LOCALpittsburgh 2018 issue #16

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info@local-pittsburgh.com | events@local-pittsburgh.com

PUBLISHER/ PRESIDENT Jeff Rose 412-215-6759 jrose@local-pittsburgh.com COPY EDITOR Carrie Rose CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kelli Koladish SALES MANAGER Christina Varrati DESIGN Hayden Rose | Graphic Designer Jake Bellaire | Graphic Designer Katelyn Ruffing | Graphic Designer

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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PHOTOGRAPHY Vanessa Song | Contributing Photographer Xavier Thomas | artlikeus.com Greg Sciulli | Contributing Photographer John Altdorfer | Contributing Photographer Stone Fenk | Photography Intern EDITORIAL STAFF Katie Speers | Impact Editor Karon Hawkins | Health Editor Rachel Saul Rearick | Women Editor Onastasia Youssef | Arts Editor Amanda Roszkowski | Music Editor Leah George | Living Editor Marta Napoleone Mazzoni | Blogger Heidi Balas | Blogger Hayley Woodman | Arts Writer Meghan McLachlan | General Assignment Writer C Leber | General Assignment Writer Nicholas Manning | General Assignment Writer Amanda Narcisi | General Assignment Writer

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Cover Image: Greg Sciulli | www.gregburgh.com

www.local-pittsburgh @localpittsburgh @local_pgh @LocalPittsburgh


W W W. T H E U R B A N TA P. C O M




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SOUTHSIDE F R I DAY: L AT E N I G H T H A P P Y H O U R 1 0 - 1 2 A M | Issue 16



Sean, Milvale Darnell, Wilkinsburg

GREG SCIULLI has been taking photos since his dad gave him an old film camera to use for a high school photography class. These days, as a freelance photographer, you’ll often find Greg shooting events and special occasions, old architecture, and landscapes. It wasn’t until recently that Greg started taking portraits, sometimes commissioned but sometimes just for fun. “I enjoy taking portraits. I see them as an opportunity to meet and interact with new people, to learn about their lives and interests, to capture their different moods and personalities. I like that photography brings me to these people that I otherwise would never have met.” Greg is a native Pittsburgher. He currently lives on the North Side with his partner and furry pets. To see more of his work, visit gregburgh.com.

Amos, Perry South

Naomi, Wilkinsburg

Rene, Bloomfield

Karlee, Strip District

John, Strip District

Dylan, Bloomfield

Lou, Highland Park | Issue 16


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with photographer greg sciulli

the state of music in 2017

9 SPOKEN WORD transcend with karon

13 PLATES some of the area’s breakfast masters

17 ROOKIE MOM new mom in the city

20 MARTA ON THE MOVE traveling out of your comfort zone

23 HOLY FAMILY pittsburgh’s best kept secret

28 HYPER LOCAL JOURNALISM how do you obtain your news?

33 MONMADE MAKERS creating meaningful manufacturing

36 GRAFFITI ARTIST with Jerome Charles + Max Gonzales

42 SMALL BUSINESS shop small + local all year round



43 VISUAL ARTS contemporary craft reclaims space in shelter

46 DERBY PULSE the resurgence of demolition derby

51 HEALTH golden rule of weight loss: caloric deficit


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BENEDUM TREES BLDG 2 2 3 4T H AV E N U E P IT TS B U R G H 1 5 2 2 2



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It’s been a minute since I’ve touched pen to paper transmitting my conscious before reality on my brain forges a taper restricting me on what is possible and logical dreams never considered because they were considered implausible I made the decision to be joyous in my daily grind refusing to accept mediocrity when I find myself in a bind commanded since youth my life was almost written in stone excelled in school, built powerful tools just to be another corporate drone Clockwork, passionless wealth Pockets so deep while my mind wasn’t breached! Unfulfilled existence rather purposeful strife this is what I used to call my daily life Emails and notes, templates and quotes just following the herd as the young goat awarded with a small grass patch of the acred pie promised rewards of a greater slice – granted I complied Plato’s cave redesigned bound by money and material goods, I was blind the shadows that existed at the exit were those who chose the path in which currently I reside no longer afraid of lack of security or feeling the need to hide those who are unprepared scrambled back to the darkness and rebound their chains ignorance is bliss and it’s a goddamn shame my mission is to bring people to the light of being selfaware know what you’re dope at and create that in the world without a care true success is happiness and not one regret because we only have one life to live, there is no reset.



A New York City native, Karon originally came to Pittsburgh to complete his B.S. in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Karon worked for Time Warner Inc back in New York as a Cybersecurity Analyst. The job provided wonderful pay, incredible benefits and a great community of employees to work with. However, he was still unhappy because he knew what his real life’s mission was: helping others through fitness. Karon’s passion for fitness began after he completed the challenging Insanity program created by ShaunT. It awoke a dormant fitness enthusiast that would shape the next 4 years of his life. So after applying and being accepted to the University of Pittsburgh for the Master’s program in Health and Physical Activity, Karon took a leap of faith and quit his job to pursue his dream. When he’s not writing spoken word pieces he’s a personal trainer, professional dancer and group exercise instructor doing what he loves.

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2017 E CARSON ST, SOUTHSIDE (412) 251-0558


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Pear and the Pickle


Photography By Vanessa Song

If you’re brave enough to manage one of the steepest streets in Pittsburgh, then your reward can be the breakfast served at the Pear and the Pickle. Also, the market here serves the Troy Hill neighborhood and surrounding area well. www.pearandpickle.com

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Waffles, INCaffeinated With 3 locations to choose from; Waffles, INCaffeinated has got you covered for your waffles fix, plus toppings galore to satisfy any craving. Nutella, anyone? www.wafflesincaffeinated.com

Scratch Mixing the old with the new, Scratch serves up great meals without all of the fuss. Take in a different vantage point of Pittsburgh while traveling to Troy Hill. www.scratchfoodbev.com


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Cafe Raymond Located in the Strip District, Cafe Raymond serves homemade breakfasts all day, along with their signature salads and sandwiches for the lunch crowd. www.caferaymond.com

Geppetto Cafe While known for their crepes, Geppetto Cafe also has a wide selection of menu items to choose from. While you’re strolling through Lawrenceville, make sure to stop in and grab a bite! www.geppettocafe.com

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b blog



Two months on the job qualifies me to write a piece on being a new mom, doesn’t it? I hope so because I have determined that my approach to motherhood can be summated in three of my favorite movie quotes. Yup. I am that simple.

“I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.” -Mean Girls If you take this idea slightly out of that context and put the Pittsburgh spin on it, I think that it is perfectly alright to want to be “cool.” To me, being a “cool mom” is knowing where to get cool baby gear, toys, and books in this city; knowing how to keep my cool in this traffic; and knowing which shoes are cool enough to wear on our mother/son adventures.

Heidi Balas is a regular contributor for LOCALpittsburgh, and brings her own brand of perspectives to Pittsburgh at www.thesteeltrap.net.

Some of my favorite places with unique and fun baby items in Pittsburgh are Kards Unlimited and The Picket Fence in Shadyside, and Wild Card and Brambler Boutique in Lawrenceville. And of course, you must get some hometown duds for your baby at Steel City! As for traffic, it is so important to find ways to remain calm when this city’s roadways jam unexpectedly and construction remains perpetual. It was one thing when it was just me in the car, but now that there’s a bambino in the backseat who could lose his cool at any

moment too, it’s so important to know shortcuts around the parkway and to know some soothing songs. “American Pie” is my go-to soothing song, not only because it’s pleasant on the ears, but it’s a quintessential sing-along song. Lastly, being a “cool mom” means having the right shoes to be-bop around town. You know, something trendy but not obnoxious, comfortable but not Crocs, something that transitions from the streets of Shadyside to Lawrenceville. Seems easy, right? Um, no. My first pair of mom shoes was purchased only after many snapchats seeking opinions, and a few laps around several stores. So if you see me rocking my new Keds jersey-knit boat shoes while pushing my stroller, just smile and agree with me, okay? I’m a cool mom.

“Look at you, you have a baby… in a bar.” -Sweet Home Alabama When I had my son, I declared that I wouldn’t limit our culinary experiences to chains in the suburbs just because they had a kid-friendly menu and crayons. Not that he’s eating chicken fingers and french fries yet, but still. A foodie like myself cannot survive without trying new places and visiting old favorites regularly. And who better to be my sidekick than my son? Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not taking

him to places that aren’t appropriate with white table cloths and a relatively quiet atmosphere, because that would be ridiculous. However, the good news is that more and more casual and foodie-centric places have highchairs and slings for baby carriers; better yet, several have provided me with warm water to make my son a bottle. His first restaurant was Tessaro’s, and he’s already experienced Eighty Acres, Acorn, Mad Mex, Rudy’s Subs, The Yard, Franktuary, and Millie’s (twice!). And yes, he’s been in a bar… well, Narcisi Winery if we are getting specific.

“Just keep swimming!” -Finding Nemo So no, we are not slowing down! Every day is a new adventure for us in Pittsburgh and motherhood has added a layer of excitement to it all. Maternity leave had afforded me with ample time to introduce Lincoln to this city and we plan to “just keep swimming!” Right now we are reading a Moby Dickinspired board book that we picked up at Brambler Boutique to prepare for brunch at or, The Whale! Therefore, despite being a rookie at this, I feel confident that Pittsburgh is the perfect place to be a new and “cool mom,” and that my son is reaping the benefits every day! | Issue 16


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Pittsburgh born and raised, I experienced much of what I assume is the typical life of a young adult and teenager: high school, local college and graduation. Then suddenly, I was considered an adult. It was terrifying to me personally, all at once facing the world. I kept seeing the headline flash in front of my brain - Feel free to choose a job that will define you for the rest of your life. Unless you are someone who has magically known what they wanted to do from a young age (I envy these folk), you struggle like the rest of us. The cherry on top of this cake is that I had a terrible break up right after college. I felt broken and displaced. I could not even fathom the thought of getting a job, and that just scared me even more. It all seemed so mundane and terrifying at the same time, and I quickly felt the need to get out of my own skin a bit, to do something daring, spontaneous, and scary. I had never traveled out of the States, and having had a fear of flying, that seemed to be the right direction to lean. From a young age, I had always dreamt of becoming Indiana Jones, and at that moment, I felt as though it was not out of my reach to search for archaeological projects out in the world that I might be able to join. I found one, written in Italian, on the fifth page of search results. Translated, it simply read “Volunteers needed in Sicily for a tomb excavation”. It seemed too good to be true. Things escalated quickly after that, and I submitted a wire transfer, feeling all the while like a spy. I booked my airline tickets and prepared myself for my adventure. After completing all of my preparations, the thought occurred to me that I hadn’t told my parents yet, and I’d made all of these plans under their roof! Needless to say, they were shocked

and slightly frightened for me, but they allowed me to chase this dream. Not long after, I was boarding plane one of four to get to my destination. After a full day of travel, including a three-hour bus ride, I arrived to meet my contact (this was before smart phones, mind you) in a very small town no one had ever heard of called Campobello Di Licata in the South of Sicily. From there, it was a whirlwind of adventure as I met my fellow volunteers from around the world, and we excavated tombs from the Byzantine Empire. Listen, sometimes you need that vacation lounging by a pool, sipping a cocktail and relaxing. Other times, you may want to learn something new, get your hands dirty, and really sink your teeth into the place you are going by donating your time to work alongside the locals. This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It stretched my limits, molded my character, and left me wanting more. What haven’t I seen yet? Who have I not yet met? I forged friendships across the globe that I still treasure to this day. The cultural differences that were a part of every person I met on that trip only made my resolve stronger to learn about different walks of life. I urge everyone I meet to do the same. “Cut the cord of comfort,” I always say. Book that trip and go somewhere you haven’t been before, and I promise you will come home with a new viewpoint that will leave you wanting more. I continue to travel alone, bringing memories and experiences home with me. They last a lifetime, providing fuel for each new adventure. The second excursion happened to be to France, but that’s another story...

