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An art explosion

Friday, September 05, 2003

By Mary Thomas, Post-Gazette Art Critic

The calendar's flip over to September set off the first stirrings of the fall art season. Here are events to keep you busy till the fall guide comes out next week:

Downtown, there's art by animator and electronic artist James Duesing, an associate professor at CMU's Studio for Creative Inquiry, on the Jumbotron boards at Theater Square, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "Law of Averages" is shown at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m., and "Maxwell's Demon" at noon and 2 and 4 p.m. (times approximate).

Another outdoor Cultural Trust project is the 38,000 red LED installation on the Liberty Avenue side of Wood Street Galleries, "FLOW," by Austrian-born new media artist Erwin Redl (through March 2005).

Women of Visions, a Pittsburgh-based African-American artist group, closes a successful visiting artist lecture series Saturday with mixed media sculptor Renee Stout talking at 7 p.m. on "Readers, Advisors and Storefront Churches" at The Andy Warhol Museum ($10; 412-237-8300 for directions). From 2 to 4 p.m. they host an opening reception for the exhibition "Symmetry: Voices and Images" at Foreland Street Studios, also on the North Side (through Sept. 30; 412-321-8664).

Beginning at 5 tonight at The Warhol, you can shop for hot pants at a special Pop Mart, then individualize clothing using silkscreen methods in The Evening Factory, in collaboration with retro clothing emporium Luxx ($3 cover; 412-237-8300).

The Dwell De La Espada Library, which debuted at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and was last at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, lounges at the Mattress Factory museum today through Nov. 3. This partnership of contemporary furniture and design savvy encourages visitor interaction (412-231-3169).

EAST END

The largest-effort award goes to "Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn," which flows along The Penn Avenue Corridor (4800-6000 Penn) beginning at 6 tonight in yet another mega-event combining visual and performing arts organized by the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative. Pick up a map showing locations of the dozen or so participants at Quiet Storm Coffee House -- which displays works by members of the Arts Initiative's Youth Arts Program through Sept. 28 -- (5430 Penn; 412-441-9833) or the Shadow Lounge (572 Baum Blvd.) or go to www.pennavenuearts.org. Most events are free.

It's Hot Jam night from 6 to 9 at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, with music, glass art demonstrations and the last days to catch the installation by Jill Reynolds (5472 Penn; 412-365-2145).

At Garfield Artworks, music by Shopping and performance by Sarrogit will close Heather Puskarich's and Ryan Latusick's installation from 7 to 10 p.m. (4931 Penn; 412-361-2262). Farther down the avenue, Maura Doern Danko shows "Summer Paintings" at Penn Gallery (3700 Penn), opening from 6 to 9 tonight (through Sept. 27; 412-956-4806).

In fact, the East End is hopping everywhere this weekend.

The Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh-sponsored A Fair in the Park closes the outdoor season in Mellon Park, from 1 to 7 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Several galleries are participating in Shadyside's Ellsworth Avenue First Friday ArtWalk tonight, many with new exhibitions. Abigail Franzen-Sheehan brings "biological bing bang" to Gallery in the Square, opening from 7 to 9 tonight (through Sept. 30; 412-361-3808). At Gallerie Chiz, "Cityscapes: Juxtaposition -- Competition" features scenes of Pittsburgh by David Clark and of Philly by Liz Goldberg, opening from 6 to 9 tonight (through Sept. 27; 412-441-6005). At Mendelson Gallery, Lilli June Nieland shows "Portraits and Faceted Paintings," opening tonight but with a formal reception from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow (through Sept. 27; 412-361-8664).

The fall term begins at the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, with a reception for three exhibitions from 6 to 8 tonight. Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba's "Memorial Project Vietnam" comprises two films by the Ho Chi Minh City resident: "For the Courageous, the Curious and the Cowards" and "Happy New Year -- Memorial Project Vietnam II." "Rudy Shepherd: Affirmative Actions" includes a public art collaboration with youth from a Penn Avenue Arts Initiative program. (Shepherd will give a gallery talk at 2 p.m. Saturday.) And "The Paper Sculpture Show" is an interactive exhibition for which visitors construct the works from artists' instructions (limited viewing tonight and official opening Tuesday). (through Oct. 12; 412-268-3877).

The Chatham College Art Gallery opened "Patriot Art" last night, a traveling exhibition of cartoon art "critical of the post-9/11 state of U.S. civil liberties" (through Sept. 25; 412-365-1106).

In Lawrenceville, the Pittsburgh Print Group's "Print Show" opens from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Studio K, 4027 Butler St. (through Oct. 4; 412-621-4414).

SOUTH SIDE

On the South Side, Silver Eye Center for Photography opens "A is for Aperture: Photographs by Regional Educators" -- Karen Antonelli, Charlee Brodsky, Angeliki Georgiou, Richard Hurst, Karen Kaighin, Jen Saffron, Richard Stoner and Kaoru Tohara -- from 6 to 8 tonight ($5, members free) (through Oct. 25; 412-431-1810).

Group A presents "Definition/Connotation," an exhibition of work by members and invited guests, at Brew House Space 101, opening 7-10 tonight (through Oct. 3; 412-381-7767).

OUT OF TOWN

The Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators is presenting something different in "Illustration: The Process" -- an exhibition that takes the viewer from conception to completion of an illustration -- opening from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Oakdale (through Oct. 17; 412-809-5389).

A little farther afield are a reception for and exhibition of 65 paintings by a noted senior Vermont artist at The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, and the popular annual garden party and art sale in Washington, Pa.

"Richard Schmid: A Retrospective 2003" includes portraits, still lifes and landscapes by the Chicago-born painter, described as an "artist's artist," who was awarded the John Singer Sargent Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the American Society of Portrait Artists in 2000. A reception for Schmid will be held from 7 to 9 tonight (exhibition continues through Oct. 19). For reservations, call 1-330-743-1711, ext. 117 ($35, $25 members).

The 10th anniversary "Art in the Garden," which benefits the Washington County Historical Society, will feature work by 57 regional artists -- including Ray Forquer, Mary Hamilton, Daniel Marsula, Charles Pitcher, Phil Salvato, Nat Youngblood and Rose Ziegler. The "Artist Reception" will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and will feature champagne, hors d'oeuvres and live music ($25, includes Sunday admission). "Art in the Garden," from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, is casual with live music, hors d'oeuvres and a "Kid's Korner" ($8). Tickets are available at the door or in advance at 724-225-6740.


Mary Thomas can be reached at mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.

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