Wednesday, May 4, 2016

After Work this Friday--Eat, Drink and Meet Harry @ the Pittsburgh Glass Center + Enjoy All GA/GI Festival Events @ the "Unblurred" Art Crawl on Penn Ave

Get all your best friends together for the Night of all Eco-Tech-Arts Nights!  The Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival at Unblurred on Penn Avenue IS THIS FRIDAY, MAY 6.  This is also the time to trot out your funky clothes, and fun gear. Don't be scared, this is GA/GI  Look so artistic we can't stand it--and stop by the city best galleries and eateries to enjoy a total unique mash-up of displays, demos, exhibits and music! Check out a sampling of events below or click on our events schedule above, along with a listing of eateries, so while you are getting a feast for the eyes, you can take care of your tummy, too. Our GA/GI headquarters--the PGC is hosting a Shadyside icon--Welcome to Garfield Harris Grill with your Pop up Beer Garden. This is the best way to get your GA/GI trek going. At the PGH glass Center fill up on: The Natural Formulations art Exhibition, Speak Life Storytellers spoken word installation and Harris Grill's Pop Up Beer Garden. It's all at the Pittsburgh Glass Center 5472 Penn Avenue as part of the GA/GI Festival on Penn!

@ UNBLURRED during GA/GI FEST on Penn Avenue 
(scroll down for lisitings and hours)

5504 Penn/ Robin's Nest--Local art, Daily Bling, handbags, jewelry; Featured artist:

5450 Penn Avenue/Refresh and Daily Bread/ 8 PM-?--where you buy the best skater and hip hop gear in the east! The boys are bringing in a special rap attraction to their open door stage that will raise eyebrows!

***GA/GI HQ 5472 Penn/ 5:30-9 pm /Pittsburgh Glass Center--Natural Formations exhibition. Spoken word/glass blowing/dance installation by SpeakLife Storytellers. Harris Grill Beer Garden Pop-up that features frozen Cosmos and tacos on the grill.

5467 Penn/Commonplace Coffee/open til 7 pm-- a quiet spot to converse and drink Java. A collection of art on the walls by C. Mucci.

5149 Penn/BGC Restaurant and Cafe Gallery --Voted best gyros in the 'Burgh! Also see art by local sculptor, Susan Wagner, and others.  

Penn Ave at North Pacific/Garfield Night Market--Garfield's popular Unblurred Pop-up is back with its first event of the sunny season. Good mix of Established and emerging vendors. Food and fun!

Near the Night Market at the BGC Activity Center--
Bonsai Society Pop Up Event-- 113 N. Pacific Ave...A demonstration of Bonsai care and mini exhibition of little trees, plus music on Japanese bamboo flute w/electronics by Scuillii.

5130 Penn/ Boom Concepts--A photography exhibition by Curtis Reaves on African/American Male Gender ID in Pittsburgh, PA.

5125 Penn/5-10 pm/Assemble--Meet a sound experimentation expert--Echo Lightwave Unspeakable aka Jonathan Hodges, who has 15+ years of use/misuse of electronics

.5129 Penn/ 6-9 PM/Thomas Merton Center--"In the Middle" a discussion about gentrification & Affordable Housing with Filmaker Chris Ivey.

5123 Penn/ til 9 pm /East End Thrift Store--Thomas Merton's little store of cool bargains is open for the evening with art out on the sidewalk and free range eggs on the inside

5122 Penn/Workshop Pittsburgh--Preview Party of Pittsburgh 's newest DIY space. Learn to knit, sew, crochet, paint, woodwork. silk screen, home design; pop up retail and so much more!

5111 Penn/Clay Penn-- The whimsical and the nearly magical work of Laura McLaughlin with an exhibition of nationally and internationally known artists.

5110 Penn/6-10 pm/Mostly Mod and Artica Gallery--Comic book signing for 'Free Money" author Dan McCloskey; retro finds in furniture, art, music, lamps, jewelry and collectibles.

5107 Penn/ Roboto Project--TBA

5015 Penn/ 6-11 pm/Most Wanted Fine Art--Cafe Con Leche's annual art exhibition with three nationally known Latin American artists, one who works with salvage! Great music and food.

