Saturday, September 21, 2013

Art Cars: Step 1

Today I went to Cheryl's house to start the process of making our Art Cars for the First Night parade. We got the preliminary step mostly done - fitting the slipcover for my car.

Step 1: Drape the muslin over the car

(Big thanks to my in-laws, who moved to India this year and sold me their car, with which I'm doing this project!)

Step 2: Pin the muslin to fit snugly

Step 3: Sew the seams in Cheryl's amazing studio full of puppets (sewing machine not pictured)

Step 4: Admire the items her wonderful daughters collected and shared with me (ladies after my own heart!)

I'm really excited about this project. My slipcover is going to be covered with both painted images of cranes and some three-dimensional birds made out of sheets of corrugated semi-transparent plastic. I'm shooting for something translucent, like vellum. Here's a picture of the sketches and a tiny model; the finished version will probably include some color.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Upcoming Fall Events: Sounds Upstairs and Art Cars!

I've got two events coming up this fall that I'd like to highlight!

This blog is mostly about my art, but you can probably tell from reading it that I have other creative pursuits to keep me busy and feed into my artistic practice. One of them is, and has always been, making music. Next month, I'll be playing in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Sounds Upstairs music series. Here are the details:

When: Sunday, October 6th at 3:30 PM
Where: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main Branch (Oakland), International Poetry Room on the second floor
Who: the South Side Sharps (myself, clarinet; David Rollinson, euphonium; Bruce Lazier, trombone), playing a free concert

And here is the Carnegie Library's page for the event. Dave (the engineer), Bruce (the actual musical professional in this group), and I (the artist) founded the Sharps last year after finding that we'd spent a lot of time playing together in the evenings preparing music for church. Our occasional music-making turned into a weekly ritual of shared dinner and rehearsal, and Dave came up with a punny name (it's a play on the neighborhood we live in - the South Side Slopes - and sharp [#] a common musical notation), so at that point we were ready to wreak havoc all over musical tradition.

We'll be playing a variety of classical music, with a concentration on music from the Renaissance and Early American hymns and folk tunes. We've also got a few pieces specially composed and arranged for us by Pittsburgh composer David Mahler and CMU alum Nathan Hall. Best of all, the concert is free! If you're in Pittsburgh, I'd love for you to come, whether you're a musician or music lover or just wondering what the heck a euphonium is. Everyone is welcome.

There's more to come after that. Shortly after the concert, I'll be turning my car into a parade float for Pittsburgh's First Night parade, held on New Year's Eve! The Art Car project is the brainchild of Cheryl Capezzuti, a Pittsburgh artist who specializes in amazing, engaging, large-scale puppets, and a lot of other wonderful things. This year's theme is "Special Delivery," and it's sure to be as colorful and fun as in years past. It will come as no surprise that I'm thinking of a piece involving birds - specifically, cranes. Coincidentally, I heard this story on NPR on Sunday about the 40th anniversary of the International Crane Foundation, and the birds' continued troubles with habitat destruction and declining population, so my idea feels even more suitable now.

I don't feel like I should write a whole post and not include an image, so I'll leave you with a photo of some red-headed cranes I shot at the Cincinnati Zoo this past spring: