Convergent Series

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

Posts Tagged ‘ArtAllNight’

2016 Art All Night — Quick Recap

Posted by C Scheftic on 2016/04/24

That community-wide celebration of creativity know as Art All Night was held this year, as usual, on the last weekend in April. This was the 19th such event, and I’ve been going for something like 15 (or is it 16?) of those. Note: I have not lived in Pittsburgh that long! I stumbled across my first one while I was still living in California, and just happened to be visiting here the weekend it was taking place. In subsequent years, if I was planning a trip here in the first half of the year, I’d do my best to arrange it to include the weekend of Art All Night! After I moved here, I’d refuse invitations to do other things that weekend. Art All Night drew me in again and again!

This year, however, things got tough. I had a piece selected and framed to enter, registered it, and my schedule was open. The latter ended up being a good thing: without going into details, a special person in my life passed away a few days before. So, with calendar clear, I was able to help out with some arrangements, attend the wake and services, etc. (Oh, and for what it’s worth, this was but one of several dear folks I lost in March and April….Sigh.) Although the events associated with this one interfered with Art All Night in general, at least the venue was located between them and my home. I did manage to drop a piece off and pick it back up in the designated hours, and I was even able to pop in for a quick run-around of about 40 minutes on Sunday afternoon (instead of the many hours I typically spend on the Saturday night!). Ten minutes of that was spent talking with some folks I knew, and the rest was a quick dash to view several thousand entries in minutes! Whew!

With that, let me present a few (very few) of the pieces that caught my eye (and my camera’s lens). Small versions should be visible right in this post, but clicking on any of them should open a new window with a larger view.

In some ways a victim of its own success (i.e., as a way to get thousands of people to wander through unused or under-utilised buildings) since the number of enthusiastic entrants and attendees continues to grow, finding a new venue can be a challenge. But finding the venue is easy: just look for the sign:

This greeted people as they approached the entrance ramp on Sunday. There was more chalk art all around the inside, but I suspect this would have been scuffed out even more had it been there at the entrance through the all-night event. (The bottom line says: No angst. No ennui.)

With almost 4,700 squares, the title, “Yep, I impressed my Mom’s Quilting Group” offered a warm welcome to all near the entrance.

This spray-painted Hobbes was the next piece that drew me in, and the title “True Love” did seem to fit it many different ways!

Amidst a dizzying display of the creativity in this community, soon I was catching glimpses of artwork by folks I know. Fellow-Artsmith Audra Azoury’s “Assemblage” (top-center) was the first one I spotted. I’m showing the whole panel it’s on because I also wanted to capture “Sailing Deer Lakes.” Although I don’t know that particular artist nor the specific subjects, it also brought a smile to my face.

Next, I spotted this piece by my metals-buddy, Barbara Kaczor. I wish we could have toured the show together!

In another whole part of the building I caught my neighbor Sabina Rosenfeld’s framed quilt. I got a kick out of the price on it: not because of the exact number she’d used, but that instead of OBO, she’d put “or reasonable offer.” Isn’t that what so many of us want when compromise is necessary: a reasonable offer?!!

This little collection of cats caught my eye too. I captured the image but only later, when I’d run into Sabina and Peter and she said she was looking to find the location of “a board with little cats cut into it,” did I find out that this was the work of Sabina’s brother.

There seemed to be a lot less jewelry this year than there has typically been in the past. I captured images of these two. There were only maybe three others that I couldn’t get (either the lighting was a challenge, or there were too many people hanging out in front of them).

Then, I had to capture these shots for my friend, Sally, with whom I went to a number of Art All Night events, after I moved here and before she moved away. She and her sweetie, John, will know why these brought them to mind.

I am pretty sure that the name given on this entry is that of the photographer who took the picture, not the artist who actually created the image. I love the original, and notice it every time I drive west on Penn Avenue. The wooden railing on the front is an actual railing; the bride who appears to be entering the next unit in the row is actually painted onto the next building.

At another time, while I might have enjoyed the wood-work on this piece, I’m not sure I would have chosen to highlight it. But with all the current uproar over who uses which rest-room, I figured I should note the artistry here, if nothing else, on this single sign:

The whole show took up three huge rooms. I didn’t take all the equipment I can sometimes get my hands on for taking panoramic photos, but I did try to capture a 360° view of the entire northern (river-side) room from what must have been the all-night “dance floor” in the middle of it. Because it’s flattened out, it gives much more weight to the “wall” that appears in the middle than it does to either of the two sides. But there are hundreds of pieces on panels to the left, toward the front of the building, and then almost as many more behind it.

