Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekly Arts & Urbanism Roundup

I pretty much dropped doing weekly news roundups a few years ago. Likewise, the monthy regional arts preview took too much work. At least for now, I am trying to bring the roundup back.

 A selection of recent arts & urbanism news.


Pittsburgh CityLab creates a Tiny House in Garfield- documents the process on Tiny House Journal Blog.

Ex Steelers, Baron Batch  John Malecki create a Homestead Art Studio & Marketing company.

Artist, Alexandre Arrechia will speak about his 3 temporary public sculptures downtown & lead public art tour. I love these works and meant to do a post about them.

The Amazing Bicycle Heaven bike museum & store may be the subject of a reality show- ala American Pickers. Counting Cars, American Restoration.

Pittsburgh Comic Artist, Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree volume II hits the stores. Follow his twitter feed for updates on events and book signings.

Fight to save The Carrie Furnace Deer ramps up and gets some national press

City rolls out, Mighty Beautiful, national ad campaign.


Cleveland area considers Gay Games a huge success.

The fifth annual Weapons of Mass Creation festival draws more than 2000 creatives from around the world

Cleveland leaders look at Indianapolis's Cultural Tail bike path. (See NY Times article about the path)


The Ballyhoo Music Festival in Austintown, Ohio headlined by Bootsy Collins & Michael Stanley & The Resonators. (This could be a festival to watch)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pittsburgh is Mighty Beautiful: How bout we act like it?

No, doubt- the basic structure & setting of Pittsburgh is mighty beautiful. But does the city really act like a place that loves itself and protects its inherent beauty? Would a city that loved and valued itself build the kind of massive ugly highways along its north shore waterfront? Would it see garages and surface parking as the highest land use? A city has to live its brand. So, far the city only does an average to below average job of that. Be back with more thoughts and pictures of the ugly crap, the city still does to itself.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Georgia Teens Develop App to Rate Law Enforcement & Report Abuse

Few things can make or break a city like the quality of its law enforcement (formerly known as peace officers) "Crime Rate", data alone, assuming it is accurate doesn't fully measure how a place feels. Is there really peace? Three pretty amazing high school freshman in Georgia developed an app that allows people to log on and document interactions with officers, rate departments and report abuse. One can also find police stations & communicate with others about local law enforcement issues.
“We’d like to know which regions in the US provide horrible law enforcement services as well as highlight the agencies that are highly rated by their citizens. In addition to putting more power into the hands of citizens when interacting with law enforcement, we believe that highly rated police departments should be used as models for those that fail at providing quality law enforcement services”, says Co-founder and Parkview High School senior, Ima Christian.
Read about this fantastic concept here. Full roll out of the app is coming in days

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cleveland's Weapons Of Mass Creation Festival Starts Today

Don't have time for a long post, but here is a video giving some idea what WMC fest is about.

I love the free form, almost chaotic nature of the festival. Basically, if you consider yourself creative or interested in creativity in any way, come on down.

This policy maximizes the opportunities to cross pollinate ideas.
The model is basically South by Southwest- or what that festival once was.

I invited someone on the scene to post a report.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Joseph Cornell's Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall

Christies put up this video of this Joseph Cornell tribute to screen legend Lauren Bacall, which sold last May for $5.3 Million.

The Art Newspaper has a short post about it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Steeltown Anthem's Mundania Horvath co-hosts panel @ Cleveland's Weapons of Mass Creation Design Festival

A huge problem with Pittsburgh and many other art & music scenes, is the lack of opportunities to interact with emerging artists from outside the region.

For the last few years, Cleveland has hosted a low key design festival called Weapons of Mass Creation that mixes creatives from across the country with talks, workshops and exhibitions. The event which started at a local bar (Happy Dog) has grown, to include artists, designers, web creatives, musicians and almost anybody involved in the arts.

WMC fest also includes a pretty huge helping of live music acts by emerging artists.

A few examples of the diverse breadth.


Martine Syms (Los Angeles)

"Lessons of the Tradition" is close read of a Most Days, a Mundane Afrofuturist sound work." 

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt (Chicago)

Cuban-American Designer/ artist behind Chicago based design studio, Winterbureau 

Raymond Bobgan (Cleveland) 

Executive Artistic Director, Cleveland Public Theater

Melody Kramer 

Digital Strategist- NPR, in Washington DC. Former associate producer of "Fresh Air"

Rusty Cook (Chicago)

Chicago, based designer & illustrator 

Donald Wooten (Pikesville, Maryland) 

Screenprinter, designer for Stolen Outfitters brand

Luis Cabrera (Cleveland)

Multi-Media designer for Forest City Communications Group

Kumar Arora (Cleveland) 

Serial entrepreneuar, angel investor 

Keenan Cummings  (NYC) 

Product Designer, Founder- Wander (acquired by Yahoo)


Two Arms Inc. (Brooklyn)

Husband & Wife design team specializing in custom illustration & typography 

Little Friends of Printmaking

Acclaimed designers & printers of screenprint posters and other stuff.

Anthony Simpson

Founder & Creative Director of Random Objects- Screenprint design

Oliver Barrett

Artist/ Designer

Landland (Minneapolis) 

Small  graphic design & illustration studio- screenprint workshop

The Bubble Process (Cleveland & Brooklyn, NY)

Two person, design & illustration firm  

Valerie Jar (Salt Lake City)

Freelance designer & illustrator 

April Bleakney (Cleveland)  

Screen printer, founder Ape Made, printed art & apparel company.

Scott Williams (Chicago)

Designer, musician 

Ariel Cotton (Brooklyn)

Artist, inventor, interaction designer 


Mr. Gnome (Cleveland) 

Hawkeye (Cleveland)

Black Puddle Noise (Lakewood, Ohio)

Briar Rabbit   


Ashley Brooke Toussant 

Additional events include a comedy showcase,  a live black marker drawing faceoff ; breakdance battle & an exhibition of 300 hand printed posters.

A lot of the tickets are gone but I would love for someone to post a report from this event.

Weapons of Mass Creation Festival
August 15-17
Cleveland Public Theater 

See complete schedule 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Famed Pittsburgh Oldies Station Shifts to Talk, Reflecting A Younger Region

The sudden shift of the powerful 104.7 FM form Conservative Talk to Country Music caused some anger. Less noticed was move of Limbaugh, Hannity & Co to AM means that the city no longer has a strong oldies station.

From The Tribune Review

That changed on Wednesday when Cardille, a fixture on Pittsburgh TV and radio stations for more than a half-century, lost his job at WJAS-AM, where he had worked since 1995 playing nostalgic soft-rock standards. Another local radio icon, Jack Bogut, also departed when the station's format flipped from music to talk.
Cardille, 85, of Sewickley said new station owner Frank Iorio had discussed a role for him at the station after the format switch.
“He asked if I'd be interested in talk, and I said no,” he said. “I tried talk a long time ago, and the same 20 people call all the time. It's like the people who write letters to the newspaper.”
Since hosting his first radio show at WDAD-AM in Indiana County in 1951, Cardille has been an omnipresent force on Western Pennsylvania radio and TV stations. Following a stint at WICU-TV in Erie, he started in Pittsburgh at WIIC-TV (now WPXI) in 1957.

A few short years ago, Pittsburgh was widely known as the capital of oldies music, with an almost unchanged soundtrack from 1960 looping endlessly. The change probably reflects the area's changing demographics as the steel generation passes.