Art From the Ground Up

Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Get This Gardening Book Dirty, Author Recommends

Author Sandra McPeake wants you to take her book with you into the garden.
Credit Chris Squier / 90.5 WESA

Speaking about her self-published “In The Garden: A Botanically Illustrated Gardening Book,” Sandra McPeake says, “I want it to become a very dirty book … take it to the garden … learn how to plant.”

McPeake’s love of gardening is a family tradition, and it’s based on the food she likes to eat.

"What are we really hungry for and what do I normally harvest to cook with” are questions she asks herself before each spring’s planting.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Finding Beauty In Simplicity, Bones And All

Zak Kruszynski creates simple but highly functional pieces via his workshop Bones and All.
Credit Courtesy photo

When Zak Kruszynski came across the phrase “bones and all,” he thought it got to the root of what he wanted to accomplish with a woodworking business.

That is, to reuse materials — often totally discarded — as often as possible, and to try to use every bit to reduce waste.

"Also, I thought it had a great ring to it,” he said.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu March 27, 2014

At Conflict Kitchen, Food's Not The Only Thing On The Menu

Conflict Kitchen
Credit Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

NPR once referred to the Conflict Kitchen in Schenley Plaza as “an experimental public art project, and the medium is the sandwich wrap.”

It’s take-out food where you take away more than just something to eat. Conflict Kitchen only serves food from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict.

Co-directors Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski schedule events, performances and discussions that seek to expand public engagement with culture, politics and issues at stake within the focus country.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Silk Sound Asian American Jazz Orchestra Gives New Life to Musical Traditions

Harish Saluja
Credit silkscreenfestival.org

Music that is centuries old is being reborn as a new sound in Pittsburgh.

Silk Sound Asian American Jazz Orchestra is an amalgam of different cultures and musical traditions coming together under the direction of Harish Saluja.

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Art From the Ground Up
9:21 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Pittsburgh's Callán Rooted in Diverse Musical Backgrounds

Band members in Pittsburgh's Celtic folk ensemble Callán come from diverse musical backgrounds.
Credit Larry Rippel / Courtesy of the artist

Callán, a Pittsburgh-based traditional Celtic folk ensemble, is comprised of artists from a wide range of backgrounds.

Percussionist Kip Ruefle found his way to traditional music by following his interest in the bodhran, the traditional Irish drum. He brings decades of performing rock and jazz into the mix.

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Arts & Culture
11:00 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

RAW/Pittsburgh Brings Art Together

Patrons enjoy the latest RAW/Pittsburgh exhibition.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Kristy Dubinsky, from Irwin, recently walked through the RAW/Pittsburgh exhibition enjoying the diverse collection of emerging artists.

“There’s definitely a collaborative nature and aspect to this,” Dubinsky said.  “They bring together everything from fashion to music to fine art, photography, film.  It’s just a great way to bring everybody together.”

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Art From the Ground Up
10:51 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Creating a 'Weave of Culture' with the Kente Arts Alliance

Mensah Wali and Gail Austin of the Kente Arts Alliance.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Kente Arts Alliance is an organization whose mission is to present art from the African diaspora. TV and radio personality Chris Moore says they are “a great civic resource” and believes that if they weren’t here, “there would be a void.”

Brooklyn native Mensah Wali and Pittsburgher Gail Austin founded the organization in 2007 and have presented a wide variety of artists to Pittsburgh audiences. 

Wali terms it a “weave of culture.” The word Kente is West African in origin and describes a type of cloth common in Ghana.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu July 25, 2013

For the Black Orchid String Trio, Performance Also Means Engagement

The Black Orchid String Trio is comprised of Amber Rogers, Rachel Smith, and Jennifer Sternick.

“We’re new musicians,” said Smith, the group’s cellist. “We do play classical music now and again, but part of a contemporary performance, especially, is to present it in a way that classical music isn’t standardly presented.”

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Art From the Ground Up
7:11 am
Thu June 27, 2013

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh Firmly Rooted in Its North Side Neighborhood

“Cities of asylum” form a global network of support for oppressed and endangered writers.


In Europe they are supported by governments. In the United States they are usually sponsored by universities. City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, however, operates on a different model.

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Art From the Ground Up
6:12 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Back in Pittsburgh, Vocal Coach Sings City's Praises

Dan Teadt (left) works with students Laura Totten and Amit Chakrabarti at his voice studio in East Liberty.
Credit Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

Vocal coach Daniel Teadt discovered his love of music when he was a student at the University of Illinois.

The early days of his career required traveling to many different cities, including a stop here as an artist in residence with Pittsburgh Opera.

Teadt, who met his wife in Pittsburgh, didn’t initially stay in the city. But now they’ve returned, and he’s feeling quite comfortable in his wife's hometown.

“We now have a family here and a great network here,” he said.

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Art From the Ground Up
3:30 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Through Collaboration, Pittsburgh's La Harrier Finds 'Creative Playground'

Ryan Neitznick (left) and John Fischer (right) at their Lawrenceville studio, known as La Harrier.
Credit Bob Studebaker / 90.5 WESA

Ryan Neitznick and John Fischer comprise the production team known as La Harrier.

Their studio in Lawrenceville is also known as La Harrier, and it’s part of  a growing aspect of Pittsburgh’s arts community — nontraditional, independent music producers.

They each grew up and began their musical careers in Pittsburgh but actually met and formed their partnership about six years ago in Philadelphia.

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Art From the Ground Up
4:29 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

The Pillow Project "Experiments" in The East End

The improvisational, free jazz movement, performance group know as The Pillow Project performs the second Saturday of each month in the East End.
Credit The Pillow Project

It began nearly ten years ago as “an evolving experiment for improvisational free jazz movement, performance-happenings and new ideas in dance,” and The Pillow Project has never wandered far from its roots. 

Pearlann Porter heads the group that sees the word “jazz” as a verb. The group gathers the second Saturday of every month at “The Space Upstairs” in Pittsburgh's East End to perform.  Project members call the studio in a repurposed warehouse a “4,000 square foot canvas where audiences and artists interact.”

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