Three Rivers Arts Festival Celebrates Creativity

Three Rivers Arts Festival Celebrates Creativity

On Friday, and then Monday through June 8, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse leads participants in how to create with reusable materials in an event called Reuse-A-Palooza.

 

 

By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 12:04 p.m.

The Three Rivers Arts Festival will have some company again this year.

Pittsburgh’s annual celebration of all things creative kicks off Friday and runs through June 10.

From Friday through Sunday, Pittsburgh JazzLive International will again run concurrently Downtown. Musical acts through Wednesday range from The Wailers (of Bob Marley fame), who open the festival Friday night, to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmidt on Wednesday, and nearly 40 jazz acts on three stages and in clubs throughout Downtown.

The arts festival not only features music, art, food, crafts, theater, movies, dance and hands-on activities, it also draws attention to gallery exhibits throughout the Cultural District. When you’re wandering around Downtown, make sure to check out the Global Navigators exhibit, which began as part of the trust’s Distinctively Dutch Festival. The exhibit is in three galleries — Wood Street, SPACE and 707 Penn — and has works from more than a dozen visual artists examining the concept of global exploration from perspectives that extend from historical Dutch exploration to the wilds of the Internet and new media.

The 15 life-sized bronze sculptures created by artist J. Seward Johnson are not part of the arts festival, but will certainly be enjoyed by its patrons. They are installed in and around Gateway Center through Aug. 5. There are several other outdoor public art installations that you won’t want to miss.

Melissa Etheridge headlines the Pride in the Streets concert on Liberty Avenue on June 9 as part of next weekend’s PrideMarch and Festival.

Showcase Noir, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s annual exhibit and designer’s market that celebrates the works of artists and designers of the African Diaspora, will be on display Saturday and Sunday at the corner of 8th Street and Penn Avenue to take advantage of traffic from arts and jazz festival patrons.

Children and families will find plenty to do at the Giant Eagle Creativity Zone at Point State Park, including hands-on crafts and a series of concerts geared to the younger crowd.

So there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the arts — the weather is warm, the entertainment is free and the art is first-rate. And you can even park easily on the North Side and take the T for free into Downtown.

Here’s a look at what’s happening at the festival through June 6. Check back next week details on the festival’s second weekend.

MUSIC

Music has always been at the heart of the Three Rivers Arts Festivals. Notable local and national acts will play throughout the week. The highlights are the nightly headliner concerts on the Dollar Bank Stage at Point State Park.

The Wailers

8 p.m. Friday

There are few brand names in music stronger than Bob Marley, and The Wailers have had the good fortune of standing adjacent to that magic name — as Bob Marley & The Wailers — for decades. Of course, even without that background, The Wailers — formed in 1969 by brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett — are still a legendary name in reggae, performing with Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer. They’ve also performed with Sting, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder. Since his brother’s death in 1987, Aston Barrett has carried on The Wailers mantle, with help from singer Koolant. On Friday, they’ll help kick off the Three Rivers Arts Festival’s Dollar Bank stage performers. Wizdom will open at 6:30 p.m.

Kathleen Edwards

7:45 p.m. Saturday

Kathleen Edwards is a major voice in what is sometimes called “Americana” — a somewhat-hazy genre encompassing folk, acoustic rock and neo-traditional country, that intersects only rarely with big-time commercial country. That’s only a little odd, since she’s Canadian. But hey, aside from obsessing over hockey, their concerns up there are largely the same — particularly heartbreak, a recurring theme in Edwards’ typically smart, brutally honest songs. Opening act, Paul Luc, 6:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

6:30 p.m. Sunday

Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony are looking forward to good weather and the pleasure of making music outdoors on Sunday when they return to the Three Rivers Arts Festival. The symphony’s music director will lead a program of popular repertoire, including a Suite from George Bizet’s opera “Carmen” and George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.”

Baritone Gregg Baker will sing “Ol’ Man River” from “Showboat” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing” from “Porgy and Bess.” Symphony principal trombone Peter Sullivan will play an arrangement of “Annie Laure” and principal flutist Lorna McGhee will solo in the fast dance movement that ends Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2.

In the event of possible inclement weather, the symphony may decide midday Sunday to move the performance to Heinz Hall, where it also would be free.