That shot, above, gives you a glimpse of the venue, but no clue of the experience. It was sooooo empty just then, right as they were insisting that everyone had to leave so they could get everything set up for the pick-up process. For most of the 22-hour run, it is packed with participants. I heard a number of people who’d come down on Sunday said they’d tried to come down earlier in the show, and simply could not park and get in, and they’d had to leave and come back several times before they could. (Despite many things I like about Pittsburgh, they’ve been cutting back on public transportation way too much; and when you can’t use it reliably, people use it less and less even during the limited times / places it is available. Because they don’t feel they can count on it. But I digress….)

Each year there seems to be some surprising “trend” among the entries. That is, something I notice being repeated a number of times that is way higher than I might ever have guessed for that style or approach. When I have more time than I did that Sunday, I’ll then trace my steps back and try to capture shots of all the entries that fit the trend. This time, I didn’t have the time, but the following picture sort of illustrates two trends I noticed:

  • A surprising number of entries (relative to the whole show) included seemingly-random patterns of circles.
  • A surprising number of entries by young children (relative to the total number in this category) were displayed in extremely fancy frames!

So, while Livia’s “Spring Chickens” are not exactly random patterns of circles, they are an interesting minor variation on that theme. And the frame on this child’s art does definitely fit the pattern for the work of 6 year olds this year,

I took the time to capture that last photo, above, as I tried to find the right angle at which to shoot the whole panel on which my entry was displayed. Can you find mine?

In case you can’t quite see my entry, The Empress’s Portal, in that shot, I’ll repeat here the close-up I posted a few days ago, the one I took to keep in the records of my creations:

Until next year, then… Be creative!

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This weekend: the nineteenth Art All Night!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2016/04/23

Yes, once again, the last weekend in April brings us the wonderful community celebration of art that is known as Art All Night.

For this, the nineteenth such event, they’ve returned to switching locations again (hey, it’s a project of the Lawrenceville Development Corporation so besides all the art, part of the point is to get tens of thousands of people circulating through an “empty” site in the hopes that someone will see its potential…!), so I’m eager to see what this one will be like.

Though I had finally gotten comfortable with finding my way to, finding parking relatively near, and finding my way back out of the site they’ve used for the last few years, it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like down on the other side of the 40th Street bridge this year. It’ll also be fun to see all the entries.

I submitted a “woven textured silver” piece that I made, originally, as a sample piece for a workshop at The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh. Entering it for Art All Night is sort of a full-circle thing, because I made my first woven silver pieces in 2008, with the clay I’d used while doing my first-ever public demonstrations anywhere that used metal clay, and that was at Art All Night. (Talk about starting big!) I’d over-worked and over-lubricated the clay in the many hours of demos, and I’d heard it might be possible to salvage it by adding some glycerin although the resulting clay would then not harden as it dried but remain flexible … so the obvious thing to try with that was weaving. I’ve made such pieces off an on over the years since then, but I’ve never before entered one in Art All Night. So it seemed about time to do that!

Except this piece, instead of being made from salvaged clay, was made from a mix of fresh clays, PMC Flex and PMC Sterling, to yield a form of sterling silver that contains as much as 96% fine silver. Adding the sterling results in a slightly stronger piece: my earlier ones always had solid “frames” around the weaving which made them strong enough, but the sterling in the mix for a structure like this opens up design opportunities: here, it’s safe to let a few of the ends extend outwards at least a little bit for a more “adventurous” result.

I need to thank Kathy Herbst and Louise Rosenfeld for brainstorming names for this piece, along with Manny Rosenfeld who inspired the name I’ve finally decided to give it: The Empress’s Portal. If you’d like to bid on it at Art All Night, it’s #2919. If you’d like to take a class and learn how to make a piece like this, sign up for one at Artsmiths or get in touch with me to request that I organize one at my studio in Regent Square (or even another venue that you arrange for).

In the meantime, if you’re in the Western PA area this weekend, be sure to check out Art All Night! It’s free and open to the public from 4 pm on Saturday, April 23 straight through until 2 pm on Sunday, April 24. And if you’re not here this weekend, at least consider putting the last weekend in April in Pittsburgh on your calendar for next year!

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This Weekend: Art All Night

Posted by C Scheftic on 2014/04/23

Yes, once again, the last weekend in April brings the wonderful event known as Art All Night. As ever, it’ll be in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This year, it’s going to be held in the same location as it’s been the last two years: just east of the 40th Street Bridge, down next to the Allegheny River.

