Art Notes: Art reception includes dance performance


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A performance by slowdanger will add a celebratory air to the closing weekend of Richard Claraval‘‍s “Mythological Gestures” beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Spinning Plate Gallery, 5821 Baum Blvd., East End. The event is public and free.

Mr. Claraval exhibits 17 large charcoal drawings based on mythology, the subjects expressed through ethereal line and a sensitive observation of and attention to the figure. Mr. Claraval shows his drawings and sculpture regularly in the region. His sculpture “Faun” was included in the centennial exhibition of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh at Carnegie Museum of Art. His large “Untitled” charcoal on vellum was included in the Juried Visual Art Exhibition of this year’‍s Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. “Prometheus the Artist,” a 48-by-64-inch charcoal drawing on paper, is included in the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh Annual, which continues through Aug. 31 at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg.

Anna Thompson and Taylor Knight, graduates of the Point Park University dance program who are performance and life partners, comprise slowdanger. Their dance performance is inspired by Mr. Claraval‘‍s drawings and also will include Mr. Taylor’‍s electronic instrumentals and Ms. Thompson‘‍s soprano vocals.

Wine, beer and light refreshments will be served. The exhibition will continue through Saturday. Gallery hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 4 to 7 p.m Friday and Saturday.

Poetry and jazz

Poet Dessie Bey and musician George Gist will present “We Breathe the Same Air / We Bleed the Same Blood” from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The event is held to complement the exhibition “RACE: Are We So Different?” Ms. Bey will read new work and Mr. Gist will perform acoustic bass renditions of Miles Davis’ “All Blues” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.“

Ms. Bey has authored three volumes of poetry and edited ”Three Rivers Run Deep: A Pittsburgh Poet’s Anthology.“ She co-founded the Langston Hughes Poetry Society of Pittsburgh and Sankofa Girls Rock, and is principal organizer of Slave Narrative Readings for Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

Free with museum admission (after 4 p.m. Thursdays, $10 adult/senior, $5 student/child; other times admission is $17.95, seniors $14.95, students and children ages 3-18 $11.95, members and children under 3 free). Information: 412-622-3131 or www.carnegiemnh.org. 

CMOA scanning day

A scanning day for ”A People’‍s History of Pittsburgh“ will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Carnegie Museum of Art. Bring your favorite family photographs to be scanned and included in a collective photo album for the people of Pittsburgh and its surrounding metro area. The project is part of the Hillman Photography Initiative and led by Pittsburgh photographers Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar, co-founders of Spaces Corners bookstore. Visitors who bring a hard copy of a photo to the scanning project will receive free museum admission. Information: 412-622-3131 or www.cmoa.org. 

Touchstone arts evening

Summer Evening Arts, a free public program, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Touchstone Center for Crafts, Farmington, Fayette County. The evening will include music by Brian Weaver, whose debut album, ”Brand New Mom,“ was released in March, and exhibitions featuring Sharif Bey, Sharon Massey and Ian Thomas. 

Mr. Bey, a sculptor and educator, is also a potter whose functional vessels reflect his own passion for cooking and for the valuable familial experiences facilitated through making, sharing and consuming wholesome food. Ms. Massey’‍s metal sculptures are inspired by postindustrial imagery and range in size from wearable to wall-mountable. Mr. Thomas‘‍ clay works combine a potter‘‍s craft and an expressionist’‍s brushwork. Mr. Weaver composes instrumental music and performs using a loop pedal that allows him to create a synthesis of folk, classical and jazz sounds.

Touchstone cautions that GPS directs visitors via a road in bad repair. For reliable directions visit http://touchstonecrafts.org/visiting.touchstone. Information: 724-329-1370. 

Hunt open house

The annual open house at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. At 2:15 p.m., assistant curator of art Carrie Roy will lead a tour of the exhibition, ”Duets.“ At 3 p.m., “Botanical Exploration in the Americas” will be discussed by assistant librarian Jeannette McDevitt, curator of art Lugene Bruno and archivist J. Dustin Williams. The event is free. The institute is in the Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University. Information: 412-268-2434 or http://huntbot.andrew.cmu.edu/HIBD. 

 Detroit leaving Mattress

“Detroit Artists in Residence,” an exhibition of thought-provoking, tactile installations inspired by the history and current state of the Motor City and created in residence, will close Sunday at the Mattress Factory, North Side. Continuing are “Chiharu Shiota: Trace of Memory” and “Rose Clancy: Gardenlab@510.” Information: www.mattress.org or 412-231-3169.

Caplan and Bolmgren

An exhibition of works by the late Pittsburgh artists Donna Hollen Bolmgren and Jerry Caplan is at the Chatham University Art Gallery through Aug. 22. The show comprises works from the university collection including self-portraits, handmade paper and ceramic and plaster sculpture. A closing reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 21. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Your Gigaportrait

Were you at this year‘‍s Three Rivers Arts Festival? You may be able to find yourself in one of a series of gigapixel images taken during the festival of the Golden Triangle from the Trimont on Mount Washington. The massive images are made up of as many as 400 individual photographs. A snapshot icon allows site visitors to create close-ups for free. Check it out at www.gigapan.com/gigapans/156231. 


Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925.

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