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 “Pittsburgh Lives Art!

Kristen Agnew

Senior Staff Writer

Downtown sidewalks are transformed! With the Three Rivers Arts festival here again, it's hard to ignore the artists among us. Sunday, I found myself strolling in Point State Park, mapping out my strategy for the next week in the city. One afternoon is not enough to take in the tents of finely-honed craftsmanship.  Jewelry, photographs of worlds far away and in our imaginations, ceramic pots, copper wind chimes. I'll take blown glass earrings any day over pigeons.

Art intersects with every facet of our lives. Technology and art: David Edward's Power Flower sculptures doubled as solar panels and wind turbines, prompting us to wonder how something can be both beautiful and energy-saving.  Environmental art: OK, so maybe it's a stretch to say that the guy behind the blue bins telling us how to recycle is art.  But he was there.

And then there was music: I wish I could have seen Ingrid Michaelson or the "Cello Fusion" play this week. Five Guys Named Mo were on break at Katz Plaza when I stopped, then I thought I heard jazz while walking away.

My goal: the Shaw gallery on the corner of Liberty and 8th, to catch a glimpse of another Mo's Pittsburgh. Morris Berman's black-and-white photojournalism lined the walls, and I was soon immersed in the 1960s and 70s, from sports heroes to firefighting scenes. A young visage of Terry Bradshaw reminded me of Steeler history. What captured me most, however, was the artist's award-winning depictions of tragedy: the quarterback who kneeled stunned on the field, having just lost his career due to injury.  A family huddled outside the crumbling ashes of their home. Looking at this emotion highlighted among sky capes, I was a little puzzled how one person's loss could be another's gain. But then the photographer is just telling their stories, stories that the individuals involved had to accept if they were going to move on.

Move on I did, to other exhibits in the Artists Market. The Hertz Gateway Center Plaza had become a maze of displays. I was soon seeing their stories, too: the photographer now from Ithaca, New York and her waterfalls, her travels to Venice, and her hometown's bridges (which I could easily look across the street and see- Pittsburgh, second only to Venice in our number of bridges)!  A cartoonist sat sullen in his empty tent, while neighboring tents filled up with guests.  He looked away after his eye caught mine, another citizen passing by without taking interest. Two jewelry vendors teased a friend about asking someone out a couple tents down, even as I marveled at the sterling silver leaflets lining their cases.
The fountain walls provided much-needed rest. I wished I had saved my money for lobster burgers, but feasted on a $2 hot dog instead.  A blur of beads and designer vests followed my memory on my way out, snaking through the crowd and creators. But they wouldn't miss me, just one of thousands discovering art in Pittsburgh this summer.

Kristen Agnew is a senior staff writer for Pittsburgh Standard and also serves as the staff advisor for the student organization of Pittsburgh Standard.

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Kristen Agnew's Articles:

Video: "Pink for the Day" (May 14, 10, 2:24 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

“Ultimately Urbana Missions Message Intensely Impacts Lives Lovingly! (May 05, 10, 7:28 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

Tim Tebow's Ad Against Abortion Promotes Parenthood/Protests!” (March 13, 10, 4:47 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

 "Avatar' Amazes Audiences At Adventure Accumulating Outright Oscar Nominations Now!" (Feb 04, 10, 2:30 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

“Truth Triumphs Technology Through The Centuries, Celebrating Christ's Conception Called Christmas!  (Dec 23, 09, 4:31 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

“'Jon & Kate Plus 8' Expresses Enormous Emotions Dawning Divorce's Disappointment!”  (Nov 25, 09, 10:38 a.m.) By Kristen Agnew

"Trusting Truth Through Tough Times!"  (Sept 21, 09, 5:10 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

"Fervently 'Faith Like Potatoes' Produces Farmer's Vegetables Victoriously Blending Beliefs!"   (Aug 16, 09, 5:16 p.m.)By Kristen Agnew

Pride Plummets People's Souls Sinfully Showing Satan's Shame!”(July 30, 09, 7:01 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

“Judging Jesus' Style Saves Souls, Crashes Condemnation!”  (July 17, 09, 12:29 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

Cast Closed Accounts Accepting Christ's Commitment!” (July 09, 09, 11:10 a.m.) By Kristen Agnew

"Surprisingly Slumdog Millionaire Makes Eight Expensive Oscars Outright!" (July 02, 09, 9:18 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

"Perseverance Produces Christ's Committed Crop!" (July 02, 09, 6:03 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew

Agnew on Video:

“Actively AIV Students Serve Offering OIF's Mercy Ministry Momentum!  (April 19, 10, 9:57 a.m.) By Ramesh C. Reddy

 Agnew Awesomely Leads Living Acts Audience!” (July 18, 09, 5:48 p.m.) By Kristen Agnew




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