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Art Olympics – Photo Portfolio

Here is a portfolio of images from the August 29th Art Olympic Festival by Pittsburgh photographer Larry Rippel.  Images Copyright 2015.

Julie Mallis, D.S. Kinsel and Daryl Collier of team Boom Concepts.

Julie Mallis, D.S. Kinsel, Anqwenique Wingfield and Daryl Collier of team Boom Concepts.

Craig Freeman and David Zak of the Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission.

Craig Freeman and David Zak of the Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission.

Tom Sarver Projects

Before the show, piles of junk lay hidden under tarps.

Before the show, piles of junk lay hidden under tarps.

Laura Ramie from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and volunteer Amy Masters ran the Hat Making area.

Laura Ramie from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and volunteer Amy Masters ran the hat making activity.

Teams parade from the Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center to Art Olympic Field, accompanied by Colonel Eagleburger's Highstepping Goodtime Band.

Teams parade from the Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center to Art Olympic Field accompanied by Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band.

Team leader D.S. Kinsel delivers his artist statement.

Team leader D.S. Kinsel delivers his artist statement.

Felipe Garcia-Huidobro, Ryan A. Murray, Hyla Willis and Hannah G. Thompson deliver a team manifesto.

Felipe Garcia-Huidobro, Ryan A. Murray, Hyla Willis and Hannah G. Thompson deliver a team manifesto.

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Art Olympics by Larry Rippel

D.S. Kinsel in action.

D.S. Kinsel in action.

Colonel Eagleburger's Highstepping Goodtime Band.

Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band.

Team Boom Concepts working outside the lines.

Team Boom Concepts working outside the lines.

Interviewing team leader Craig Freeman in the first round of the competition.

Interviewing team leader Craig Freeman in the first round of the competition.

Judge Erika Johnson of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse critiques the activity.

Judge Erika Johnson of Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse critiques the activity.

Anqwenique Wingfield with an operatic performance.

Anqwenique Wingfield with an operatic performance.

Julie Mallis in action

Julie Mallis in action.

Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission prepares to send a signal into the cosmos.

Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission prepares to send a signal into the cosmos.

Visitors taking part in craft activities.

Visitors taking part in craft activities.

Mike Cuccaro moderates the

Mike Cuccaro moderates the “halftime show.” Two audience members had seven minutes to create sculptures out of the contents of small boxes. Boxes were filled with random items from Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Art Olympics Pittsburgh Halftime Show

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Judges Maritza Mosquera, Erika Johnson, Christiane D, and Wayne Younger debate the winner of the halftime show.

Judges Maritza Mosquera, Erika Johnson, Christiane D, and Wayne Younger debate the winner of the halftime show.

The Art Olympic Festival took place in a rare patch of green space in the East Deutschtown neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

The Art Olympic Festival took place in a rare patch of green space in the East Deutschtown neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

David Zak and Nathan Curtis working meticulously to use all of their provided junk items.

David Zak and Nathan Curtis working meticulously to use all of their provided junk items.

Led by artist Hyla Willis, team Huff & Puff invited audience members into the square to assist in creating inflated plastic bag forms.

Led by artist Hyla Willis, team Puff and Stuff invited audience members into the square to assist in creating inflated plastic bag forms.

Mike Cuccaro interviews a young audience member.

Mike Cuccaro interviews a young audience member.

“Are you having fun today?”

“I’m the next Art Olympian!”

Team Huff & Puff in action!

Team Puff and Stuff in action!

Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission in action!

Commission for Cosmic Craft Transmission in action!

Art Olympics Pittsburgh

Rounding up the judges before the final decision.

Judges making final comments on the show.

Team Boom Concepts after their final presentation.

Team Boom Concepts after their final presentation.

Hyla Willis accepting the second place trophy. It was a very close contest!

Hyla Willis accepting the second place trophy. It was a very close contest!

Nathan Curtis, Craig Freeman, Elizabeth Rudnick and David Zak - winners of the 2015 Art Olympics.

Nathan Curtis, Craig Freeman, Elizabeth Rudnick and David Zak – winners of the 2015 Art Olympics.

Art Olympic Trophy

Comments from Liz Hammond, Emcee, musician and crew member for the 2007 and 2008 Art Olympics.

Comments from Liz Hammond, Emcee, musician and crew member of the 2007 and 2008 Art Olympics.

Finishing touches by Nathan Curtis.

Finishing touches by Nathan Curtis.

The intense seven-minute halftime show.

The seven-minute halftime show.