5020 Penn/Avenue International Children's Gallery--Minimal: Richard Rappaport New Works and Water. For information call:

5006 Penn/Irma Freeman Gallery--Closing of "Witness Aleppo";Art, Photography and sounds from pre-war Syria, collected by a former heavy metal rock musician turned preserver/historian.

5001 Penn/Artisan Gallery--These nationally known tattoo artists will host artist Nicholas Volpe, a master of wood and salvage creations, whose items will be on sale to the public.

5002 Penn/ Bantha Tea Bar--Sit for Tea and conversation in a uniquely designed venue; view the art of Samm Fuchs, that hangs or stands on its own.

5005 Penn/9 pm to late/RJW Law Office and Dance Emporium--Attorney by day, Tango Master by night. Learn something of this exotic dance and culture in a very unexpected place.

4913 Penn/6-8 pm/Center for Post Natural History--Exhibit: the Domestication of the Dinosaur continues. This is the perfect time to see this renowned and amazing mini museum.

4901 Penn/Local 412 Gallery--"One Man's Trash:" a "totally radical" event! Musical artists blur the beats, music and instrumentals of 80's Hip Hop artists. Don't miss this music remixing magic.

****Festival Info Headquarters

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dinosaurs Still Rock at the Post Natural Museum

Think you know all there is to know about Dinos? Think again. A trip to the Museum of Post Natural History (4913 Penn) Opens your eyes to a whole new world, and gets you to rethinking eveything you've ever learned. But, you see, that's the whole idea. This venue is focused on nature that has been intentionally or unintentionally altered by its relationship with man. Often this means by selective breeding or genetic engineering--conditions considered "post natural." According to Wiki, the museum is dedicated to the complex interplay of culture, nature and biotechnology. Exhibits are narrated through old school telephone receivers, and a range of formats are used to tell the needed stories, which are brought to life through film, photography and taxidermy. In addition the center has an extensive online archive of artifacts, specimens and seeds. Open from 6 to 8 pm, on Friday, May 6. Bring the kids to this one....For more to see @ GA/GI Fest check our Events Schedule tab at the top of the page.
Lauren Allen and Richard Pell of CPH

Have Your Daily Bread, Refresh and Repeat @ GA/GI

Like the twin cities, these two shops  with their high energy associates, sell, design, and collaborate on just about everything, making them a unique brotherhood in the retail businesses. Daily Bread is a lifestyle brand that connects culture, style, art and music. Refresh specializes in rare sneakers and sneaker restoration. If you're into this hot look, you'll be coming back and back. They have the best street gear in the business, and throw the best parties in town. Come out for GA/GI on May 6, from 6-10 pm (performance at 8) and meet a very special hip hop artist, that is sure to surprise. And it all happens in the cool store room that opens up to the street with a stage! ID May be required.

Daily Bread and Refresh Partners

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pgh Bonsai Society Presents Blends Eco Art & Tech @ GA/GI

Bloomfield/Garfield Community Center

The Pittsburgh Bonsai Society, 59 years old, will be presenting bonsai demonstrations, and a small exhibition of their amazing "little

trees" for GA/GI visitors at the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation's Community Center (113 N. Pacific Ave) The Society offers classes, bonsai tree growing tips and how to best preserve these trees, which are for many living legends, in some cases surviving through generations. Come and learn about a beautiful art form that combines horticulture with Asian art principles.

Interior scene at BGC Community Center
This event will also feature the sounds of Steve Sciullii, a Japanese music expert, who will be preforming a set called "Plant sonification in the data garden." Steve will play the shakuhachi, a traditional bamboo flute to the sounds of plants, through electronic devices. This is a wonderful evening to learn, do and see. Bring everyone to this free, family-friendly event on Friday May 6, at GA/GI at Unblurred.  (Check on other great GA/GI events in our events schedule tab.)

That Guy Who Created FREE MONEY @ Mostly Mod & ARTIca Gallery @ GA/GI

The best way to keep up with Dan MCloskey these days is to follow his Facebook page. He was "on tour" out west where his car ran out of gas on the California border. But fortunately, GA/GI has learned that McCloskey is back in the 'Burg. He'll be on hand at MOSTLY MOD and ARTica Gallery (5110 Penn Avenue) to do comic book signings, sell a few mags and give during the Friday, May 6th Unblurred on Penn.

You may have seen, there the story on McCloskey in the Bloomfield/Garfield's March Bulletin (pg 16), and Team GA/GI was lucky to get the talented comic book titan to design the poster for the 7th annual Festival.