If you’re not familiar with the event, it is an absolutely amazing community-based celebration of art!

Details are at the event’s website: artallnight.org

Or, if you prefer, here: http://www.facebook.com/artallnight

No Fees. No Jury. No Censorship. One entry per artist. Drop-off times are 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday: thousands of entries will be hung in that short time-span. (I’m entry #2793, and I’m sure there will be more registered after mine!)

The show will open at 4:00 pm on Saturday, run through the rest of the afternoon and evening, keep going all night (yes, really!), run on into Sunday morning and early afternoon. After tens of thousands of people have explored the exhibits, listened to the music, watched demonstrations and joined in on the various hands-on activities, it will finally close at 2 pm on Sunday….

Participating artists can (must!) pick up their entries between 2:30 and 5:30 on Sunday. Bids are passed on to the artists, and it’s up to them to contact their potential customers after the event. (There’s also an auction of pieces created at the event. Funds from that go to the organization, to help keep Art All Night running every year. This year, 2014, is the seventeenth (17th!) time it’s been held.)

Those who know me “in real life” know that Art All Night is one of my very top-two favorite events of the year. (I can’t rate them against each other: they are too different for that. The other is the Edible Flowers Food Fest, but that’s going on hiatus for 2014 since the leader of the EFFF is also hosting the Garden Writers Association‘s annual symposium (their 66th) here this year. Which makes this year’s Art All Night even-more special!)

I include a photograph of the piece I’m entering this year: The Pittsburgh Point: Three Neighborhoods and Three Rivers in Three Metals. It was made using Hadar’s Clays: Champagne Bronze, Friendly Copper, and Low-Shrinkage Steel. It is, in fact, extra-special to me because I made it in the Accreditation Program workshop I attended out at Hadar’s Studio in Berkeley, CA, this past February. (Hadar herself took this photo with it on a steel cable she had out there! I’m entering it with a bronze-color satin cord to which I added findings.) I really enjoyed making it. Better yet, it inspired me to start a whole new series of Three Rivers pieces for the Three Rivers Arts Festival this June. I’ll again have pieces in the Koolkat Gallery booth there … but I’ll write more about that later on.

Until Sunday afternoon, I’m all Art All Night! Let me know if I should look for you there!

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This Weekend: Art All Night

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/04/27

Yep, once again, the last weekend in April brings the wonderful event known as Art All Night. As ever, it’ll be in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This year, it’s going to be held in the same location as it was last year: just east of the 40th Street Bridge, down next to the Allegheny River.

Details are at the event’s website: artallnight.org

Or, if you prefer, here: http://www.facebook.com/artallnight

I’ve got to dash down to register the piece I am entering (I’ll write about that later), then make several quick stops (including one at Society for Contemporary Craft), then dash over to the Edible Teaching Garden that is being initiated this year by the Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County (I’m head of the photo-team for that project, as well as being involved in the actual gardening tasks), then head back down to meet up with some metal clay guild mates and visitors for the actual opening of Art All Night (do let me know if I should look out for YOU there!)… and I still don’t have my studio set up for the two-day workshop I’ll be leading, starting tomorrow morning, on working with Hadar’s Clays. So I’ll update this post with some more links when I have a moment, and add some notes about the events once I catch my breath.

Spring is here, and it’s wonderful, but it still amazes me how much life seems to speed up as soon as it arrives!

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Other Happenings at Art All Night This Year.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/05/03

My simple little review of the 2012 version of Art All Night opens with a photo (above) of the wall just inside the entrance to this year’s event. One of the interesting aspects of this particular location was figuring out what elements were just part of the site, and which were actual entries….

As I mentioned in my last post, the pieces that Alice and I entered were hung together. This shows the whole board on which our entries were placed. (The big blue arrow pointing to mine, with Alice’s below it, was “photoshopped in” by me afterwards, of course!)

Alice had taken a bit of a break to explore earlier than I had. I asked her where she’d found our entries, and she said they were together, and pointed me in a general direction. The thing she neglected to mention was that our little pieces were with a number of other larger and much easier to spot ones: under a row of lovely “nature” images, on the same board with the very large painting of a hook and eye, and right next to a drawing of Troy Polamalu … with all his famous hair. Great spot! Good company!

There wasn’t anywhere near as much jewelry as last year. In fact, one of the few others I noticed was a lovely beaded piece by the owner of a local bead shop. I didn’t get a close-up, because I wanted to capture more of that whole board too.

