now showingSummer 2007

By Leslie Vincen

Art by the Glass

Make a day of it and explore the vibrant arts and culture of Venice in two distinct exhibitions, Carnegie Museum of Art’s Viva Vetro! Glass Alive! Venice and America and Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s ¡CARNAVAL!. On Sunday, July 15, families can enjoy Carnival                 mask-making and a Viva Vetro!-inspired treasure hunt from 1:30-4:30 p.m., followed by a stimulating exchange of ideas from 4-5:30 p.m. between Viva Vetro! artists Gianni Toso, whose family has been at the center of the Venetian glass industry for 700 years, and Seattle-based artist Benjamin Moore, whose contemporary glass forms are inspired by his experiences in Murano.

And the fun doesn’t have to stop there. After the Focus on Venice festivities, the Museum of Art presents a truly unique evening of food, wine, and the glass art of Venice. Viva Vetro! galleries will be open and cocktails will be served from 5:30-7:00 p.m., followed by a gourmet Italian dinner and wine tasting from 7-10 p.m. at Carnegie Café in the company of artists Toso and Moore. Wine consultant Joseph Barsotti of Wine Bow, Inc., will introduce four distinct Italian wines imported from the Venetian region. Diners receive a complimentary, one-of-a-kind wine glass hand-blown by Pittsburgh area glass artists. Daytime  activities free with museum admission. Dinner and wine tasting, $85 members/$95 nonmembers. To register, call 412.622.3288.

Front Row Feat

Get up close and versatile in the Museum of Art’s Forum 59: Phil Collins with the world won’t listen, a revealing video installation by the British artist in which fans of the 1980s band The Smiths perform karaoke versions of the group’s classic songs. Soliciting participants for the project in major international cities, such as Istanbul, Turkey, and Bogotá, Colombia, Collins encouraged “the shy, the dissatisfied, narcissists, and anyone who’s ever wished they could be someone else for a night” to perform the decidedly melancholic and angst-ridden lyrics of this band in front of generic, kitschy backdrops of nature scenes or faux-tropical islands. Collins’ use of video taps into the popular legacy of the MTV generation and the fantasy of rock stardom. Invoking a cross-cultural community of people tied together by their love of The Smiths, the interplay between our own narcissism as spectators and that of the dreams of the singers on the screen forces the world to listen to its own siren song.

Taking Nature’s Course

You’re never too old to play in the dirt. At Powdermill Nature Reserve’s BioForay 2007, amateur naturalists are invited to work alongside field scientists as they survey and document the land and its treasures. From June 14-16, scienti-fic experts from Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the State Museum in Harrisburg, and St. Vincent College join researchers and educators at Powdermill to lead amateur naturalists on expeditions through a 75-acre foray plot on the Reserve. Nature lovers shadow the scientists as they examine and evaluate plants, mammals, snails, snakes, bugs, and other organisms and their habitats. Powdermill BioForay is an exciting opportunity for nature enthusiasts and explorers to dig into real, meaningful, and exciting scientific research. For more information and to register, please call 724.593.6105

Hall That Glitters

At long last—visitors will once again be able to “ooh” and “aah” over Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s dazzling collection of 1,300-plus gems and minerals this summer! The famous glass cases contained in the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems, which have been out of sight for months during an ambitious renovation, have been revamped, and the hall itself has received a face lift, including a dramatic new entrance. So expect to be dazzled when the home to the museum’s world-renowned gem and mineral collection, in all its pristine splendor, reopens for viewing on June 9. (The new Wertz Gallery of Gems and Jewelry, named in honor of Ronald W. Wertz, longtime president of the Hillman Foundation, will open at a later date…so stay tuned