Boogie Hustlers

8 p.m. Monday

The Boogie Hustlers have one of those odd names that says very little about what they sound like. Is it hip-hop? Rock? A jam band? Yet, it sounds kind of funky, which is really all you need to know. Pittsburgh’s Boogie Hustlers have been around for more than 10 years now, as a soulful, funk-inflected jam band, playing tiny rock clubs, massive festivals, and everything in between. Opening act, Silencio, 7 p.m.

Dawes

8 p.m. Tuesday

If it’s true we’re judged by the company we keep, then it’s not difficult to suss out where Dawes is coming from. Before recording their debut CD, the West Coast rock quartet jammed with Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They also played a series of live shows backing Robbie Robertson, former guitarist for The Band. Needless to say, Dawes mines the seemingly inexhaustible vein of ’60s and ’70s classic rock, with particular emphasis on folk-rock. Dawes’ musical palate has been dubbed “The Laurel Canyon sound” for its debt to Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, all of whom found inspiration in that legendary Los Angeles neighborhood. Those who have heard the Dawes track “Time Spent in Los Angeles” on the radio can be excused for thinking they were hearing a newly rediscovered song from Jackson Browne. If singer/guitarist Taylor Goldsmith sometimes gets too earnest, the rest of the band, which includes brother Griffin Goldsmith on drums, rock out enough to put his feet back on the ground. Opening act, Sara Watkins, 7 p.m.

Timothy B. Schmit

8 p.m. June 6

Singer and bassist Timothy B. Schmit joined the Eagles just in time to appear on “The Long Run,” the band’s last studio album from their phenomenally successful ’70s heyday. He sang on “I Can’t Tell You Why,” which he co-wrote. Prior to that, he toured and recorded with Poco, the country-rock band formed in the ’60s from the remnants of Buffalo Springfield. His singing and musicianship lent luster to songs like “Crazy Love” and “Rose of Cimarron,” gems that somehow failed to secure the band the success many critics felt they deserved. He has it both ways, now: he continues to tour with the reunited Eagles while he works on solo records.

The concert will afford fans the chance to see Schmit step out from the shadow of his more famous bandmates. In his many love ballads, his plaintive, devotional tenor conveys its own particular strain of high-lonesome. — a peaceful, easy feeling that’s tinged with yearning and uncertainty. But Wednesday’s concert will also feature songs by the Eagles and Poco. Here’s hoping he also plays “Melancholy,” a stand-out track on his 2009 record “Expando.”

By the way, it was Schmit who reportedly coined a new name for Jimmy Buffett fans. He and Buffett were driving to one of the latter’s shows. Surveying the tropically attired rabble who’d turned out for Buffett, he dubbed them “Parrotheads.”

MOVIES

There’s always a film component to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, though it’s easy to miss. At the Harris Theater on Liberty Avenue in the Cultural District, there’s a selection of free documentaries, all somehow dealing with art. The series starts on Friday with an 8 p.m. screening of “Gerhard Richter Painting,” a window into the artistic process of the influential contemporary artist.

Other films showing through June 6 include:

• “Art is … the Permanent Revolution,” about the nexus of art, printmaking and social protest.

• “Chihuly Fire & Light,” about the world’s most famous glass artist and his process.

• “The Invisible Frame,” which began with a short documentary featuring actress Tilda Swinton examining the Berlin Wall by bicycle, a year before it fell. Twenty years later, Swinton again rides her bike through the same border, exploring the changes on each side.

• “Looking for an Icon,” about some of the world’s most famous photos

• For serious cinephiles, “The Meeting in St. Gervais” should be a treat — documenting a meeting between the great directors Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard.

• “Last Days Here,” about the troubled life and career of Bobby Liebling, singer of the cult rock band Pentagram.

Most of the films will be shown more than once. Check the schedule below for times.

ACTIVITIES

Step away from the computer and other electronic devices and let your imagination entertain you at this year’s arts festival. There will be plenty of opportunities to be creative.

“With the schedule this year, it is the most robust agenda we have ever had in the creativity zone,” says Marguerite Jarrett Marks, director of the 10-day event.

