Monday, July 18, 2011

The Perfect Summer Friday Evening - The Gallery Crawl

One of my first memories from when I moved back to Pittsburgh last year was going to a Gallery Crawl downtown. I walked into S P A C E with my friends and they immediately headed toward the back of the gallery. I followed and realized we were about to be given FREE BEER. I'm sorry, but this NEVER happens in Boston. I don't think I walked into any establishment ever there in five years where I paid no money and was given not only free beer, but free entertainment. Everything better Pittsburgh.

To be able to leave work on a Friday - especially if that work is downtown, like mine is - and walk a few blocks to a gallery and be given a free beer might be the best thing. I met up with my friends Corey and Carrie and we first headed to one of my favorite downtown eateries, Winghart's (where the food is as awesome as the proprietor and the guys and gals he has working for him) for burgers. But then, it was all art from there on out.

I walked into S P A C E and was completely in awe of what was happening in front of me. The show right now, Drawn in a Day, was inspiring. Often, I'll walk into a museum or a gallery and see these large-scale murals and paintings and think, "Well, that's pretty awesome." But I have no clue what goes into something that scale or the processes behind what I'm gazing at. Drawn in a Day featured artists making their art on the walls of the gallery right before my eyes. I watched artists stencil, drip paint, spray paint, use wood blocks to make prints, and sketch. As a novice (extremely novice) artist, I was tickled to see them create and turn white walls into landscapes. (The free beer and the buzz it provided certainly helped!)

I'm not sure of any of the artists' names, but these were some of my favorites.

This woman took polaroids of gallery visitors and was sketching them on her wall. The best part was her note on the side of her space that noted that not all portraits would be flattering. That's the risk one had to take to be immortalized on the walls of S P A C E for the duration of the show, I suppose.

This was like paint-by-numbers. Every block had a number in it, which corresponded to a different paint color.

TUGBOAT! I have such a softspot for Tugboat Printshop. It looked like they had a lot of work ahead of them. I will definitely need to get back to S P A C E one day during lunch and see what their full-scale mural ended up being.

Same with this woman's - I think this is one I need to go back and see once it's completed. I love the dripped paint. I love the messiness of it now. And I know i'll love the orderliness of it once she pulls all of that painter's tape away and it's just rainbows of paint in a pattern on a crisp white wall.

At Wood Street Galleries, we saw Long Are the Days, Short Are the Nights, which their brochure describes as "videos, installations and photographs characterize the dynamic contemporary art scene in Iceland." There were a number of light installations, including a room you were locked into for five minutes that ends up going completely dark, a burning candle in a dark room with four large magnifying glasses throwing its reflection on the walls, and these awesome neon light ball-contraptions inside of a makeshift room with hanging white ribbons for walls.

I'm a sucker for anything neon, so I loved these.

From downtown, we made our way to Lawrenceville to check out what was happening at Wildcard. But, more on that later. I've got whoopie pies to make.

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