Knit the Bridge, the ambitious, multi-community project that aims to mount a large-scale fiberarts installation on a Downtown bridge, finally made the Allegheny County Council agenda last week and was referred to the county's public works committee, which met Tuesday. The committee is expected to send the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh's proposal to the full council meeting next Tuesday. I hope council members recognize this for the opportunity it offers Pittsburgh to not only celebrate local talent but also to attract positive national attention.
Members of Knit the Bridge maintain a daily presence in the arts festival creativity zone where they answer questions, recruit new volunteers and finish vital parts of the bridge plan.
Welcome to the more than 1,000 expected attendees of the 2013 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and pre-conferences, which begin Thursday and continue through the weekend at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and throughout the city.
The national organization, founded in 1960, encourages the arts and art education by providing leadership and networking to organizations and individuals. The 2013 convention theme is messaging and storytelling. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has diligently planned a full schedule of performing and visual arts to show off our booming cultural community. I hope attendees will enjoy their visit and find much to return to in the future.
Keynote speaker Jim Messina, the national chair of Organizing for Action, Washington, D.C., is better known as the campaign manager of President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election bid. He will speak at a luncheon Friday with Manuel Pastor of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, moderated by Abel Lopez, associate producing director of D.C.'s GALA Hispanic Theatre. Information: http://convention.artsusa.org.
Ann Hamilton today
Artist Ann Hamilton will speak at 7 tonight at The Braddock Community Center, 416 Library St., as a part of the Alloy PGH lecture series. Tim Kaulen talks at 7 p.m. Thursday at Concept Art Gallery, 1021 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. Alloy PGH will present temporary site-based work by 15 emerging artists at Carrie Furnaces National Historic Landmark in September (www.alloypittsburgh.blogspot.com).
'Arch' at airport
The 20-foot-high transformer-inspired sculpture "Arch" by Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino was commissioned in 2008 as a temporary work for the Pittsburgh 250 celebration. Installed at the corner of Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Seventh Street, Downtown, it grew a fan base and outlasted its original intent. But by 2011 it had begun to show wear and was sent for a restoration assessment. Now fully restored, it has found a permanent home at the Pittsburgh International Airport on the ticketing level, near US Air, where it was installed this week. The restoration was funded by The Heinz Endowments and steered by the Office of Public Art, a partnership of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh.
Congratulations to Murrysville artist Patricia Kennedy-Zafred, who received the Quilt National 2013 Heartland Award at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. Her "Descent Into Darkness: The Boys of the Mines" draws on historic photographs of children who labored in the tri-state area in the early 1900s. The exhibition continues through Sept. 2 and will then travel through 2015. Athens, about 31/2 hours southwest of Pittsburgh by car, is also home to Ohio University and a major outdoor installation by artist Maya Lin. Closed Mondays. Admission. Information: 1-740-592-4981 or www.dairybarn.org.
Bud Gibbons seasons
"Winter," the magical depiction of southwestern Pennsylvania's forested ridges by artist Bud Gibbons that appeared on the front of the Dec. 25, 2012, Post-Gazette, is exhibited in the Art Gallery, Penn State University, New Kensington. That painting along with his other three seasons remain through July 28. The 8-by-10-foot works were commissioned by and are lent by the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, where they were displayed until the Greensburg institution began its renovation and expansion. The exhibition also includes 19 smaller portraits and landscapes. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Information: 724-334-6032.
Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: email@example.com or 412-263-1925.