The Giant Eagle Creativity Zone will be open in Point State Park from noon to 6 p.m. daily. It features a number of local arts organizations that provide activities for all ages.

• On Friday, and then Monday through June 8, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse leads participants in how to create with reusable materials in an event called Reuse-A-Palooza.

• On Saturday and Sunday, the Arty Animals Mural by Alison Zapata will allow children to lend some brushstrokes to collaborative art.

• Friday through Sunday, there will be ceramic art by Union Project and demonstrations from Woodturners Anonymous. Also, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh wants you to roll up your sleeves as you make, create and tinker with rotating projects.

• You can create your own colorful paper pinwheel with guidance from the experts at Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. “There is some science to making the pinwheel work, and we will show how to construct it so it will work,” says Mary Brenholts, director of school and community programs for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. “You also have to figure out which pieces to color and decorate that will be shown on the outside and not folded over. … The arts are fun and it is always fun to see what you have created.”

• The festival includes several “StoryTime” events to keep your kids entertained. Rebecca Covert — a singer, storyteller and actress — will bring to life “Down by the Cool of the Pool,” a children’s book about farm animals written by Tony Mitton and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. Covert will perform 1 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Cartoonist Joe Wos, executive director of the ToonSeum, will be performing his longtime audience favorite “Once Upon a Toon” — where he draws pictures as he tells stories — 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday. From 1 to 1:45 p.m. Sunday, actress and teacher Barbara Russell will be reading “Mr. Grumpy’s Outing,” by author John Burningham, and encouraging kids to dramatize the story using pictures, sound and movement. Also on Sunday, artist Alison Zapata will be using puppets to tell author Eric Carle’s classic tale “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

• Puppeteer and storyteller Joann Kielar on Saturday will be presenting “Puppet Tales from Near and Far,” which will take kids on a tour around the world with classic tales from different regions. Kids will learn about the components of storytelling — plot, character and setting — while they predict outcomes and create sound effects. She will perform “Puppet Tales from Near and Far” 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

• An activity called Good Vibrations for the Arts is inspired by the Tibetan practice of creating prayer flags to promote peace, compassion, wisdom and strength. Artists will help children from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday create their own flags to add to the installation located at the entrance to the creativity zone.

PUBLIC ART

• In its continuation of being greener than ever, the festival will have items such as the recycle bins created by a variety of artists in “3Rs: The art of Reuse, Recycle, and Repurpose.” Ashley Hodder and Mike Washill have made containers out of laundry bottles. The plastic bottoms become leaves and are held together with zipties. “They are so many bright and fun colors with these bottles and they remind you of the colors of nature,” artist Ashley Hodder says. “We hope it will remind people to recycle and to think about the environment. Sometimes, we don’t think and just throw something away but there are many uses for items. We are hoping the bright colors will draw attention to the bins.” The bins can be found throughout the festival.

• The Catch of the Day is a sculpture that has been continually revised over the years. Hodder, who has worked on this project with Bob Ziller, says it is made out of pop cans and items found in a river cleanup. It is modeled after Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout. “Every year, we find all kinds of things from pop cans to care parts to all kinds of stuff,” says Hodder. “We want this fish to help make a statement about keeping our rivers clean.” It can be found in the Creativity Zone.

GATEWAY TO THE ARTS

Gateway to the Arts will have a tent in the Creativity Zone at Point State Park full of fun things to do from helping to make a mural to learning about how to find new uses for items that you usually throw away. Professional performing and visual artists from the organization will be on hand to instruct and share their knowledge.

Since 1957, Gateway to the Arts has transformed the lives of more than 7 million pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade students through active participation in the arts. Gateway to the Arts works with 160 professional performing artists in greater Pittsburgh.

“We want these events to introduce children to art and music and to help make them lifelong learners with art and music,” says Carly McCoy, marketing manager for Gateway to the Arts.

The 45-minute performances include All-American music by Liberty Brass at noon Saturday; Brazilian jazz with Lilly Abreu and the Bossa Trio at 2 p.m. Sunday; WQED’s Mr. Steve at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble at noon Sunday; “Rhythmic Roots” by Delta Blue at 2 p.m. Saturday; “Sedenka: Sharing Songs and Dances from the Balkans” by Balkan Babes at 4 p.m. Sunday; and “Women in Song” by Betsy Lawrence at 5 p.m. Sunday.

BUSY WEEKEND

The Three Rivers Arts Festival and Pittsburgh JazzLive International will keep Downtown busy this weekend. Here is the schedule for the first week of the arts festival and this weekend’s jazz festival.

ONGOING

Juried Visual Art Exhibition: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, Trust Arts Education Center

Artist’s Market: noon-8 p.m. daily, Gateway Center plaza

Cultural District galleries: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Sundays

Plein Air Painters, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh: noon-6 p.m. daily, Point State Park

Giant Eagle Creativity Zone, noon-6 p.m. daily, Point State Park

FRIDAY

Noon-1 p.m.: Big Snow Big Thaw, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-3 p.m.: Wood Turning Club, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-3 p.m.: Ceramic Art by Union Project, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Pittsburgh Pinwheels by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh activities, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

5:30-9 p.m.: JazzLive Crawl, part of Pittsburgh JazzLive International, throughout the Cultural District

6-9 p.m.: “In Tents Pair a Dice,” Gabe Felice, throughout the Cultural District

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Wizdom, Dollar Bank Stage

8 p.m.: “Gerhard Richter Painting,” film at Harris Theater

8 p.m.: The Fort Apache Band, Cabaret at Theater Square (tickets required)

8-9:15 p.m.: The Wailers, Dollar Bank Stage

10 p.m.-2 a.m.: JazzLive Jam Sessions, Sonoma Grille, Andy’s and Seviche

SATURDAY

Noon-12:45 p.m.: Liberty Brass “All American,” Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-3 p.m.: Wood Turning Club, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-3 p.m.: Ceramic Art by Union Project, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Pittsburgh Pinwheels, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: WQED presents Pittsburgh Mosaic Project, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Arty Animals Mural with Alison Zapata, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh activities, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-7 p.m.: “In Tents Pair a Dice,” Gabe Felice, throughout the Cultural District

Noon-7 p.m.: Showcase Noir, 8th Street and Penn Avenue

1-1:30 p.m.: StoryTime: Down by the Cool of the Pool, Rebecca Covert, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1-1:45 p.m.: WQED presents Mr. Steve, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1-3 p.m.: House of Soul, Dollar Bank Stage

1:15-2 p.m.: Ernie Krivda & the Detroit Connection, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Puppet Tales from Near and Far, Joann Kielar, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Carolyn Perteete, JazzLive 9th Street Stage

2-2:45 p.m.: Delta Blue presents “Rhythmic Roots,” Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

2-2:45 p.m.: Jesse Fischer & Soul Cycle, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

2:45-3:30 p.m.: Clayton Brothers, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

3 p.m.: “Looking for an Icon” film, Harris Theater

3-3:45 p.m.: WQED presents Pittsburgh Puppet Works, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

3-4 p.m.: Poogie Bell, JazzLive 9th Street Stage

3-5 p.m.: “Once Upon a Toon” with Joe Wos, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

3:30-4:15 p.m.: Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts Quartet, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

4-4:45 p.m.: Tom Breiding’s “Western Pennsylvania: The Region that Built America,” Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

4:15 p.m.: “The Invisible Frame” film, Harris Theater

4:15-5:15 p.m.: Sean Jones Quintet, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

4:30-5:45 p.m.: Center of Life, JazzLive 9th Street Stage

5-5:45 p.m.: COL Jazz Band, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

5:15-6 p.m.: Robert Glasper Experiment, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

5:30 p.m.: “Chihuly Fire & Light” film, Harris Theater

6-7:15 p.m.: Average White Band, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Paul Luc, Dollar Bank Stage

6:45 p.m.: “Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard: The Meeting in St-Gervais” film, Harris Theater

7:45 p.m.: “The Way Things Go” film, Harris Theater

7:45-9:30 p.m.: Kathleen Edwards, Dollar Bank Stage

8:30 p.m.: “Art Is … the Permanent Revolution” film, Harris Theater

10 p.m.-2 a.m.: JazzLive Jam Sessions, Original Fish Market, Sonoma Grille and Seviche

