Visual Arts Programming Announced for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014

Related: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the visual art exhibitions and events that are part of the twentieth anniversary celebration of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh in the heart of downtown's Cultural District. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014 is produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust with generous support from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the event's long time supporter and returning presenting sponsor. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh provides the city with a chance to ring in the new year while celebrating the arts: dance, music, theater, comedy, magic, visual art, and film, plus hands-on activities for children and adults.

"Highmark First Night Pittsburgh is the region's largest showcase of family-friendly visual art," says Sonja Sweterlitsch Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Manager of Community Art. "Visitors will enjoy a wide range of visual media and expression, from film, to installation art, to painting and sculpture, to inspire and delight."

Among the fourteen visual art venues participating in Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014 is the Trust Arts Education Center (805/807 Liberty Avenue), which transforms into an exhibition space for the event. The Center's third floor features the exhibition Memory Terrains, which includes artwork by artists working in a range of media. Don Jones presents Cycle Sam, a child-size, energetic animated robot. Alternate Histories by Matthew Bucholtz features old prints of the Pittsburgh area, seemingly familiar, yet utterly surprising, as UFOs hover in the skyline and sea monsters rise from the Monongahela River. Also presented is a selection of artist Mia Tarducci Henry's vibrant and colorful abstract paintings recalling her experiences in Grenada 30 years ago.

A screening of the 1959 animated film "Rhapsody in Steel" by former Disney staffer John Sutherland rounds out the third floor exhibition space. Commissioned by U.S. Steel, this 23-minute industrial cartoon (with full orchestration by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) tells the story of the history of steel, from the first meteor hitting the earth, to ancient Egypt, to space flight. Other notable contributors to the film include Academy Award-winning composer Dimitri Tiomkin, art director and former Disney illustrator Eyvind Earle, director Carl Urbano, and narrator Gary Merrill.

The Center's fourth floor features the Second Saturday Workshops: Instructors' Showcase, highlighting outstanding work by thirteen local artists, who are also instructors of the Second Saturday Art Workshop Series at the Trust Arts Education Center. Among the artists included are internationally honored fiber artist Tina Brewer and Tom Scioli, comic book artist and illustrator of the epic sci-fi comic book Gødland.

The following is a complete schedule of the visual art exhibitions and events that are part of the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014 New Year's Eve celebration.

HIGHMARK FIRST NIGHT PITTSBURGH 2014 VISUAL ARTS:

Trust Arts Education Center, 805/807 Liberty Avenue

Third Floor: Memory Terrains

Presenting paintings by Mia Tarducci Henry; Alternate Histories by Matthew Bucholtz; Cycle Sam by Don Jones; and Rhapsody in Steel, a 1959 animation by John Sutherland, re-mastered by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

Fourth Floor: Second Saturday Workshops: Instructors' Showcase

Artist-instructors include Rick Antolic, Alison Babusci, Michael Bestwick, Tina Brewer, Cheryl Capezzuti, Erin Carlson, Joshua Hogan, Laverne Kemp, Emily McMahon, Olga Mihaylova, Thomas Scioli, Sonja Sweterlitsch, and Linda Wallen.

Highmark Direct Truck, 9th Street

Steel Making: A Symphony of Industry

This 1936 film re-mastered by Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area illuminates the steel-making process from start to finish with cinematic flourish rarely seen in films of this genre.

Fraley's Robot Repair Shop, Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, 107 6th Street

The Lonely Robot Returns

Artist Toby Atticus Fraley brings back the Lonely Robot from his previous Cultural District installation. The robot and his friends appear in a swanky room window display at street level.

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, 937 Liberty Avenue, 2nd floor

Welcoming the Future, Honoring the Present: New and Established AAP Member Works

This exhibition features a salon-style hanging of works by current AAP artists alongside a showcase of 21 new AAP members, who became part of the organization in 2013.

Toonseum, 945 Liberty Avenue

The year 2014 is the 100th anniversary of Gertie the Dinosaur, the first animated cartoon character. To celebrate, ToonSeum is showing animated cartoons inside and outside of the building. Special live performances by cartoonist and ToonSeum Director Joe Wos are also featured.




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by Barry Kostrinsky