McCloskey, Director of Cyberpunk Apocalypse, is best known for his comic book "Free Money." He is currently working on its latest installment, which is being greatly anticipated. See him at GA/GI where he looks forward to reconnecting with his fan base. Keep checking our blog for more GA/GI news as we get it!

Mute The Stereo(types) Talks About Gender ID @ GA/GI

At Boom Concepts (5139 Penn Avenue) The exhibition: More Than Media...Mute the Stereo(types)-- is a photography showcases and celebrates same gender loving men of African descent in Pittsburgh, their positive achievements, images, and self-identities as portrayed by photographer Curtis Reaves. Project Silk's Youth Advisory Group created the title of this exhibition, expressing that we are more than what and how the media labels and profiles black men. We can mute the stereotyping.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Work from the Hands of J.R. Holtz at Spak Bros Pizza @ GA/GI

Spak Bros, just taking down their wonderful display of Pizza Poetry by students from University Prep are now gearing up for GA/GI. Since the days when self-taught. folk artist J.R. Holtz used to sit on the sidewalks to sell his art, and sweep up hair at barbershops to dress his now popular reverse glass paintings, he's had a cult following. Holtz will be showing his latest creations on the walls of Spak Brother's Pizza (5107 Penn Ave), where he's shown at least three other times. He's also been a guest of Most Wanted Fine Art on occasion and during the warmer months he can be found in Pittsburgh's strip district. GA/GI is happy to see this perennial favorite East End son back on the Spak's walls for May 6, Unblurred. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Thomas Merton Center Advances Talks on Affordable Housing as Thrift Store Celebrates 20 Years

"In the Middle" hosted by Filmmaker,Chris Ivey
Thomas Merton Center, (5123 Penn) an icon itself has an iconic Thrift store located at the heart of the Garfield arts corridor. And as Pittsburgh celebrates its 200th year,"Thrifty"--a super project of the nonprofit--is celebrating its 20th year as part of the city's business community. Open to the general public in 1993, Thrifty has worked with over 100 homeless programs to give under served families vouchers to shop for their needs free of charge. On it's anniversary, Thrifty gives thanks to its store managers and volunteers who help them assist organizations like Renewal, Sojourner House, the National Urban League and others. Normally not open in the evening, Thrifty will be open for the Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival on May 6 after their usual hours. They will open starting 10 am and stay open until 9 pm. Items will be out on the sidewalk weather permitting. Come get a recycled bargain!

Volunteer Lynne Tests some old technology
Then at 5129 Penn Avenue, Thomas Merton Center hosts "In the Middle," a discussion about gentrification and Affordable Housing. Chris Ivey, creator of the introspective film, "East of Liberty," will guild community through an exploration of race, class in the controversy arising from Pittsburgh's redevelopment.

Vol/Alice Wilson; Mgr,/Shawna Hammond; Vol,/Mig Cole; Mgr/ Shirley Gleditsch

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The "Bantha Boys" Looking to Tea You @ GA/GI @ Unblurred

Tea, not coffee, and Star Wars, not Star Trek are what inspired Brett Boye and Jack Ball to create the  Bantha Tea Bar at 5002 Penn Avenue.  It wasn't like it was an epiphany. Already associates working with the Irma Freeman Center, the two friends and Star Wars aficionados just thought there should be a cool place in Pittsburgh to sit, sip tea and have conversation. The natural thing to add to that was art.
Said Ball, "We wanted to expand on what was already happening during Unblurred on Penn; we wish more eateries would do that. You have a wall and you hang art on it. How hard is that?"  

He also sees supporting local artists as giving people another reason to visit their establishment. Newly opened, they are quickly becoming a regular gathering place for many hipsters who like the earthy vibe. Their Yelp Reviews say it all: Stumbled upon them during an art crawl, overcoming a ferocious cold and thinking I was seeing a heavenly mirage.... Love the service; if you're lucky schmooze with the teatender....Laid back atmosphere, I'll definitely be coming back!"