SUNDAY

Noon: August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-12:44 p.m.: “Regality” by Darrell Grand Moultrie and “New Second Line” by Camille A. Brown, August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-3 p.m.: Wood Turning Club, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-3 p.m.: Ceramic Art by Union Project, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-4 p.m.: “In Tents Pair a Dice,” Gabe Felice, throughout the Cultural District

Noon-6 p.m.: WQED presents Pittsburgh Mosaic Project, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-6 p.m.: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh activities, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

Noon-7 p.m.: Showcase Noir, 8th Street and Penn Avenue

1-1:45 p.m.: StoryTime: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing with Barbara Russell, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1-1:45 p.m.: WQED presents Mr. Steve, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1-2:30 p.m.: Big With Seed, Dollar Bank Stage

1:15-2 p.m.: Curtis Brothers, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

1:30-2 p.m.: StoryTime: The Very Hungry Caterpillar with Alison Zapata, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

1:30-2:30 p.m.: Mark Lucas, JazzLive 9th Street Stage

2-2:33 p.m.: David Budway Quartet, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

2-2:45 p.m.: Brazilian Jazz with Lilly Abreu & the Bossa Trio, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

2:45-3:30 p.m.: Warren Wolf Quartet, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

3 p.m.: “Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard: The Meeting in St-Gervais” film, Harris Theater

3-3:45 p.m.: WQED presents Pittsburgh Puppet Works, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

3-3:45 p.m.: Bubbe Tells a Tale with Barbara Russell and Janice Coppola, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

3:30-4:15 p.m.: Aurora, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

3:45-5 p.m.: Roger Humphries & RH Factor, JazzLive 9th Street Stage

4 p.m.: “The Way Things Go” film, Harris Theater

4-4:45 p.m.: Sedenka: Sharing Songs and Dances from the Balkans with Balkan Babes, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

4:15-5 p.m.: Allan Harris band, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

4:45 p.m.: “The Invisible Frame” film, Harris Theater

5-5:45 p.m.: Women in Song with Betsy Lawrence, Giant Eagle Creativity Zone

5-6 p.m.: Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express Quartet, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 2

6 p.m.: “Art Is … the Permanent Revolution” film, Harris Theater

6-7:15 p.m.: Lalah Hathaway, JazzLive Penn Avenue Stage 1

6:30-8 p.m.: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Dollar Bank Stage

10 p.m.-2 p.m.: Closing JazzLive Jam at Seviche

MONDAY

Noon-1 p.m.: Ben Shannon, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-1 p.m.: Spin Cycle, Katz Plaza

5-6:30 p.m.: JD Eicher & the Goodnights, Second Stage at Gateway Center

5-7 p.m.: Spin Cycle, Katz Plaza

6-6:45 p.m.: Pete Bush and the Hoi Palloi, Dollar Bank Stage

6:30 p.m.: “Chihuly Fire & Light” film, Harris Theater

7-7:45 p.m.: Silencio, Dollar Bank Stage

7:45 p.m.: “Last Days Here” film, Harris Theater

8-9:15 p.m.: The Boogie Hustlers, Dollar Bank Stage

TUESDAY

Noon-1 p.m.: Caleb Pogyor & The Talkers, Dollar Bank Stage

5-5:40 p.m.: Bluebird Midwest, Second Stage at Gateway Center

5:50-6:30 p.m.: Josh Verbanets, Second Stage at Gateway Center

7-7:45 p.m.: Sara Watkins, Dollar Bank Stage

8-9:30 p.m.: Dawes, Dollar Bank Stage

JUNE 6

Noon-1 p.m.: City Dwelling Nature Seekers, Dollar Bank Stage

Noon-1 p.m.: CLO Mini Stars, Katz Plaza

5-6:30 p.m.: Brad Yoder, Second Stage at Gateway Center

5-7 p.m.: Boilermaker Jazz Band, Katz Plaza

6:30 p.m.: “Looking for an Icon” film, Harris Theater

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Bill Deasy Band, Dollar Bank Stage

7:45 p.m.: “Eames: The Architect and The Painter” film, Harris Theater

8-9:30 p.m.: Timothy B. Schmit, Dollar Bank Stage

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