows the lives of society’s outcasts as they wander in search of their true selves. David Sedaris, Theft by Finding: Unlike his more structured works, Sedaris’s collected diaries offer snippets and vignettes later shaped into his most famous personal essays, including “The Santaland Diaries” and “Me Talk Pretty One Day.” Spanning twenty-five years, these fragmented journals reveal a young man’s early literary ambitions and a mature writer’s struggle with alcoholism.

Samantha Hunt, The Dark Dark: In this collection of short stories, Hunt offers shadowy female characters dealing with unfulfilled, middle-aged potential. Surreal plots imprison their characters like nesting dolls living with circumstances and consequences beyond their control. Some women live in the light, some live in the dark, and some live in the dark dark. Paul Kingsnorth, Beast: When Edward Buckmaster leaves his wife and daughter to squat in a dilapidated barn in the west of England, he transforms into something resembling Yeats’ rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem. Late in the story, the narrative slips into stream of consciousness. Think Beowulf meets Cloud Atlas.

Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire: Set in England, Syria, and the U.S., this contemporary retelling of Antigone covers all the universal themes: family, religion, politics, love. When Isma, daughter of an estranged jihadi father, leaves London to study in America, she meets Eamonn, a politician’s son who eventually falls in love with Isma’s sister, Aneeka. Enter their brother, Parvaiz, trapped in a jihadi training camp in Syria, and the tragedy takes on archetypal proportions. Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give: What began as an MFA thesis project became a heartbreaking and relevant story that begs to be told. Starr Carter slips between two worlds: the black neighborhood where she lives and the white prep school which she attends. After she witnesses the fatal shooting of her (unarmed) childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer, she learns that what she does or does not say could destroy her world and endanger her life.

Alison Weir, Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession: This fictionalized account of Boleyn’s life reframes her as an activist heroine fighting rape culture in the royal courts of Europe. Intellectual and feminist, her inability to produce a living male heir leads to accusations of adultery, treason, and, in this book, a particularly horrifying execution.

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the Theatre Historical Society of America Makes Pittsburgh Its New Headquarters For Its Rich Theatre History By Megan McLachlan When uprooting to a fresh location, the Theatre Historical Society of America could have selected one of America’s bigger cities as a new home. “I frequently hear people say that we should be in Times Square in New York City or on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles,” said Richard Fosbrink, Executive Director at the Theatre Historical Society of America. But to Fosbrink, Pittsburgh was a better option. “Probably some of the biggest reasons are all the compelling stories we can tell.” Today, New York and LA may serve as modern-day fixtures for filmmaking and theatre, but Pittsburgh is a big part of this backstory, regarded as the birthplace of the commercial movie theatre industry. “In 1905, Harry Davis and John P. Harris opened the Nickelodeon on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh: the world’s first, stand-alone, commercial movie theatre.” The establishment showed continuous films all day from 8 a.m. to midnight and charged just a nickel (thus, the cute moniker). “Around that same time, some brothers happened upon the Nickelodeon and decided they could open a little theatre near their hometown.” Those men? The Warner Brothers, whose name today is synonymous with blockbusters like Wonder Woman. In 1907, the Warner Brothers opened their first theatre, the Cascade Theatre in New Castle, Pa., which today serves as a museum. Eventually the brothers ventured to California to make movies, but much of the early days of motion pictures started in Pittsburgh, making it the ideal location for THS.


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For nearly 10 years, the organization knew they had to move to a new location, due to the weight of the collections in their previous location in Elmhurst, Ill. But it wasn’t until 2014, when they scheduled a conference in Pittsburgh, that they realized the value of the city. “We had been talking about moving, but during the conference a lot of eyes were opened to Pittsburgh. Kevin McMahon of the Trust encouraged us to seriously look at Pittsburgh and helped us with a lot of contacts.” The fortuitous meeting led THS to connect with Andy Masich, President and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center, which proved to be instrumental in their decision. “It was a major boon for THS to find space at the Heinz History Center. We are currently leasing high-quality, Smithsonian-level archives space to house our collections.” Spread out across two floors in the Heinz History Center, the collection boasts archives from more than 18,000 theatres all over the United States, including millions of images, carpet samples, seat samples, architectural elements, lighting fixtures, scrapbooks, operating ledgers, books, magazines, slides, and blueprints. While

modern-day audiences are used to lots of bells and whistles with today’s state-of-the-art theatres, they started out rather humble. “The Nickelodeons weren’t highly decorated, unlike the bigger opera and vaudeville houses. As technology advanced and films became longer, people paid more attention to building larger, nicer theatres. Operators like AJ and Barney Balaban in Chicago wanted to build giant palaces to treat each customer like a king or queen at their theatres.” Even though Pittsburgh is recognized as the beginning of movies, THS collects more than just motion picture memorabilia. “Theatres have existed for centuries, and THS is interested in all theatres, not just movie theatres. The State Theater in Uniontown is an example of a classically designed vaudeville house. It’s a great Thomas Lamb design. The Palace Theater in Greensburg, Pa., is another excellent example.”



Celebrate with us! Sunday, December 10 2-5 p.m.

Finding historic theatres still in operation can be a challenge for the organization. “Last year we spent a lot of time building our Theatre Affiliates Program which was designed to have more historic theatres involved in our organization. We found just under 3,000 open theatres in the United States, which we invited to join our program.” THS continues to find places they’ve missed, and when they find them, they reach out. If Fosbrink himself had to select his favorite theatre in the Pittsburgh region, a few stand out. “One of my favorites is the Benedum Center. It’s such a majestic and gorgeous place. I think the Hollywood Theater in Dormont is a great neighborhood theater, and I’m very excited about the Denis Theatre project in Mt. Lebanon.” Just another reason why the city is the perfect for the organization. “The Pittsburgh area has such a wealth of theatres that are saved and used. It’s really exceptional.”


Adrienne Heinrich Debra Platt Susan Laansma Pollins Phiris Kathryn Sickels Kathleen Zimbicki THROUGH


4240 Greensburg Pike | Pittsburgh, 15221

412.465.0140 | By appointment after opening


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One Piece at a Time, By Hand, In Lawrenceville 3453 Butler St.~Pgh, PA 15201

412.486.2016 | 888.268.1138 www.PaulMichaelDesign.com

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