Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Yes, but is it Art?

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/07/03

I wrote a good bit about Art All Night between April 20 and 30 last year, so I’m not going to repeat all that background again.

The whole event was back in the same building as last year, the former Iron City Brewery. Whenever that site gets redeveloped (or, sad to contemplate, if it doesn’t and crumbles beyond safe usefulness) the organizers are going to be in a real bind. Art All Night has grown so so much over the years and become so popular, that it’s going to be a real challenge to find another site that is big enough to accommodate its increasing size, both in the number of entries and of visitors. (As I mentioned one or two posts back, the numbers for 2011 were 1,240 entries and over 12,000 visitors!)

In the meantime, though, it’s still an absolutely superb event! I’d been meaning to post at least a few comments and a handful of photos, but what pushed me to finally assemble a few at last (and to use the title I gave to this post) was the photo on a recent post by Alice over at her Ally’s Art blog. So … once you’ve checked that out … in no particular order (at least, not after the first one), here we go:

This photo I took specifically for John & Sally, ‘burghers-turned-Eugenians; they’ll know why (especially if they click on it to reach a slightly larger version):

I didn’t get a very clear photo (sigh!) of the annual “Etch-A-Sketch” portraits entry (my own entry last year had been hung next to them) but I think it’s clear enough to be obvious that the local “Icons” presented are the rather disparate Andy Warhol and Fred Rogers (who were not just from the same city–Pittsburgh–but actually from the same neighborhood … I lived between Andy’s mother (he’d already left for NY) and Fred (’twas a few blocks either way) while working on my MA degree, but I still thought that put a rather interesting spin on the whole “Won’t you be my neighbor” bit….):

I feel I must note that there was another Etch-A-Sketch entry this year, one that I found nicely amusing, the Steampunk Etch-A-Sketch:

For some reason, there was what might almost be called a plethora of entries this year that somehow included guitars. Why guitars? I have no clue! I was a fair bit of the way through the show before it hit me that I’d already seen quite a few, and then there were suddenly three grouped together. It’s like they simply ran out of places to hang them separately. I didn’t go back to photograph all of them; didn’t decide to start snapping from then on either. But when I got home, I realized that I had captured part of one early in the evening. I caught it as part of my quest to get (for myself, not to post here) a shot of each of the close to a dozen “jewelry” entries, but I’d guesstimate that there were at least twice that many, maybe three times, that included or involved a guitar!

A number of other entries featured “creative reuse” of various sorts, such as this “Skateboard Chair”…

… and the Googly Eyes keyboard (where I admit I’m not-so-sure about the clothespins) …

… as well as the window assembled out of bits of bottles:

I have to say that my snapshot of the photograph “Stink Bug on China” does not do justice to the original photo (nor can I imagine wanting to look at a brown marmorated stink bug magnified to anywhere near that extent more than once, and for just a moment at that). Still I did find the original photo to be stunning:

Ditto on all counts for this caterpillar….

And I note that the slightly more “abstract” quality of carved oak did help a bit to overcome the nature of the skunk cabbage portrayed in this piece:

Lest you think that all the entries were–what term might I use?–quirky, I guess I should say that there were lots of lovely entries too. I may not have taken as many photos of those, but the place was full of them. Here’s one really sweet example:

And the mix of geometer-and-gardener in me loved the design of this one:

While a number of the “Kid’s Art” entries were, perhaps, lovingly-displayed refrigerator-door pieces, it is worth noting that there were some superb entries from budding artists, such as this one by an 11.5-year old:

I was kind of glad that the Iron Butterfly bench was marked Not For Sale, because then there was no need for me to even wonder about the price (could I afford it, was it worth that much, etc.). This way, I can simply covet it via the photo, without any guilt at all over having passed it up:

But I’ve rambled on long enough for this post. To see more entries yourself, photographed by their artists, check out Art All Night All Year. It’s just another great feature offered by the volunteers who put on this wonderful event, and includes photos donated for the shows from 2008 through the present.

For now, then, I’ll close with a shot of the Thank You board. I’d like to extend my thanks also to all the volunteers, as well as all the groups listed here, who help make each Art All Night such a wonderful event.

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