Friday, October 1, 2010

Wood-Fired Words, Saturday, October 2, 2010, Braddock's Unsmoke Systems

1137 Braddock Avenue, Braddock, PA 15104

A collaboration between the Gist Street Reading Series and UnSmoke Systems,

Wood-Fired Words: Saturday, October 2, 2010, starting at 7:30 pm.

$5 suggested donation

Doors open at 7:30. Readings begin at 8pm, followed by Flamenco!

Ongoing: Art exhibition, community pizza oven.

Joseph Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in the East Liberty neighborhood during the 1950s and 1960s and is an inductee of Pittsburgh’s Kelly-Strayhorn Theater Gallery of Stars. He attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, and attended University of Pittsburgh. His experiences growing up in a working class Pittsburgh Italian neighborhood provide the subject matter for much of his writing. His father was a steelworker who worked for 47 years at the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock.

Bathanti is the author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award, and won the 1997 Oscar Arnold Young Award from The North Carolina Poetry Council for best book of poems by a North Carolina writer; Land of Amnesia, from Press 53 in 2009; and his new collection, Restoring Scared Art, from Star Cloud Press in 2010. His collection of short stories, The High Heart, winner of the 2006 Spokane Prize, was published by Eastern Washington University Press in Fall 2007.

J.C. Hallman’s mother grew up in Pittsburgh, which explains why he attended the University of Pittsburgh after a pretty sheltered youth on a street called Utopia Road in a master-planned community in Southern California. Hallman's introduction to both city life and, well, regular life, came in Western Pennsylvania. After literary forays into chess and William James, Hallman returned to his utopian heritage to produce a book about the history of paradise: In Utopia: Six Kinds of Eden and the Search for a Better Paradise. More about his career can be found at

--Art: Vanishing Point, opening reception at UnSmoke Artspace

Vanishing Point aims to present work that confronts the notion of a “new abstract.” Inclusive to all medium, the exhibition presents abstraction as a means of reconciliation to the dislocation of self in modern life.

--Video station talk by Curator Alexander Conner: “When Looking at the Art of Your Contemporaries

Philadelphia-based artist Alexander Conner received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ). Mr. Conner is an inter-disciplinary artist exploring people and their environments through drawing, photography, printmaking, technology, sound works, video and installation. His work was recently the subject of a New York Times story investigating contemporary artistic studio practices during extreme economic climates. (“The Recession Proof Artist” – May 2009). Mr. Conner is an avid cook, bread baker, an educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA) and a contributor to the international arts journal LAND MAGAZINE.

Selected exhibitions of his work include, the Aferro Gallery (Newark, NJ), Apex Art (New York, NY), Reference (Richmond, VA), Wien (Vienna, Austria, EU). Mr. Conner’s projects are featured in Rhizome’s ArtBase Collection (Global) and the Newark Public Library’s Artist’s Books Department (Newark, NJ).

--Pizza Oven Guru: Jessica Dale

--Flamenco by Carolina Loyola-Garcia

Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, and flamenco lover. She has been dancing for over a decade, and was co-founder of Centro Flamenco de Pittsburgh. She has performed in numerous events throughout Western Pennsylvania and was co-creator and performer for Quantum Theatre's production of the Red Shoes. Her love for flamenco has been contagious in the city of Pittsburgh, where she has been teaching and nurturing a community of flamenco aficionados since 2001. ;

Mir Ali
Since winning his first competition at the age of 13, Pakistani-born guitar virtuoso and composer Mir Ali has been described by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as “an exceptional nylon string guitarist," as "mesmerizing and hypnotic" by National Public Radio, and as “innovative and eclectic” by Soundboard magazine.

Ali has written music for movies, theater, radio, television commercials, and most recently for the documentary "Roots and Branches," which won the “Award of Excellence” from the prestigious Film Advisory Board in Hollywood. His recent tours include performances and master classes in India, Romania, Spain, Italy, and Canada.

Jon Banuelos:
Jon Banuelos is a flamenco guitarist who has just recently moved to the Pittsburgh area from Tucson Arizona, where he performed with the Flamenco Groups Flamenco del Pueblo Viejo and Flamenco y mas under the Direction of Jason and Mele Martinez. He has studied in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain under Guitar masters such as Parilla de Jerez, Jose Luis Balao, Manuel "El Carbonero" Lozano, and Juan Diego Mateos. Now in Pittsburgh, he is bringing the same aire from jerez to the Steel City and beyond so all can experience the true duende that is flamenco.

This project was supported by Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PA Partners), the regional arts funding partnership of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts , a state agency. State government funding comes through an annual appropriation by Pennsylvania’s General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PA Partners is administered in Allegheny County by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.


The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site

the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly,