Arts, Sports & Culture

We seek to cover our region's vibrant art and culture scene, as well as our iconic teams and the fans that follow them.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

It took some wrangling to fit nearly 30 Catholic school eighth-graders into the basement space of Most Wanted Fine Art gallery in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood where St. Bede English teacher Becky Baverso took her comic book club to see artist Marcel Walker’s exhibit.

“So this show here, ‘To Tell The Troof,’ this is my first solo gallery show,” Walker told the class, pointing. “I’ve had work in gallery shows before, but this is the first time it’s all mine.”  

So, how does one move a large ship across land? That question has WESA’s Josh Raulerson, Sarah Kovash and Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh stumped. Luckily, there’s plenty of stuff happening in the ‘Burgh this weekend, so you don’t have to spend all week on the couch googling the answer to that one.

Shipla / Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council

The Drap-Art International Festival of Recycled Art arrives in North America for the first time this month as part of Pittsburgh’s Re:NEW Festival.

The month-long event celebrates creative reuse and sustainability through art with more than 100 exhibitions throughout Downtown. It’s centered around the Drap-Art Festival, which is based out of Barcelona, Spain, but has been structured to include art with local environmentally-relevant themes.

WESA/Matt Nemeth

A wide pot made of red, earthy clay is decorated with geometric details. Maybe it's an ancient artifact, a tool from the past in a glass case. But then you spot the silver cursive letters.

This piece is clearly contemporary.

Let’s take a trip around the world. A food trip that is! This weekend is a foodie-lovers dream here in the ‘burgh and WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to guide you through it.

Keith Srakocic / AP

University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Scott Barnes said traditional rivalries like the one between Pitt and Penn State University are an essential part of college football. On the eve of the first gridiron clash between the Panthers and Nittany Lions in 16 years, Barnes sat down with 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer to discuss Saturday's sold out game at Heinz Field and what the future holds for a rivalry that dates back to 1893.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity

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doctyer / Flickr

 

Local entrepreneurs are planning to celebrate Pittsburgh's alcohol heritage with two proposed museums.

    It is Labor Day weekend! Are you lucky enough to have a three-day weekend? If so, WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on the weekend’s fun activities, here in Pittsburgh and just around the (three) riverbend!

Matt Rourke / AP

 

Look around any Rust Belt city and you can see the effects of urban decay. There's aging infrastructure, blighted buildings and abandoned homes. Even as cities begin to see a resurgence, it can be hard to shake the physical legacy of decades of decline.

But if you think post-industrial decay is hard to overcome, try something even more traumatic, like a dictatorship or, say, World War II. Some European cities have found a way to revive public spaces and re-engage the community in civic life, all while remediating the physical toll left by history.

    The truth is out there and WESA’s Josh and Sarah are putting on their Mulder and Scully hats to let you know all the weird things happening in Pittsburgh. They want you to join them in their investigations of the weird and paranormal. Do you choose to join them? They are without the help of Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel this week but no fears, WESA’s Megan Harris is here to join you in tracking down the strange and odd this weekend.

Cue the X-Files theme music and let’s begin.

Bob Studebaker (L), Sidewall Project (R)

A Pittsburgh artist, who prefers to be known simply as “Brick,” has been displaying art on an exterior wall of her house in Bloomfield for more than two years.

She refers to it as “The Sidewall Project,” and it began as an opportunity for artists to have their work displayed in a public space.

The current exhibit was created by Richard Pell and is a familiar sight to many Pittsburghers.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

If you tell Christian Morris a story, he’ll give you an ear. Literally.

“It’s kind of weird to hold a 2-inch ear in your hand… I made them as a gift to people that I interview, because it’s like, you give me your story I’ll give you this,” he said.  

The ceramic ears, which come in an array of blues, greens and purples, are tokens Morris gives to people he speaks with as part of a public art project called Practices of Listening.

    “Oh this is the night, it’s a beautiful night”…to explore Pittsburgh eateries. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to break down where to take your loved one this weekend. Side note, we can’t guarantee it will be as romantic as Lady and the Tramp. That’s on you.

Hannah Altman

Since she was two, Alexandra Bodnarchuk wanted to dance.  

Daveynln / Flickr

 

Pennsylvania's auditor general has announced a review of Penn State University's performance, focusing on governance, safety and tuition across its 24 campuses.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday that his audit will revisit former auditor general Jack Wagner's recommendations to the university following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case, as well as compliance with state and federal guidelines. He says it won't rehash the university-commissioned 2012 report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art / Courtesy of the Barbara L. Gordon Collection

From life-sized "cigar store Indians" to antique portraits and even a few hand-carved merry-go-round animals, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is putting 19th century American folk art in the spotlight this summer and fall.