Super Fourth of July Fireworks & Sleepover

Carnegie Science Center’s annual rooftop fireworks extravaganza is guaranteed to be explosive! Catch the pyrotechnics from the best seat in town at the Science Center’s rooftop observatory during a VIP Independence Day party for the whole family. Kids will flip over the science of fireworks, and adults can chill out to music under the stars with a disc jockey. Adults will also enjoy an open bar, special picnic fare, and a guaranteed parking space. $80 adult/$25 child. Space is limited. Call 412.237.1816 to reserve your spot. And how about beating the North Shore traffic and staying overnight? The fun continues into the night with an IMAX® movie, a laser show, hands-on activities, and plenty of time to explore Carnegie Science Center and Sportsworks. Sleepover guests check in at 6 p.m. the night of the event and are welcome to stay as long as they like July 5. $35 per person. Space is limited. Call 412.237.1637 to reserve your spot.

Hocus Pocus

  Calling all apprentice witches and wizards! Kids who love following the adventures of Harry Potter will want to continue their journey at the Science Center this summer. Where else can young wizards discover the mysterious science behind charms, magic spells, and arcane lore as well as join in on a muggle scavenger hunt? They’ll even be introduced to some powerful super-natural science experiments in classes like transfiguration, astronomy, and potions. It’s no illusion…your kids will graduate from Wizard School with actual flying colors.

Abracadabra! It’s going to be a magically good time July 20 and August 10. Sleepover guests check in at 6 p.m. the night of the event and are welcome to stay as long as they like the
next day. $35 per person. For reservations, call 412.237.1637.

Photo Punk

Take a walk on the North Side to view selections from Lou Reed’s touring exhibition, Lou Reed: New York, on display at The Andy Warhol Museum through September 2. Featuring 16 photographs of the city that has been the fulcrum of Reed’s creative world for decades, the exhibition is a symphony of light and color, with deeply personal pictures that include idiosyncratic self-portraits. The exhibition is documented in Reed’s book of photographs, Lou Reed’s New York, his second photo book after Emotion in Action. With Andy Warhol, Reed was a founding member of the legendary Velvet Underground, and has recorded more than 40 iconic albums renowned for their urbanity and wit. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and has acted in and composed music for a number of films and plays. Reed was designated an American Master by the award-winning PBS documentary series in 1998, the same year that Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart won the GRAMMY® for best long-form documentary.

He Said, She Said

In her first solo museum exhibition, now at The Andy Warhol Museum through August 5, photographer and journalist Gretchen Berg provides a unique perspective on Andy Warhol and young protesters of racism and the Vietnam War in two separate shows. Gift of Gretchen Berg: The True Story of “My True Story,” documents Berg’s interview with Warhol in 1966, which was published under the title “Andy Warhol, My True Story.”  This interview is widely regarded as Warhol’s best, filled with many of his famous and perceptive quotes. But the exhibition reveals for the first time that many of those famous words aren’t Warhol’s, but rather those of Berg, who carefully edited the conversation to make it appear as though she was eliminating her own voice. Berg’s interview sheds light on Andy’s personality and attitude, regardless of how few words he may have spoken. The second show, The Troublemakers, presents Berg’s portrait photographs of children and teenagers protesting in New York between 1967-1975. The photos introduce a different perspective on protest, because the subjects portrayed in Berg’s photos are neither aggressive nor demonized but calm and resolute. They act upon their beliefs in a non-violent manner, expressing awareness of and disdain for racism and the Vietnam War. A native New Yorker, Berg captured the emotion of the crowd: excitement, tranquility, awe, laughter, fear, anger, and sorrow.

Also in this issue:

Pittsburgh Glass  ·  Time to Play  ·  A New, More Personal Jesus  ·  Mars Comes to Pittsburgh  ·  Special Supplement: Thanks to Our Donors  ·  Director's Note  ·  NewsWorthy  ·  Face Time: Anthony Rothbauer  ·  About Town: Art Imitating Life  ·  Field Trip: On the Road with Douglas Fogle  ·  Science & Nature: Working the Bones  ·  Artistic License: The Traveling Factory  ·  First Person: A Traveler's Diary  ·  Another Look: Sol LeWitt Drawings