As ever, our local Etch-a-Sketch artist was there (and, at some point, I’ll actually manage to note where I can find it later his name….). Given the lighting in general (no complaint intended with that, just a comment on repurposing empty buildings for this event) and the peculiarities of capturing the dark-on-light-gray-behind-a-“glass” nature of the Etch-a-Sketch, I could not get a shot with enough light at a fast enough speed to do justice to the “I Love Lucy” collage. But it was another good one!

This year’s surprise theme seemed to involve machinery of various sorts. A number of those entries were placed together in one of the smaller rooms. In my mind, that was the “machinery hall” collection:

Alice managed to get a pretty good shot of the piece in that group called “She Metal” but the thing you can’t see from the still image is the way she shimmied and shook!

Though the “machinery hall” entries were, in some ways, more futuristic than this next item, I was certainly amused by the entry, “Gone But Not Forgotten” that was built from a number of “dated” devices. (If you can’t see enough detail on that, or any other of these images, please remember that a quick click on any of them should bring up a version that’s at least somewhat bigger…).

As with the “art jewelry,” there were also fewer “art guitars” this year too, but I could not resist including one of the few of those in that shot….

I really liked this octagonal painting, titled simply “Abstract.” Except, I wish it hadn’t been painted on canvas. I kept looking at it, thinking what I’d’ve preferred as a base: because for some reason I really wanted to use it as a table. Can you imagine sitting at a table like this, enjoying a good breakfast? I can! I think it would accentuate a sunny morning, and brighten up a dreary one: both good ways to start the day.

Much as I liked the Cactus Chair, however. I was not at all compelled to consider using it with the Abstract Octagon I wanted as a table. Even if it had still been a people chair, rather than being converted into a chair that would hold a flower pot.

Although the flower pot sitting next to it would have had much of its own artistry lost had it been inserted in the chair…. It really was better, sitting on its own, next to that.

Since I’ve started down the “nature” theme with the images I’m showing here, I’ll just move on to the “Gypsy Summer” panel.

And close with one of my favorite butterfly-images from this year, with the lovely title, “Spread Your Wings.”

That’s what Art All Night does: encourage an entire community to spread its wings, whether in the creation, admiration, purchase, or otherwise supporting of art.

I’ve got one other set of images to post from this year but (for reasons that will become clear when I get them up) it’s going to take me a while to get to those. In the meantime (or afterwards, if it takes a while before you stumble across this) you can always find out more about Art All Night through any of these:

And mark your calendar, once again, for the last weekend in April next year!

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Western PA Metal Clay @ Art All Night

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/05/01

I’ve been doing Metal Clay demos at Art All Night for five years now. We actually announced the formation of our local guild-chapter at a previous Art All Night, with our first meeting scheduled for about two weeks later. In subsequent years, I have been joined by anywhere from one to six other members of the group. With me this year were Alice Walkowski, Debbie Rusonis, and Donna Penoyer, putting on a little metal clay show for about five hours on Saturday night.

Debbie left a little earlier and Donna arrived a little later than Alice and I did. Here’s a shot of Alice and Debbie posed, during a brief lull, about an hour after we had set up our demonstration area:

And here’s another shot, taken moments after that one, showing how they really felt:

Yes, after a warmer-than-usual March, our April weather has been very fickle, and Saturday night in an unheated building turned out to be a particularly cold undertaking! Though, of course, our hearts were warmed by all the visitors!

We really did enjoy talking with the different people who stopped by our table. We were located in a somewhat challenging spot to find: you had to either work your way down a row of exhibits and then through the entire hands-on activity section for children, or else find the “back passage” through the show.

One thing that did draw some people to that back passage was catching a glimpse of the “artists in residence” down in a sort of pit just beyond our spot. I really thought I had taken some photos of them, creating pieces on-site, but now I don’t see any on my camera. Oops…. Though I’m sorry that a lot of people never made it down to where we were, the nice thing about how it worked out this year was that we had a great opportunity for some extended interactions with the folks who did stop by.

As far as I know, Alice and I were the only artists who entered pieces that were constructed using “metal clay’ techniques. Because we had checked in separately (although only a few minutes apart, we’d been directed to different stations), we were amused to find our two pieces hung together:

Since you probably can’t see much detail inside the frames on either of our entries, here are some photos we’d each taken earlier. First, there’s a shot of Alice’s piece, Diving with Pearls (with fine silver and a CZ, plus pearls and ceramic beads) that she took and I found on her blog, followed by my entry, a reversible pendant (in yellow bronze, rose bronze, and copper) called Three Flowers … with a Twist.