Marta On The Move has been featured in NY Media- The Vanguard as a trailblazing women in media, NEXTPittsburgh, Pittsburgh City Paper, KDKA, Star 100.7, Empowering Women’s Radio, Huffington Post, and Eyetique’s Celebrities of Pittsburgh. Voted a Rockin Podcast on Libsyn 2015, and Pittsburgh City Paper’s Best Of The Burgh 2016. Guests of the show have included- Alec Baldwin, Patrick Wilson, Kellee Maize, Peter Max, and Luis Von Ahn. Marta On The Move.com Twitter - @icantfindmarta Instagram - @martaonthemovepodcast

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Happy Holidays from Hal’s Staff!


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Holy Family Academy Pittsburgh’s Best Kept Secret Written By Katie Speers Photos By John Altdorfer The sight of watching kids go back to school in the fall brings a nostalgic feeling to me. Whether it is the sea of blue and tan uniforms running through the school doors, the yellow busses on the streets or perhaps the �irst signs of crisp fall mornings, I enjoy the return to a routine knowing the promises that a solid education will provide to our next generations. Perhaps it is because my mother was an English teacher or because I now take pride in watching my two sons grow intellectually and emotionally as they move from grade to grade, but education inspires me.

While driving to visit Holy Family Academy (HFA) last month, the same enthusiasm �illed my mind. What I did not expect though when I arrived was the innovative education environment I was about to encounter. When classes changed and the �lurry of activity began, I could see that something about this school was unique. Maybe it was the sense of family that I felt as I witnessed the students, faculty and adminis-

tration talk and laugh or the pride that I could see in the hand-painted stairs and student artwork, but in a few brief moments it was evident to me that the whole community is engaged.

Holy Family Academy is af�iliated with Holy Family Institute, a 116year- old human services agency. Both Holy Family Institute and Holy Family Academy are ministries of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. Sr. Linda Yankoski, Holy Family Board President and CEO of Holy Family Institute, recognized that although the Pittsburgh region has a myriad of options in terms of educational choices, many of these choices are still prohibitive to some students based upon socioeconomic factors that are often beyond

their control or �inancially unobtainable. This underrepresentation puts these students at risk of either dropping out of the system or just passing through with little hope of professional success upon graduation. The school also discovered that there is a large employment gap in

the region in terms of workers with 21 st century skills and that Pittsburgh’s aging workforce only increases the problem. There was clearly a need for a school to meet these needs.

Holy Family Academy was founded with a mission to provide affordable, individualized education to a diverse student body. The basic values, beliefs, and principles that guide HFA are rooted in the Catholic tradition, but all faiths are welcome. The concepts of oneness with others and social justice are emphasized through project-based learning and by visiting historical locations throughout the city. Holy Family Institute believes that no student should be refused due to lack of funding and 95% of their students receive some form of �inancial aid. The long-term goal is to provide the students with

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Photos By John Altdorfer

a pathway to career readiness and ultimately personal and professional success based upon the goals they have de�ined through their educational experience.

The school has a 7:1 student to teacher ratio, represents 25 zip codes and has 15 clubs and activities. It works with 54 work study partners and serves as a regional catalyst connecting students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers through cross-sector collaborations and internships. Starting in their freshman year, students begin getting practical workplace experience by working one full day a week at more than 70 of Pittsburgh’s top employers. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, Ph.D, Holy Family’s Head of School explained the need for experiential learning by stating that, “We are preparing students today for jobs that do not yet exist. What they really need are transferable skills.” Often referred to as softskills, these students are learning the basics of succeeding in the workplace like communication skills, teamwork 24

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and punctuality. Each consecutive year students work with HFA advisors who help them to hone their career interests and select new internship sites to de�ine their post-graduationgoals. By senior year students’ after noons are almost 100% customized to their career path.

As a professional who spent 15+ years working in higher education career placement, I witnessed the value that experiential learning offered to recent college graduates. Not only-did it bring value on paper or in a can didate’s portfolio, but it brought the con�idence that only hard-work, trial and error, and, yes, sometimes failure can bring. Likewise, the students at Holy Family Academy are experienc ing this lesson by learning how to ride a bus to work, take direction from su pervisors, and explore different work environments. As senior Zion Moore stated, “It’s not like our hands are being held, we are being pushed. The school has all of the keys so there can’t be any doors that we can’t open.”

LOCALpittsburgh will be covering Zion and other upcoming graduates of Holy Family Academy as they complete their �inal year of high school. Stay connected to our web editions in the coming months. If you want to learn more about the school, go to www.hfa-pgh.org for more information.

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hyper local

n news

JOURNALISM By Chelsea Leber

The way in which people obtain their news has been on a constant and steady shift. While television is still the main way most Americans get their news, many are relying on the internet and social media to deliver it to them. However, the decline of certain news media doesn’t mean a disinterest in worldly and local events. With the emergence of social media and personal blogs, people have new ways to access information, giving them the means to be more educated. Hyperlocal journalism fills the gap many news organizations often overlook, while utilizing resources the average blogger cannot. Pittsburgh is lucky to have several microlocal sites and online zines that each focus on unique content that takes traditional news a step further in reaching readers on a new level. 28

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means writing about everything from City Council to self-driving cars to restaurants’ new drinks,” Belculfine said. “Our writers don’t have traditional ‘beats’ so they have a lot of freedom when selecting stories. That said, we don’t cover everything. We curate what people need to know today and then focus on what Pittsburghers need.” Much like other online news publications, The Incline utilizes their website, social media, and newsletters to reach its readers. However, what really sets them apart from the crowd is their monthly events targeted to not only engaging their readers, but giving recognition to notable Pittsburghers for their achievements.

