I’m still working towards my fundraising goal for the August 29th Art Olympic Festival. The free community art festival will feature three teams of artists competing over two hours to build winning sculptures out of piles of junk. The project also involves: 1. Painting an outdoor mural at the event site with a community youth group. 2. Holding a trophy building workshop for neighborhood children and adults. This workshop will teach sculpture assemblage and repurposing skills. 3. Hands on art making activities at the event including puppet making and printmaking.
Event site for The Art Olympic Festival.
Donations to the event are tax-deductible. Funding will help with the costs of the production, rental equipment, and artist fees. Link to ioby crowdfunding campaign. Help to support public art! Thank you!
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. Photo by Larry Rippel.
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.
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, 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
Hello! Found object assemblage. (this one glows or blinks). 2015
I’m wrapping up a monthlong school residency project at Claysville, Pennsylvania. The project, a vision of Claysville art teacher Michelle Urbanek, involved experimentation and discovery in a studio atmosphere blending art and technology. Over the course of the month, I worked with eighty fourth graders as they participated in teams to build inventions. An initial challenge involved using toy motors and found materials to make gadgets that move and draw. We then introduced a library of littleBits electronics, including motion sensors, light sensors, wireless transmitters and an assortment of circuit bending sound components. Students then worked in groups to create prototypes of their ideas. Project supporters included the Sprout Fund (Spark Award) and the PCA Artists in Schools & Communities program. More images will be posted on my COMMUNITY page.
An example sketch for a robot idea.
Students sketching circuit ideas using littleBits components.
A student setting a robotic vehicle to motion.
Here are some images of Puppet World at Nutting Gallery, West Liberty University.
Display of puppets.
Puppets head to Wheeling, West Virginia.
Puppet World, a solo exhibition of my paintings, puppets, drawings and mixed media works opens with a reception (5:30 PM – 7:00 PM) on Wednesday, March 25th at the Nutting Gallery of West Liberty University. The show runs through April 17th. Puppets on display will include a selection of twenty-five used in performance. The drawings, paintings and mixed media works, heavy in collage methods, juxtapose anecdotal sketches with critical views of social and environmental issues.
Dancing puppet will be available at the Out of Hand art auction.
Contemporary Craft will be holding their annual fundraiser gala event this Saturday, March 21st. The event is one of the best of its kind in the Pittsburgh area (creative drinks, an amazing variety of art to bid on, cool crowd and fun craft activities). I’ve had work in their art auction for many years. This year it’s a dancing puppet. If you haven’t been to an arts gala, this is a good one to try (and SCC is a great organization to support)!
Sideways Museum seeking next home.
May 3rd is the final day for viewing the Sideways Museum at its current location on Liberty Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh. I’d like to take the project to another gallery, window space or alternative viewing location in the Greater Pittsburgh area. I’m also thinking about traveling the project to a nearby city (Cleveland, Buffalo or Philadelphia???). Space permitting, I’d like to continue with the seven artists currently represented. Ideal locations will offer a secure place for art to be on view, with free access to the work. Please contact me if you have a space and are interested in hosting the project.
“World Stage” performance at Flux 12, Downtown Pittsburgh, summer 2005. Photo by L. Rippel.
Detail of work in progress, World Stage. L. Rippel
The FLUX series of late-night art parties in massive vacant industrial buildings were a major part of the Pittsburgh art scene ten years ago. Developed by Traci Jackson, the one-day events featured a mix of visual arts, films, bands, theatrical performances and lots of beer. For FLUX 12 (held in the former Art Institute of Pittsburgh facilities, Penn Avenue, Downtown) I created a junk model of the world, decorating it with illustrations of polemical issues. As I jumped from one end of the sculpture to the other, I touched on destruction of the Amazon rain forest, pre-emptive missile strikes and other current issues involving U.S. consumption and policy (and resulting ripple effects throughout the world). As I completed one side, visitors moved in to view new developments.
Here is a piece I made in 2008 using random junk, some toy motors, and scrap wood.