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This Weekend: Art All Night

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/04/23

Yep, once again, the last weekend in April brings the wonderful event known as Art All Night. As ever, it’ll be in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, but there is a new location for this year: just east of the 40th Street Bridge, down next to the Allegheny River. Details are at the event’s website: artallnight.org

Will I see you there? I plan to head down:

  • on Saturday night from the opening (4 pm) until maybe 9 pm, where some metal clay guild-mates (Alice, Debbie, and Donna) and I will be doing demos; this is my fifth year in that role (my, how time flies!); plus, I will also try to scout out sites so I can go back….
  • on Sunday around midday, when I’d like to try to take some GigaPan images, mostly because I want to try a couple things in order to learn some more about the quirks of that process (both taking the shots and “stitching” them together), but also because it seems like it should be fun to try to capture a hint of the magnitude of this event.

In the meantime, here’s a little video that I found online. It looks like it was made to promote Art All Night in 2011, with shots from Art All Night 2010. It’s just over two and a half minutes long and, at about 1:45 in, you can see Ann from our group with a flaming torch. (I was off exploring when that segment was shot, and heard about it when I got back…. But the lighted area on the table just past Ann points to the display I took down to the site that year.)



If you can make it, I’ll sure look forward to seeing you there!

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Demos at Art All Night 2011.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/05/05

I’m way behind schedule for meeting several deadlines, so I haven’t had time to go through my snapshots from Art All Night and try to assemble a bit of a story. But I figured I’d at least find and post a couple for now. This first one will confirm that we were there or, at least, listed as the “Precious Metal Clay Guild” on the big Thank-You Board. (Technically, we are the “Western PA Chapter of the Precious Metal Clay Guild” but what’s here is close enough!)

I got there a little before 6 pm and Donna arrived a few minutes after. We were scheduled to give demos until around 10 pm, though it was more like 10:30 when we actually finished up. We were in the same space our guild chapter had last year, just off to the side of the ramp that connects the two main buildings of the art show.

There seemed to be more lights in full operation than there’d been back in our corner last year! So our little tables were somewhat brighter than they’d been then, which made it a bit challenging to see the “glow” of pieces being torch-fired. But, only a little bit more and, once again, that burning binder and glowing metal served well to draw people over to see what was going on. We had a pretty steady flow of interested observers until, maybe around 8 pm, I began to notice a bit of a crowd building up in the aisle between us and the ramp.

At first, I just saw this guy from the back: he was also facing the ramp, trying to draw people down into “our” corner. Or, should I say, trying to get his, ah, “friend” to draw them down. Though coiled up in this shot, when I saw it stretched out it looked to be a least six feet long (maybe more, but definitely under eight).

That’s when the “aura” around us changed: I’m not trying to imply that it got better, or that it got worse, just that it changed. Some people came over because of the snake, and then stayed to see what we were doing. Others came over regardless of the snake, because they wanted to know what we were demonstrating.

I do know, however, that at least some people didn’t even see us because of the snake. Several of my neighbors, for one example: One mother stopped by to say hello, but I later found out that neither the father nor their children in that family had even seen me. He said, “As soon as I saw that snake, I just looked the other way, and headed the girls right over to some performers on the other side of the room.”

That’s too bad. Though I was too busy to get a chance to engage this fellow in conversation (and of course he disappeared right as we started to pack up our materials), from the little I was able to overhear off and on, he seemed to be doing a good job of trying to explain that snakes are a part of our ecosystem, that only a very few of them are dangerous while most are not, and that the majority of them would usually rather you just quietly pass them by and leave them alone … the same thing you would wish of them. Luckily, a lot of people were still able to walk past this pair–stopping to visit with them, or not, as they preferred–to see what we had going on.

Oh, and in that photo, you can see Donna, second from the left (and facing right), in the midst of a torch-firing demo. I couldn’t find a way to get both the snake and the torch in the same shot, so I just grabbed a shot from this angle and then went back to talking with folks who’d come over to see the metal clay display.

After we were all packed up, Donna left to get some sleep (she was heading down to the metal clay retreat sponsored by PMC Connection at Arrowmont, leaving at 7 am the next day). But I stayed and wandered around, looking at the art and talking with various people, for a couple more hours.

‘Twas a fun evening! I hope to find time to post a few notes on the show itself in about a week.

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