Pittsburgh Today is an ongoing project that takes an in-depth look at Pittsburgh compared to other regions. Their site couples narrative with statistical data in an accessible way to both engage and inform readers. “The more informed people are, the better decisions they make,” Jeffery Fraser, senior editor at Pittsburgh Today, said. “We believe telling a story, rather than simply reporting data, is a more effective way of reaching people and helping them understand complex issues.” The website is broken down into different categories, or indicators, which are chosen by experts specializing in each topic.

“We post hundreds of data sets on key indicators ranging from the economy and public safety to the environment and arts and culture,” Fraser said. “We benchmark that data against other regions in the country to show where southwestern Pennsylvania stands.”

As for the future, Fraser says Pittsburgh Today will continue to evolve as the need grows for in-depth reporting on issues that impact Southwestern Pennsylvania. “Pittsburgh Today will continue to be a portal for data that serves as a milestone for progress,” Fraser said. “While our approach has and will likely continue to evolve, the goal remains the same: to be a trusted source for understanding Southwestern Pennsylvania, where we stand now and where we’re heading.”

“Each month we celebrate under-40 leaders in different fields through our Who’s Next series and happy hours,” Belculfine said. “It’s a chance to highlight young Pittsburghers making the city a better place and a chance for others in their field to network with tomorrow’s leaders.” Another news source breaking away from the traditional means of reporting in order to ensure Pittsburghers are kept up to date with information major news sources may have missed is BOLD Pittsburgh. Amanda Cooney, senior editor at BOLD Pittsburgh, says their website strives to be the one-stop shop for all things

Pittsburgh, while chief editor Amanda Narcisi thinks BOLD is unique because it offers a variety of different topics. “When a reader comes to BOLD they can find out where to have dinner that night as well as a cupcake recipe for the office the next day,” Narcisi said. BOLD also has a podcast, BOLD Nights Out, where they can incorporate their goals into a more unique setting. “We realized not everyone enjoys reading a blog or a magazine, but they enjoy talk radio,” Narcisi said. “We recently added a he said/she said portion to the podcast. People can send us dating questions and we answer in our own fun, more yinzer way.” The future for BOLD looks bold as Narcisi says they plan on moving their podcast into a studio with live video, as well as an array of different creative ventures. “We hope to be expanding our online store with cookbooks, BOLD Pittsburgh merchandise, photography, and other fun Pittsburgh items,” Narcisi said. “Our blog will continue to grow as the city does.” As the city grows, so does the need for reporting that focuses on the human beings affected by said growth. PublicSource, a non-partisan organization that officially obtained its

While Pittsburgh Today takes an in-depth look at where Pittsburgh is on a statistical level, The Incline has its finger on the pulse of Pittsburgh news. Lexi Belculfine, editor of The Incline, says that their editorial team is always looking for stories that other journalists aren’t covering. “The Incline helps readers be better Pittsburghers, and that | Issue 16


non-profit status two years ago, has been delivering investigative stories which examine news in a context they feel other outlets can’t provide. “We aren’t reacting to the news of the day and we take nothing at face value,” Halle Stockton, managing editor at PublicSource, said. “We’re exploring complex issues that affect people in all aspects of their lives.” Stockton says PublicSource approaches stories in a human-centered way which strives to not only share powerful stories, but to seek information Pittsburgh resident deserve to know. “We tell stories to inform and engage everyone from our local youth to the policymakers,” Stockton said. “We focus on exposing inequities here in Pittsburgh as well as the opportunities available to disrupt systematic oppression.” PublicSource also hosts Citizen’s Toolkit workshops where they focus

on equipping the public with the tools necessary to learn about their communities. They’ve also hosted well known speakers like J.D. Vance and April Ryan to speak about issues that reflect the current events of the world. “The PublicSource team regularly discusses who are the national thought leaders on issues that Pittsburgh is facing, so we can be a component in bringing innovation and solutions to the area,” Stockton said. As for the Pittsburgh community, Stockton feels PublicSource is an indispensable resource for educating the public on important issues they may not get proper coverage of from other news sources. “We take them to places and into communities they may never have or couldn’t venture themselves, and we educate them about it in a way that captures the imagination and stokes ideas for positive action, Stockton said. “We tell stories for a better Pittsburgh.”



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Jerome Charles and Max Gonzales

GRAFFITI ARTISTS Being both a Mexican American and a member of the LGBTQ community, Max explores both racism and social activism in his works. Written By Nicholas Manning

have a pool of admirers. Oddly enough, for Jerome Charles and Max Gonzales, this was their very predicament. They garnered a solid fan base but the eyes watching their art the most belonged to members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. This was the truth for Jerome and Max not because they are masters at criminal suspect sketches, but because these two artists were once the city’s most wanted

energy and collaborate together. “We aren’t done, we are still participating in Pittsburgh’s artistic community, but now we are providing our art in a new format,” said Jerome.

that he is Latino. For these reasons, Max seems to use his platform to generate political conversations on an array of topics from

From the sides of buildings to the fronts of canvases, their art is more accessible now that is being featured inside of local galleries instead of on nearby street corners. Each with his own style and voice, Jerome and Max have learned how to balance and complement one another.

“I make artwork that is responsive to my experiences.”

