Contemporary art may at times be off-putting because it looks unfamiliar, usually a result of the artist pushing concepts beyond the norm. But that can make it all the more enjoyable to engage with and there's no better way to do that than at the side of the creator.
One of the more esoteric artists in the 2013 Carnegie International, New Yorker Wade Guyton, will participate in a Culture Club event from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday at Carnegie Museum of Art. Mr. Guyton, deemed "one of the moment's hottest art stars" by Artforum magazine, is represented by installations in the museum coatroom, where his oversized abstract "paintings" made with an Epson printer are exhibited, and in the Founder's Room, which the artist will visit on Friday.
He'll be assisted by CI13 co-curator Daniel Baumann.
CI13 co-curator Tina Kukielski will speak about the work of another exhibiting artist, Joel Sternfeld, and several guests will read from the texts of Mr. Sternfeld's photography project, "Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America." Pittsburgh artist and puppeteer Tom Sarver will provide music, playing "some of his father's collection of partly obscure singles."
Admission -- $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $15 students -- includes one drink ticket. Buy tickets at 412-622-3288 or www.cmoa.org.
The 2013 International catalog is a good read and another way to delve more thoroughly into the various artworks. It would also make a unique holiday gift combined with an invitation to see the show and lunch at the museum ($39.95, paper; preview it at the Carnegie website).
Wilkinsburg marching band
The Kansas City Marching Cobras stole the show during the Station to Station roving art train stopover in Pittsburgh in September. Now we have a chance to see our own strut their stuff during a free performance and reading that begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Society for Contemporary Craft, 2100 Smallman St., Strip District.
The Wilkinsburg High School Marching Band will perform and fellow students will read original poetry and other writings relating to the theme of the current exhibition, "ENOUGH Violence: Artists Speak Out." During a residency at the school, exhibiting artist Blaine Siegel explored with students the creative opportunities and consequences of being labeled the most dangerous high school in Pennsylvania in a 2011 study. He will introduce the students he met at the school and talk about their resultant works, which address violence and personal identity.
The band will open the event with an outdoor performance followed by readings inside by half a dozen students and a concluding band performance.
"ENOUGH" continues through March 22. Information, including other programming: 412-261-7003 or www.contemporarycraft.org.
I Made It! Market will hold a pop-up marketplace from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Boyd Community Center, 1220 Powers Run Road, O'Hara. Forty indie crafters will offer a range of goods including sweets, savory dips, upcycled mittens, ceramics, natural bath and body products, jewelry, hand-knitted winter accessories, treats for four-legged friends and art prints. Admission and parking are free.
Part of the proceeds will benefit the center as will the sale of baked goods and hot cocoa. Naomi Weisberg Seigel will sell knitted clothing made from recycled sweaters to benefit the Pittsburgh Food Bank, and proceeds from the sale of holiday ornaments handcrafted by three Fox Chapel sixth-graders will go to the Children's Hospital Free Care Fund.
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1925.