Wall art that becomes a table by Fuchs
The place has an appearance you will find oddly familiar and comforting, with hay embedded stucco walls and arched ceilings that give it an otherworldly appearance.With all they've done at Bantha, Boye is looking forward to doing more improvements and changes. "Actually, we're set up for change," he said, "and so many artists want shows."   Now through May, their exhibition is "By Any Means Necessary--Art by Samm Fuchs," a local artist whose current focus is to work with whatever she can get her hands on. It's on the walls now or you can see the collection of her work at Bantha Friday, May 6 during GA/GI. They'll be open until 10 pm.
The Bantha mistique

Enuff DIY for All at Workshop Pgh-- Debuts @Unblurred @ GA/GI

Kelly Malone thinks people should have more fun
GAGI gets it. Workshop was in Kelly Malone's own words "an insane idea," when she came up with it four years ago. Much like the beginnings of the Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival, there was a no business model and no idea how to do it. Still, Malone wanted to see her dream come alive---and she did it anyway (with very little money).  And the reason the concept has worked so well since the inception of the company in California, is that Malone knew a DIY shop had to inspire people and most importantly, be fun! We applaud this wonderful enterprise, who dares to boldly go where no shop has gone before.  Workshop Pgh debuts with a Preview Party and Fundraiser on May 6. Starting on May 14, they will be bringing a plethora of  one-stop DYI opps to the city, including: woodworking shows, retail pop ups, screen printing, block printing, floral making, emboriodery, home design projects, sewing, cocktail making, and justaboutaythingyoucaname making. Get the details at the newest Workshop Pgh location at 5122 Penn Avenue duirng GA/GI @ Unblurred on Friday, May 6.  And keep checking back on our blog!   

BGC OPENS Night Market!-- Supports GAGI Guest--The Pittsburgh Bonsai Society #unblurred #Pennavenue412 #open on Penn  #proud to be Penn
This spring, Penn Ave is booming!  Especially on First Fridays of each month, when people come from all over the region to visit the monthly art crawl and the retail shops, galleries, restaurants and other establishments between the blocks of 4800- 5500 in the business district at the apex of the Bloomfield/Garfield/Friendship business district. During this time, the business community transforms into one of the city's hottest cultural events--Unblurred. On Friday, May 6, The Geek Art/Green Innovator's Festival ramps up the action, inviting artists, tech wizards and Eco leaders, who might never otherwise network to join in the popular arts venue and talk face to face with John Q. Public--YOU-- about key programs, people and projects in the region.

Also part of the excitement is the Garfield Night Market, hosting its first Unblurred event the night of the May, 6th GA/GI Fest. The market, produced monthly through October by the The Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, starts at the corner of North Pacific Avenue and Penn, stretching north to Dearborn Street. There, visitors can meet vendors selling a variety of items including food, jewelry, art, clothing and other wares. This is a market that has something for everyone. For more info on Night Market including how to become a vendor visit:  or e-mail: 

PLUS... in the mix of all this awesomeness, you'll find the Pittsburgh Bonsai Society who will host an event in the Bloomfield/Garfield Activity Center--but more on that later! Check back on our blog, soon!

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Dual Garden Groups Get a Boost @ GA/GI and Most Wanted Fine Art Pitches In

Kincaid Garden
EastField Co-operative Garden and the Kincaid Street Community Garden will be working as good as Miracle Gro(tm) spreading the word on how great it is to garden in your own neighborhood. These two family-friendly projects which have been on-going for several years, hope to raise funds and more outdoor fun awareness during the May 6, Unblurred. Donors to their cause will receive perennial seedlings and seeds. They'll also show off their newly painted "Pitch In" trash cans decorated courtesy of Most Wanted Fine Art. See them for a lively gardening chat under the tent located at 5201-5203 Penn Avenue
EastField Garden

Sample of art "can"
With your kind donation, your seedlings await!

Rock Musician Raises Hope w/ Pre-War Sights and Sounds of Syria @ Irma Freeman @ GA/GI

Long before Syria was the focus of war and hateful rhetoric, it was a destination for travel, relaxation and meditation. We would all do well to remember this. Jason Hamacher, a Washington, DC photographer, was in Allepo, Syria from 2005-2010 which at that time, was known as the historical place for the convening of the world's three largest religions. In Allepo stood the oldest Christian church, Muslim mosque, and Jewish synagogue. Since 2010, every one of them has been destroyed.

On May 6 at the Irma Freeman Center, Jason Hamacher, owner of Lost Origins, brings the sights, sounds and  music of this timeless, near gone era into sharp focus, through his vivid photography, and the recordings of religious chants and music. Much of this, unfortunately, is near extinction due to the climate of the Syrian nation and the disinterest of young people in carrying on traditions.