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Art Olympics returns to Pittsburgh

I’m in the process of planning an Art Olympic Festival to take place on Saturday, August 29th 2015 on the North Side of Pittsburgh.  The event, a contest inspired by the Iron Chef TV show, features three teams of artists competing over three hours to make winning sculptures out of piles of junk.  Teams are judged in categories such as “creative use of materials and best performance.”  The highly interactive event allows audience members to get up close and see the work in progress.  Visitors are welcome to make commentary on the show, and to participate in a “half-time show” competition.  The August 29th event will by hosted by the Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center as part of their Fallow Grounds artist residency series.  Festivities are scheduled to begin at 4 PM and run until 6:30 PM.  The event, located at an empty lot near the Neu Kirche Center, is free and open to the public.  Previous Art Olympic main event shows have happened at the Mattress Factory, The Union Project, the New Hazlett Theater, and Market Square.  Shorter, table top events have taken place at the August Wilson Center and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

In 2008, Art Olympics at Market Square was a main event of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh.

In 2008, Art Olympics at Market Square was a main event of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh.  Photo by Larry Rippel.

 

2007 event at the New Hazlett Theater (with Art Olympic Trophy).

2007 event at the New Hazlett Theater (with Art Olympic Trophy).

Sketch for the Art Olympic Fest, Fallow Grounds Residency at Neu Kirche Art Center.

Sketch for the Art Olympic Fest, Fallow Grounds Residency at Neu Kirche Art Center.

 

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Tiny Art

Here are three kinetic pieces that I recently made and shipped out to Brooklyn for a small works show (set to take place during the 2015 Bushwick open studios). The Tiny Art Show (organized by NY artist Mary Ivy Martin) is taking place at 114 Forrest Street, Studio 4A.  Show times are: Friday, June 5, 7 PM – 9 PM, Saturday June 6, Noon – 7 PM and Sunday, June 7, Noon – 7 PM.

Open Up and Say Ah!  Found object assemblage.  (this piece has a sound sensor that triggers a light when one yells at the work.  2015

Open Up and Say Ah! Found object assemblage, 2015. (This piece has a sound sensor that triggers a light when one yells at the work. This is my spin on Robert Gober’s Carnegie Museum of Art drain piece).

ON/OFF, Found object assemblage. (sphere rotates when switch is turned on). 2015

ON/OFF, Found object assemblage. (sphere rotates when switch is turned on). 2015

Hello! Found object assemblage. (this one glows or blinks).  2015

Hello! Found object assemblage. (this one glows or blinks). 2015

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Puppet World

Here are some images of Puppet World at Nutting Gallery, West Liberty University.

Display of puppets.

Display of puppets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATom Sarver, Puppet World

 

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Kinetic Art

Here is a piece I made in 2008 using random junk, some toy motors, and scrap wood.

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Dancing for the Bees

Jason Lockyer, Obsessions at SPACE, Pittsburgh

Obsessions at SPACE Gallery will be wrapping up this weekend.  It’s been a great show.  Lots of people are drawn in by the buzzing sound of insects in the outdoor video piece by Jason Lockyer.  I encountered these children “dancing for the bees” on a cold January morning.

Here is a link to Lissa Brennan’s review of the show in the Pittsburgh CP: Artists explore their Obsessions at Space

And more by Mike May in Pittsburgh Magazine.  

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Puppets at Sewickley Library

A collection of my puppets and props used in puppet show over the past 15 years will be on display January and February of 2015 at the Sewickley Public Library, in Sewickley, PA.  Curated by Randi Morgan, the show is viewable during library hours.  Highlights of the display include puppets from a production the Aristophanes play Peace, and puppets from my Dada show Flight Out of Time.  All characters are handmade from wood, cardboard, papier-mâché, repurposed materials and paint.  On Saturday, February 28th, I’ll be performing shows with puppeteer Mike Cuccaro in the library community room.  The family shows will start at 2 PM and 3:30 PM.  Please watch the Sewickley Public Library Website for details.

Tom Sarver Puppets at Sewickley Library

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Steve Smith – Pittsburgh Visionary Artist

Pittsburgh visionary artist Steve Smith with one of his paintings.

Pittsburgh visionary artist Steve Smith with one of his paintings, December 2014.

I met Steve Smith around 2001 when I was working at the art supply store on S. Craig Street, near the Carnegie Museum of Art.  Steve stopped in regularly to get supplies and show off his latest creations.  He always had a sketchbook in the works.  He would fill ten or more pages a day with memories from his childhood, interpretations of stories in the news, or historical events.  He drew the compositions quickly, and then filled them in with pattern and color.  His earlier works in colored pencil and pastel are very meticulous.  His later works in acrylic are bold and spontaneous.  In his teenage years, Steve spend a lot of time studying tribal artwork from Africa, Ancient Egyptian Art and Pre-Columbian Art.  Although his career dreams were challenged by health issues, Steve pushed ahead and continued to make art.