90.5 WESA’s Noah Brode spoke with chief curator Barbara Jones about the significance of the "Shared Legacy" exhibit.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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Gene J. Puskar / AP

  A judge has ruled that a foul ball lawsuit can continue against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Major League Baseball and a municipal authority that owns public sports and entertainment venues in the area.

An usher at PNC Park in April helped Wendy Camlin to her seat when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate and struck her in the head.

The game was delayed more than 20 minutes while she was taken away on a stretcher.

 It’s an exciting week for Sarah, with her birthday coming up – even though she hates when her mom puts fresh strawberries in her favorite, fake-tasting Duncan Hines box cake mix! But what’s even more exciting is … Restaurant week!

There are so many options for Restaurant Week, how do you choose one? Good news, WESA’s Josh and Sarah, as well Rachel of Yelp Pittsburgh have lots of experience eating out and break it down for you.

Justin Wier / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is known for many things, including its bridges, historic inclines and three rivers.

But few likely realize the Steel City is also home to the highest concentration of internationally-ranked pinball players in the world. That’s right, pinball.

Pittsburgh is home to nine of the top 100 players ranked by the International Flipper Pinball Association. Next in line is New York City, which hosts eight players. 

1Hood Media / Facebook

Celeste Smith wants people to know hip-hop has always been alive in Pittsburgh, whether people have seen it or not.

No Place But Home / Youtube

Examine the life and storied career of Braddock-based filmmaker Tony Buba in a new documentary short produced in partnership between 90.5 WESA and Carnegie Museum of Art. The film, No Place but Home, was produced by Ryan Loew and Matthew Newton. It premiered last week at a CMOA event.

betaylor.com

 

B.E. Taylor, a musician whose annual Christmas concerts and recordings made him well known in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is dead of complications from brain cancer at age 65.

The general manager of a funeral home where Taylor lived in Wheeling, West Virginia, confirmed that he died Sunday. Funeral arrangements will be private.

The Aliquippa native's series of popular Christmas recordings began in 1991 and led to seasonal shows that drew thousands.

A family spokesman says he was working on "B.E. Taylor Christmas 4" at the time of his death.

    

    Nothing divides us more than the debate over if cargo shorts are acceptable apparel or not. We here at Social Club are ready to put a stop to that debate and say once and for all that, fine, you can wear cargo shorts. No more judgment. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to let you know all the places you can wear your cargo shorts this weekend.

Rachellynn Schoen / Heinz History Center

Ever wonder how much Grandma’s pearl necklace is worth? What about that antique Westinghouse sewing machine from your distant cousin? Maybe you've got an old menu from the William Penn.

This weekend, you've got a chance to find out.

Monobloco

Street band Monobloco will bring the samba-rock funk rhythms of their native Brazil to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. The 24-person crew takes the stage the same night Olympic opening ceremonies kick off in Rio de Janeiro.

Founding member Celso Alvim said their adaptations of classic songs make them famous in their home country, and when they tour, audiences vibe the energy of their set.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Preschooler Marleny Roasario sat cross-legged on a multi-colored carpet Wednesday, scrunching her face at a blue and purple snaggle-toothed troll. 

Performing artist Amber Ramsey Fantini laughed, bobbing her puppets at the class. "Turn around," she told the girl. "Show your teacher and all the other kids."

Abby Warhola
The Andy Warhol Museum

Photos and paintings at The Andy Warhol Museum are set up chronologically by decade, starting at the top.

From the seventh floor, School Programs Coordinator Leah Morelli explains, “This is the floor in which his early life starts and the story begins.”

But even without a human guide, all visitors -- including those with visual impairments -- will soon have a tool to let them know where they are and what’s around them in the space thanks to the organization’s first audio guide.

Glenn Koehler / NMIH

 

Visitors to the new National Museum of Industrial History, open today in Bethlehem, will be engaging with history before they even set foot inside the museum. It's built on the nation's largest privately-owned brownfield site, in what was Bethlehem Steel's electric repair shop.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Open Streets Pittsburgh’s second season ends Sunday with a new route.

This weekend’s territory spans 3.5 miles through Downtown, the North Side and West End, closing vehicle traffic along part of Penn Avenue, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, Western Avenue and the West End Bridge between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“The idea is really catching on here in Pittsburgh, and it’s quickly being adopted as kind of a tradition,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for Bike Pittsburgh, which hosts the event. 

Did you know nearly 42 percent of Americans don’t use their vacation days? We are constantly working and it’s hard to fit in some “me” time.  If you're feeling stressed at the office and need to wind down a bit, this week’s Social Club is for you. WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to fill you in on all the weekend’s relaxing activities.

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