Pre-war Allepo
"My heavy metal band started out just wanting to write rock music to old religious chants," said the musician, who has since received support from the Syrian Embassador in Washington, DC. "But we quickly went from Rock innovationists to religious music preservationists."

"It was ambitious, but humble proposal," said Ahmed Salkini, from the Syrian Embassy, " However when people realized this is the language of Jesus Christ (Aramaic), I'm not surprised by the project's on-going success."
Displaying Aleppo 4.jpg

Displaying Aleppo 4.jpg
Hamacher, who admits he started out with very selfish motives, now feels compelled to faithfully record hours upon hours of sacred music that has never been documented, most of it unabridged. There are over 900 chants in the Aramaic Treasury of Chants. If listened to from start to finish, Hamacher's recordings spans over 23 hours. Oddly, even at the break of the 21st century, there were no formal recordings of this important sacred music, and even today some chants can not be performed by more than three people in Syria, let alone the world. Thanks to Hamacher, this critical connection to the early church, some chants going back to the fourth century, will not be lost.

Hamacher wants: "People of faith, people of no faith, people period, to sit down and listen to the authentic sounds of a nearly lost culture...before its too late." 

The exhibition: Witness Aleppo: Photographs, Stories and Sounds of Pre-War Syria, is currently on view at the Irma Freeman Center (5006 Penn Avenue), curated by Jack Ball, Co-owner of the Bantha Tea Bar. Friday, May 6 from 7-10 pm @ GA/GI Festival will be the closing reception. For more information visit here.

Keep watching our blog for new posts and event updates!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Find Things for your Nest @ Robin's Nest @ GA/GI

Robin's Nest (5504 Penn), owned by Robin (naturally) Snyder, is advertised as having "art and craft by local artisans." And Snyder means local. She's always on the look out for area talent to showcase, something many of Pittsburgh's galleries aren't willing to risk doing. But she's one who truly believes in the city's artists, so the majority of her items are made right here in the "Burg."

"We have a unique collection of handmade originals suitable for everyone," says Snyder. They opened in 2014, not the best time for a new shop on Penn Avenue with large sections of the street about to be ripped apart, and she remained through the transformation, which showed Snyder's devotion and faith in the business community. Her shop features: ceramics, jewelry, textiles, home decor, art glass, accessories; what she calls "daily bling" and a multitude of other treasures.

Currently she is exhibiting and selling incredible work by local artist, Paul McMillan who lives practically around the corner from her shop. McMillan, a former Texan (who fell in love with a Pittsburgh lady, and by association was led to move here ;-) recently received an award from the Northwestern Pennsylvania's Artist Association. His work ranges from classical to abstract and occasionally includes his own poetry and music as subject matter. Most of his painting are created with a "wet color" technique which is stand oil mixed with bee's wax and mastic resin which gives his colors depth and luminosity. Robin's Nest is showing a collection of his beautiful work with peaceful, bucolic themes that show barns, hay rolls, and moonlit bridges. Do go see them during GA/GI at Friday, May 6 Unblurred on Penn Ave.And keep checking our blog for more exciting festival info!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sculptor/ Metalsmith/Artist+ to Makeover Artisan Gallery @ GA/GI

In some virtual world he might be a tinker-tailor-soldier-spy, but Nicholas Volpe, is an incredible artist with the degrees and the know-how to back  it all up. With a BFA in sculpting, metalsmithing and jewelry design; this guy has the academics and the craftsmanship to build just about anything beautifully. Currently, he chooses reclaimed wood and upcycled salvage as his mediums, and he has created some incredible things.  He'll be the featured artist at Artisan Tattoo during GA/GI Fest @ Unblurred, with sketches, tables and other reclaimed furniture he has created just for this event, and which--lucky us!-- he will be selling.

Volpe, who scours junk yards for much of his material says: "Reclaimed wood has a history, reuse of it, is a kind a poetry; you can reinforce the old with the new," He believes putting together the pieces of his art is like speaking in different languages, which in the end form one amazing expression.  To meet Volpe, visit Artisan (5001 Penn Ave) Friday, May 6 and check back on our blog for other events @ GA/GI!

Artisan's 250,000 penny floor went viral