Steve’s works have appeared in many of my projects.  In 2004, I featured his work in an exhibition at The Brew House titled, From the Inside.  In 2006, Steve had a solo exhibition at my Tom Museum project at the Mattress Factory.  Steve’s works have also been featured in exhibitions in Pittsburgh hospitals and shops.

Today Steve has a collection of paintings and drawings that document the events of his life.  He continues to make work at his home in the East End of Pittsburgh.  His work will be featured in my upcoming project, The Sideways Museum, opening in late January in the Cultural District of Downtown Pittsburgh.

An early self-portrait by Steve Smith.

An early self-portrait by Steve Smith.

Inner Man, by Steve Smith, acrylic on canvas.

Inner Man, by Steve Smith, acrylic on canvas.

Wedding Spider, by Steve Smith, Acrylic on canvas.

Wedding Spider, by Steve Smith, Acrylic on canvas.

Clown Walking a Heart Dog, an early pastel work by Steve Smith.

Clown Walking a Heart Dog, an early pastel work by Steve Smith.

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International Bowling

Tom Sarver, Carnegie International

2013 Carnegie International Artist Party at the William Pitt Union.

I just found this in a stack of sketches.  A couple of days before the opening of the 2013 Carnegie International, the museum threw a party at the basement bowling alley of the William Pitt Union.  Artists let loose, exhibiting some of the strangest bowling techniques I’ve ever seen.  Drawing includes Lara Favaretto, Wade Guyton, Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers, Tina Kukielski, Tobias Madison, Dinh Q. Lê, Pedro Reyes, Pierre Leguillon, Lynne & Paul Zelevansky.

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Obsessions

Everything is Going to be Fine, by Jeremiah Johnson, acrylic, screen print and collage on mylar, 2014

Everything is Going to be Fine, Jeremiah Johnson, acrylic, screen print and collage on mylar, 2014

Installation Detail, Laurie Trok, 2014

Installation Detail, Laurie Trok, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY, 2014 – the opening of OBSESSIONS at SPACE Gallery Pittsburgh.  The work of six artists from across the country – artists who have never shown together – will be unveiled to the public.  With print and collage works titled Trouble Every Day, Debt, and Human Alienation, Williamsport artist Jeremiah Johnson holds nothing back.  Intimate moments are juxtaposed with pop culture references and hidden metaphors.  Johnson will be showing a mix of prints and richly layered 2-D mixed media works, filling the side walls of the gallery.  If you’re a printmaking enthusiast, be sure to check out the techniques Johnson uses in his works, including screen printing, mono print, lithography and relief printing.

PERFORMANCE ART – one gigantic wall of the gallery is dedicated to a performance piece by Becky Slemmons.  Starting at 6 PM on the opening night of the exhibition, Slemmons will begin making over 9000 marks with brush and paint, ascending ladders up the fifteen foot walls.  The piece is about obsessive love, and each mark will represent a day that she has been with her husband.  Work will continue one the piece throughout gallery hours throughout the run of the show.

PROCESS – Laurie Trok has been a busy in the Pittsburgh art scene over the past few years.  I’ve been wanting to include her work in a group show since seeing her 2013 solo show at FE Gallery.  Trok will be showing an installation in ink and cut paper, with multiple scrolls creating an immersive experience.  The organic nature of her work and the intricacy of detail create a subjective experience that can allude to the microscopic, or the distant cosmos.

STREET ART – Los Angeles artist Jason Lockyer has work both inside and outside the gallery.  On the facade, one of his animated video shorts will be playing.  Audio for the piece will play through speakers mounted to the exterior of the building, creating a surreal experience for Liberty Avenue pedestrians.  Along with an animated video inside the gallery, Lockyer will be showing a collection of twenty-one drawings that he created after viewing taxidermy animals in natural history museums.  In many of the works, the creatures appear to be alive again, staring back at the viewer.

GROTESQUE – Obsessed with bodily functions, or perhaps with using human ailments as metaphors for the problems society, Nathan Margoni’s works are amusingly grotesque.  His works for Obsessions include a fourteen by six-foot painting of a diseased foot and a 25 foot long sculpture of the imaginings of the digestive tract!

PLANTS & HUMANS – Brooklyn artist Mary Ivy Martin will be showing two video pieces that reveal intimate human-plant interactions. Face Faucet features the artist sustaining potted plants utilizing her own sweat.  In Tree Stand, the artist balances a tree strapped to her back.  Positioned in place of the ground, the artist tries to provide a solid foundation for a tree that appears to have lost all life.

OBSESSIONS at SPACE GALLERY, Pittsburgh

Guest Curated by Tom Sarver

Opening Reception, Friday, November 28th, 2014, 6 PM – 9 PM.

Live Music by Pittsburgh marching ensemble, Colonel Eagleburger’s High-Stepping Good-Time Band at 7 PM.

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