Identifying themselves as “Chu” and “Gems,” Jerome and Max anonymously tagged multiple buildings and public structures throughout the East End, and inevitably were prosecuted for criminal mischief. However, the duo did not abandon their craft after getting caught by the city’s In fact, after negotiating their consequences with the police, Jerome and Max decided to redirect their creative

“I make artwork that is responsive to my experiences,” explained Max. Being both a Mexican American and a member of the LGBTQ community, Max explores both racism and social activism in his works. Having lighter skin than that of his father and brother, Max shared that because he is what he calls “white passing,” he’s typically hit by discreet racism from his acquaintances once he reveals

32 Magazine / September 2012 36

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rgh city Police Max: photo by Pittsbu

white privilege, to the incarceration system and even society’s classical and ent reaction from his viewers. Describing his own aesthetic, Jerome said, “I don’t think in that headspace my work is lighthearted and makes people in my community smile.” On one hand, Jerome’s works ooze with cartoon animation and well known pop culture references, while on the other, they also imaginatively document his personal growth as a human and as a gay man. “I am naively blissful my art is shocking, but not aggressive,” commented Jerome.

VISIT ON THE WEB maxemilianogonzales.com


Generating the interest of audiences and the respect of fellow artists, Jerome and Max have had numerous positive experiences since they reinvented the way in which they present their art to the world. “We want our work to be reachable to the people that inspire the very art itself.” Doing just this, Jerome has had solo showings at Remedy Bar, Boom Concepts, and the Ace Hotel where as the Artist in Residence, he transformed an all white hotel room into an intricately tagged and interactive piece of art. From a collaborative point of view, Jerome and Max had a highly successful

joint event at Carnegie Mellon’s Frame Printing in Wilkinsburg on December Gallery, which normally hosts student 22nd. At the end of the day, learning to work only. Instead, this event featured collaborate and bring grafti to the masstheir own pieces alongside the works es has not been the only lesson learned of twenty four other local grafti and by these grafti writers turned gallery tattoo artists. To their headliners. Both h rg bu ts surprise, on Jerome and Max Pit at th is pe ho “Our opening night have a moral to galleries will continue to share: “Don’t do in May, over 400 tists, bad stuf.” And guests attended represent all types of ar the reception. while these four not just those within the Keeping up with simple words the momentum seem quite clifine art world,” that their art is che, Jerome and creating, Jerome and Max are currently Max have made them into an anthem. putting together their newest exhibit They keep Jerome from making impulthat will be showcased at Color Perfect sive choices with negative outcomes,

and they remind Max that society quickly labels so many things as “bad,” when often these things aren’t really “bad” at all. In other words, “Grafti is only a crime when you place more value on property than on human life,” said Max.Whether from their own arrests or from their intriguing pieces of art, these artists have gained undeniable notoriety. Luckily though, their humility is what’s even better than their newfound recognition. “Our hope is that Pittsburgh galleries will continue to represent all types of artists, Jerome and Max conclude.

Magazine / September 2012

33 | Issue 16



A Year in Music

The State of the Union...

(AMONGST OTHER THINGS) By: Amanda Roszkowski

(AND THE STATE OF MUSIC IN 2017) It’s been a year to say the least… and not only in music. A controversial election, alarming cabinet appointments, a major Oscar mishap and a troublesome ransomware attack, to name a few. But, in the music world, there has been a lot of highs and lows as well. Adele swept the Grammy’s with five wins, with Chance the Rapper close behind winning the award for “Best New Artist” and two more. LCD Soundsystem announced the release of their first album in seven years, American Dream released on September 1st. They’ve already dropped two tracks “Call the Police” and “American Dream,” and started touring the festival circuit in July quenching fans undeniable thirst for the first LCD music released since the band reunited in 2015. Then again, 2017 has also shaped up to be as much a “year the music died” as 2016 was (i.e., Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince). With two great front men taking their own lives, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and more recently, Linkin Park’s Chester Pennington, the world has been robbed of two undeniable talents this year.

In the past, music was indisputably a main medium of protest, with the likes of Bob Dylan (“The Times They Are A-Changin”) and Edwin Starr (“War”) writing songs about the Vietnam War. Bands like The Sex Pistols and the Minutemen lead political messages against corporate society and right wing government during the punk movement. So, with the political and societal unrest going on, many expected a sudden influx of this type of protest music in 2017. But, that just wasn’t the case. In the day and age of blogging and social media, there are now many more mediums for people to voice their opinions and criticisms, and music as a protest medium has been diluted. Possibly contributing to this dissolution of music protest movement and its impact, is the continuing disintegration of the full-length album release. With music dropping as EPs on Spotify and iTunes in a “drip-like” fashion, the full-length album release is slowly but surely going away. This change has presented undeniable opportunities for artists and more independent music, allowing them to get out from behind the shadow of corporate label releases so they can more easily fashion, write and produce their own tracks, or make a name for themselves despite the fact they didn’t sign with a major music

name. Still, some of the impact is lost in the decline of the release of a fulllength album as it allows the artist to tell a full-length story, to get across a message through several songs. Of course there are still a few artists who are using still using the fulllength album with the purpose to tell an impactful story about what is going on in the country. In Chance the Rapper’s latest album Coloring Book, he talks about how faith can be a healing force in Chicago’s current socio-economic environment. Gov’t Mule’s new album, Revolution Come… Revolution Go, which released in June, boasts songs like “Stone Cold Rage,” compiled and recorded on Election Day and depicting the political divide in our country and need for us to work together, not apart. Mule front man Warren Haynes told Rolling Stone, the album’s politically tinged title is no accident. Yet it’s clear the days of music as a protest movement (a’ la the days of Woodstock) have passed and it was no more evident than during a time of such political and socioeconomic strife as in the past several months, when a musical movement was expected, yet didn’t occur. On a lighter note, let’s review some of the best albums of 2017 so far and learn about up and coming artist and Maryland native, Kenton Dunson.

