Pittsburgh artist Ryder Henry led team Answers to victory in the tenth Art Olympic competition on Saturday at the Re:NEW Festival, Downtown Pittsburgh. Henry’s team members included Nick Falwell, Kate Bechak and Jennifer Bechak. Henry and team were permitted to bring one brown paper bag of tools into the contest, a bag that appeared to contain a bunch of rusty hand tools. Wasting no time, Answers began by dumping their giant palette of Goodwill merchandise onto their nine foot by nine foot working area. Adversity struck early as a greasy mess oozed from an unidentifiable object being cut with a Sawzall. As their space transformed into an oil slick, event organizers raced to contain the spill. Frantic team members broke down furniture by smashing chairs to the ground. Eventually Answers caught their stride. Objects provided by Goodwill, the event sponsor, were used in clever ways. A rotary telephone was created, complete with dialing mechanism and ringer. At the end, Henry dialed the phone and ordered pizza, singing a jingle recalled from the distant past, “twenty-nine minutes or it’s free!”
Several audience member’s were victorious in the audience participation games. Ryder Henry’s wife Maya took a break from cheering and won the puppet making competition. A recent arrival from Russia, Sasha, won the Halftime Sculpture Contest. Kirsten Ervin won the Seventh Inning Sketch, capturing a confident likeness of art critic Graham Shearing.
Images by Larry Rippel Photography.
Five audience member took part in the Seventh Inning Sketch, a portrait sketching contest with art critic and event judge Graham Shearing serving as model.
Each Art Olympic Team was provided with a basic tool kit and a giant bin of Goodwill items. Teams were allowed to bring in one brown paper grocery bag of their own objects.
Alisha Wormsley of “Team Trebuchet” interacting with a member of the audience.
Ryan (Water) and Audra (Earth) of team “Our Powers Combined” discuss strategy.
Event judge Gwen Bowman observes the theatrical developments of Gab Cody and “Team Trebuchet.”
Artist T.Foley, a participant in first Art Olympics of 2007, provides a personal account of her time in the Art Olympic arena.
Activity branched out well beyond the team nine foot by nine foot spaces.
The crowd awaits the winner of the puppet making contest.
An audience member provided feedback on the work in progress.
“Team Trebuchet” arrived with their brown paper bag filled with books. Here team leader Sam Turich reads as judge Graham Shearing looks on.
Team “Our Powers Combined” invited audience members into their square to MAKE ART.