Best Albums of 2017

(SO FAR... IN OUR OPINION) KENDRICK LAMAR – DAMN While 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly had Lamar leaving the rap world behind to create music focused on race and self-consciousness in late-capitalist America, DAMN is a return to mainstream rap, but on Lamar’s terms. This means guests like Bono and Mike Will Made-it with only one real guest rapper, Rihanna. More importantly though, DAMN shows Kendrick Lamar presenting a new reality, where one of rap’s most gifted and unique minds is also its biggest star, but on his own terms and in the context of 2017 rap.

JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT – THE NASHVILLE SOUND The former member of the Drive-By Truckers, wowed DBT and new fans alike with the release of 2015’s Something More Than Free where he echoed his Drive-By Truckers days by incorporating more straight-up rock into his sound, which has also been the hook with his latest album, The Nashville Sound. Inspired by his move five years ago from Alabama to Nashville, the album is influenced by everything from America’s cultural divide to Isbell’s young daughter, and breathes humanity and honesty to each of the 10 tracks.

CHARLY BLISS – GUPPY The influx of Brooklyn bands all started to sound the same, like a manufactured garage-band rock movement. But, Charly Bliss and their debut album are a diamond in the rough. The band’s giant, punchy guitar riffs, gritty storytelling and Eva Hendrick’s unmatched vocals, is set to inspire a movement of copycats, but for now we’re just thrilled for this album and has restored our faith in basement-bred rock n’ roll.

SPOON – HOT THOUGHTS Spoon has been able to constantly achieve what other bands have only hoped to achieve, consistency of sound, while continually experiencing with new synths and grooves. Hot Thoughts is no exception. Somewhat robotic, somewhat psychedelic, yet ghostly and poppy with tracks like “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “Pink Up,” this is a don’t miss album of 2017.

LORDE - MELODRAMA Just like on her album, Pure Heroine, Lorde expertly is able to capture the human emotional state like no other. Melodrama is Lorde’s study of being a young woman finding her own conviction in unsteady circumstances, including a breakup, being single, partying, etc. Her second album conveys what it’s like to be a young woman with a sense of grief and profligacy, but with an intelligent wisdom wise beyond her years. For instance, the track “Fluorescent” masterfully captures what it feels like to be in love for the first time. You’ll be wondering if this is her first time being a teenager, because she seems to understand these notoriously emotionally tumultuous years like a seasoned veteran.

VINCE STAPLES – BIG FISH THEORY On his sophomore album, Staples teams with producers SOPHIE, Jimmy Edgar, and Flume. But his eye for detail and observational skills remain intact. The already notoriously not shy artist has plenty to talk about on his second album. In Big Fish Theory, Vince examines the fragile rap ecosystem and ponders on how “rappers are perceived and perceive themselves.” However, it’s not the undertones or musings that shape the album, but the tempo, manic energy along with fractured verses and boldness, making this club-rap album a frenzied adventure.

VAGABON - INFINITE WORLDS Vagabon or Lætitia Tamko could have pursued a career in computer programming, but we’re happy she decided to instead pursue the role of full-time musician. She is able to capture feelings of apprehension, loneliness, and self-doubt through her strategic lyrics and mesmerizing vocals.

JULIE BYRNE – NOT EVEN HAPPINESS After traveling the world, Julie went back to her childhood home to new songs, pulling from her world experiences and the liveliness of the world around her. The result is a compilation of heartfelt, thoughtful and gentle folk songs that pull at your heartstrings.

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In Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers, Gladwell talks about how it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. This concept was the inspiration behind Kenton Dunson’s latest track appropriately titled “10,000 Hours” which dropped on Spotify April 11th. The track was immediately picked up as one of Spotify’s #FreshFinds. In the music world, there tends to be an un-vocalized, yet universal respect for those artists that continue to trudge on and do their own thing. Kenton Dunson is undeniably one of them. When I first interviewed Kenton last February, I was inspired by his story of how he got into music. Humble and more concerned about the integrity of his message, when speaking to Kenton this time around, he asked me to not mention this story, saying it had been overplayed in his journey towards success. Still, I feel it is integral to show the type of person and subsequently, type of artist that Kenton is.



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The first to go to college in his family, Dunson was working at a well-known, reputable financial firm when he decided, to be happy, he needed to pursue his dream. He quit his job, rented a room at the Homewood Suites in Inner Harbor Baltimore for two weeks, and recorded his first album. The road since hasn’t always romantic or glamorous, and sometimes it’s been downright scary. Originally, “10,000 Hours” was supposed to be released with several others in what would be Kenton’s next album, “Overthinking.” However, a recent health scare dramatically altered the direction he decided to take with not only this album, but his music in general. Only 32, Kenton found himself unexpectedly in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Near death, he was faced with a gripping fear that he had all this music to release, but wouldn’t get to share it. This experience changed his perception of how he should be releasing music, that he needed to stop “overthinking” it and just release his music before it was too late. After undergoing successful treatment in the hospital and coming out the other side, Dunson got right back into developing and recording tracks begun dropping songs immediately, the first being “10,000 Hours.” He had previously planned on dropping each track on the album, one by one, but since his scare, he had abandoned the notion they all needed to come out together, as part of a larger and cohesive full-length album.

He says he realized that although the same risk he took when leaving his career in finance to pursue a music career, was the same leap of faith he needed to start taking with his sound. He had spent all this time putting so much thought into his music, wanting to make it perfect, but what he really needed to do was just let the music flow. A friend even told him to “stop overthinking it, just start dropping it,” about any future tracks he planned on putting out. The week of July 17th, Dunson celebrated his 33rd birthday and the drop of his much awaited track “Whiskey & Women.” The track is an honest account of how his two favorite things almost crippled his focus, now available on Soundcloud. “What I love about the last true rock stars - they let their freak flag fly and let people express things that they wouldn’t always be able to identify with,” says Dunson. “When I started out, I had people telling me to rap this, do this and now I’ve moved on more independently. If you are left with yourself and you’ve sacrificed so much, why not be yourself?” These are profound words laden of the wisdom it takes some artists years to learn. Part of this wisdom can also be accredited to him having the right people around him, those who kept him honest and true to himself. When he was being molded early on by a record label promising him fame and fortune, he had that same tight knit group of people pull him aside to make sure he was being true to himself and that this was really what he wanted to do. He explains, “You need a lot of people around you, you can trust - it’s stupid people want to do the hip hop world now and just want to go with the flow because they’re around those people.” Instead, Kenton had people there to check him - it’s about touching people, providing value to the people, because all this shit is here and gone - kids think people own radio because they’re good and that’s just not the case. Artists he respects that have stayed true to themselves include Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z and Erika Badhu. There’s no doubt he’s on his way to earning a spot amongst these artists he respects so much.



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a ctiv is m and a r t :

Contemporary Craft Reclaims Space in Shelter:

By: Onastasia Youssef


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Any important contemporary art show attempts to tackle the big issues: war, women’s rights, economic inequality, and the list goes on. The politicization and commodification of the human experience is crucial for artists to address, yet often are tired, forced and ultimately ineffective. The opposite is true of Contemporary Craft’s recent show Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home, which expertly explores gentrification in East Liberty, the dehumanization of the homeless in the US, the border controversy in Mexico, and the refugee crisis in the Middle East At Contemporary Craft, audience engagement goes beyond simply getting in pairs of eyes to witness lofty and forgettable art each new exhibit. Instead, it involves selecting and sharing art that connects deeply to someone’s life, and taking on exhibits that shed light on domestic violence and mental health struggles. Instead, artists express their own struggles and use the art as an avenue for healing. Marketing Manager Stephanie Sun told us, “We see artwork as a way to help people to heal through these traumatic experiences, start sharing stories, to start talking because when you’re starting to speak to other people about your issue, you’re really starting to have a chance for healing and to break the stigma with these types of issues.”

In Shelter, the team at Contemporary Craft put out a call for artists all around the world and were able to find artists both from all around the world and from right here in Pittsburgh. They also reached out to local organizations to come table each Saturday, including ACTION-Housing and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, to connect guests with groups who can help provide creative solutions on displacement and hosted events with experts, such as The Space Between which featured investigative journalist Douglas Heuck and advocate Giselle Fetterman. Even if you visit on a day where there are no visiting guest speakers or organizations, the exhibit itself will speak to you. It is impossible in Shelter to simply glance over one piece and move to the next. Each demands your attention.

In East of Liberty, video artist Chris Ivey interviewed local residents and filmed protests regarding the redevelopment and gentrification in various neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. As you watch the film play, you sit on an alltoo plush sofa and watch TV, reminded of your privilege and slowly becoming discomforted as you read the evocative signs behind the television and listen to the voices of rightfully enraged community members. Demitra Thomloudis, an artist from Houston, created the Houston Yellow Tape Project in which she explores the destruction of buildings in her hometown, where - in the space of only an hour - a perfectly good structure can be reduced to mere rubble. She questions the practicality of such redevelopment and its purpose by transforming doorknobs, handrails, insulation form and other objects that she rescued from these sites into jewelry, offering the beauty of the memory of these lived spaces people once called home into objects that can once again be worn and cherished.

One Nation Underground is an evocative mixed media work by Consuelo Underwood on the issue of border control, featuring the flags of both Mexico and the United States imposed one over the other as a barbed wire Rio Grande etches its way across the giant work and the patterns of blooming flowers spread across the image. “Border is definitely a manmade thing,” Sun remarked as she looked at the piece. “Nature has no notion of border… and a river, a path you use for

access, is now being barbed and blocked by people.” Three works by Seth Clark, one of Pittsburgh’s best contemporary artists, are also featured in Shelter, exploring the deconstruction of buildings. His pieces include Mass II, a larger-than-life canvas with paint, wallpaper swatches and more creating a mass of broken homes. In each work, he gives strange life and character to each building, and provokes the viewer to think about the attention and care we give to the spaces in which we live. Most visually striking is Kathryn Clark’s two embroidered works, The Ancient City of Aleppo and By Sea (The Aegean). The layered works give a historic quality and old-fashioned museum style sense of awe to the subjects depicted through maps and needlepoint, purposefully distancing audiences at first from political controversy, until they look at the missiles woven into the works and the red lines marking refugee paths. Coincidentally, Pittsburgh artist ROY, also featured in the exhibit, had started an organization called Midnight Helpers to aid refugees by sending suitcases full of food and other goods to the island of Chios, also featured in Clark’s By Sea. In ROY’s work Help, she created metal tambourines that included the words from text messages refugees and cardboard signs purchased from the homeless, creating small mobile musicmakers to give voice to those who are often silenced by divisive politics and the unspoken rules of the street.

Other highlights include Charity White’s public installation project Prescriptive Space, artist and innovator Gregory Kloehn’s Homeless Homes (a small mobile home you can crawl into that is designed to provide temporary comfort and security for those who are displaced), and Round Mountain Hut by Australian artist Holly Grace.

Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home not only demonstrated the best of contemporary art in its celebration of mixed media and global appeal, but the show managed to pull you in, reclaiming not only a space for its artists, but in flstead created a whole new space for discussion that broke down borders between nations and unveiled a universality in even the most tragic of experiences. In an exhibit such as this, it would have been too easy for the subjects of these works to be given great pity from audience members. Instead, it creates a space for them to reclaim their dignity and, indeed, their humanity from a society that tried to take it from them, demanding that we who are willing to listen must be accountable for treating our fellow humans as just that.

S H E LT E R : C R A F T I N G A S A F E H O M E I S F R E E TO T H E P U B L I C A N D O P E N T H R O U G H F E B R U A RY 1 7 T H AT C O N T E M P O R A RY C R A F T I N P I T TS B U R G H ’ S S T R I P D I S T R I C T. | Issue 16 45

DERBY PULSE Pittsburgh’s own Jason Sauer, of Most Wanted in the midst of a resurgence of the Demolition Derby. Whether it began in the 1930’s or 1950’s is up for debate, but Demolition Derby found it’s place in local fairs, racetracks and anywhere local promoters could find space. It made its way to mainstream media in the 60’s on ABC’s Wide World of Sports running regularly until the early 90’s. Pittsburgh’s own Jason Sauer, of Most Wanted Fine Art, finds himself in the midst of a resurgence of the Demolition Derby. Combing his love of creating art with his passion for Demolition Derby he has made a postive impact bringing the sport awareness again. Joe Lombardi, AKA JCMolly, who has been in-


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volved in the sport of Demolition Derby since 1983, when asked about what Jason has brought to the sport said “he brings so much more color to a black and white sport; he gets kids involved and making memories for ever.” The national traveling #PghArtCar demotion tour is six years strong, and looks to be traveling to Kansas, NYC, Florida and, if possible, Italy and Russia….. stay tuned. LOCALpittsburgh interviewed Joesph Lombardi, AKA JC Mollys, a nationally known Derby Driver and enthusiast about the sport and Pittsburghs own Jason Sauer of MOST WANTED FINE ART in Garfield.

I even think if you put it on TV against NASCAR, it would beat them out in the ratings.

What is the attraction to the Derby? And how did you get started? I used to watch my friend’s dad do it so when I was 14 he gave me a chance to drive one of his cars and I was hooked from that day. It takes a very special person to be a true demo driver. Most of the fans and even some drivers don’t really know what goes on behind the making of a derby car but we do it because we love the sport.

M ostWantedFineAr t.COM

Where is the sport headed? I think that the sport has went from bone stock in the be ginning to full out modified and now going back to a super stock which is in the middle of the road. This makes for good shows, easier to build the cars, but still have great cars to compete I think that the sport grows each and every year and I even think if you put it on TV against NASCAR, it would beat them out in the rating

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makes memories forever. Personally, Jason Sauer is a good friend, there is only one Ja son and everyone wants a piece of him, so don’t wait till the last minute to get him to put some color in your life.

How do you feel about an Jason, as an artist, being involved in the national scene? Jason has really brought art and demolition derby together in a positive way. He opened up the door to so many more people and also opened up more avenues for the sport

to grow. Every derby I go to I’m always asked, “Is Jason coming?!” He is loved in the demo community because he is always willing to help anyone out no matter what. He brings so much more color to a black and white sport, he gets kids involved and

He (Jason) opened up the door to so many more people and also opened up more avenues for the sport to grow.


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h health

Here is the Golden Rule of Weight Loss: Caloric Deficit. The first step to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume, simple as that. Going off of that, your diet is the majority of the battle because you can spend as many hours as you want exercising but ultimately how you eat will reflect how you look, how you feel and the results you obtain in your journey. Nowadays there’s so many myths for weight loss. There’s products being sold on social media that not only do not work, but confuse the public on the science behind weight loss and understanding of what actually works. Let’s debunk some of these myths:

You Can Target Fat Loss On Your Body (Spot Reduction) a. You cannot control where your body loses fat from. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a picture of a fitness model with six pack abs next to a workout promising fat loss. That’s not how the body works unfortunately. Maintain that caloric deficit and in time through patience and consistent effort you will see fat loss in the areas you desire.

More Sweat = More Weight Loss

Carbohydrates Make You Fat

a. Sweat is a natural response your body triggers to maintain something called homeostasis. Think of homeostasis as your body trying to maintain balance internally and externally. When you exercise or do anything physically demanding, your body temperature increases. To compensate for this change in equilibrium, your body sweats to try and cool itself down. You lose so little weight through sweat it’s basically negligible. Also, some people just sweat more than others.

a. This is one of my favorite myths. Carbs get such a bad rep nowadays! Carbs are your body’s primary source of fuel. Your brain relies on carbs to function effectively in fact. When we exercise your body utilizes carbs to move and without them, we just don’t move as efficiently. Carbs don’t make you fat, a Caloric Surplus, or consuming more calories than you burn, makes you fat. What is true about carbs and weight gain is that a lot of excess calories typically come from processed carbs that have very little fiber but high amounts of calories leading to overconsumption. Therefore, it’s not the macronutrient itself that leads to weight gain, but the overconsumption of it that leads to weight gain.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to the Health and Physical Activity Department at the University of Pittsburgh for their feedback on the drafts of this article! For more information about the HPA department, visit their website: www.education.pitt.edu/AcademicDepartments/HealthPhysicalActivity.aspx

There Is One BEST Way To Exercise or Eat For Weight Loss a. Whether it’s a new diet or new exercise for fat loss, there’s always some new modality between these two topics promising results. However, there is NO end-all-be-all way to lose weight. What is the best way? The best way is the way that works for you, consistently. It’s the form of exercise and “diet” that you can do for the long-term. If you don’t see yourself moving this way, eating this way for a year down the line, 3 years down the line, it’s not worth it! Weight management is just as important as weight loss!

You Can Out Train a Bad Diet a. As I mentioned in the beginning, how you eat will ultimately reflect how you look, feel and perform. This means no matter how hard you grind in the gym, you cannot overpower the impact of what you eat daily. We tend to overestimate the amount of calories we burn, and underestimate the amount of calories we consume. As an experiment, track your macronutrients using the health app on your phone for two or three days. You will be shocked at the amount of excess calories you did not know you were consuming, especially if you dine out often.

The research shows that if we can adapt movement and sustainable eating to your lifestyle we will not only achieve great results, but we will be able to maintain these results. Throughout the next few months I will dive into weight loss in more detail giving you practical strategies you can use as soon as you read them to aid you in your fitness journey.

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