Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center (NK) presents a new public work by August featured resident artist, Tom Sarver as part of NK’s public art program, Fallow Grounds for Sculpture (FG). Fallow Grounds is a public art initiative that temporarily activates vacant land located in the East Deutschtown neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s Northside to enhance community interactivity by making otherwise empty spaces as active places for healing, growth and revitalization.
On Saturday, August 29th, during NK’s Opening Celebration artist Tom Sarver brings his popular Art Olympics back as an outdoor festival event. Sarver’s residency kicks off on August 4th with a free trophy making workshop from 5-7 pm, followed by an artist talk at Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center with sponsorship by Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. On Wednesday, August 5th, a mural celebrating Art Olympics will be created at the event site with the City View Youth Group. The main event, Art Olympic Festival, happens on Saturday, August 29th, rain or shine. The grounds will open at 4:00 PM. The opening ceremony with begin at 4 PM and the winners announced at 6:30 PM.
What is Art Olympics?
Inspired by game shows, reality TV and arena sports, the event features three teams of Pittsburgh artists competing over two hours to build winning sculptures out of random junk materials. The high-energy event allows visitors to get up close and see the art making in progress. Teams are judged by a panel of community members and arts professionals. Criteria for judging includes “creative use of materials” and “adherence to the team artist statement.” Teams often engage the audience in unexpected ways as the performance element is a key factor in the competition.
Why is it a Festival?
The event will feature live marching band music by Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band. Audience members will be able to try on-site art making activities including puppet making and printmaking. Some lucky audience members will be selected to compete in a short “halftime show” art making contest. At the culmination of the event, performers will be awarded with trophies made by members of the community. The event is fully accessible via Spring Garden Ave and Concord Street. Food trucks will be available in the Neu Kirche parking lot. Parking is available at the UPMC parking lot on Spring Garden Avenue.
Who is involved?
Tom Sarver and Mike Cuccaro will moderate the event. Judges include Maritza Mosquera, Christiane Leach, Wayne Younger and Erika Johnson. Team leaders are Hyla Willis, Darrell Kinsel and Craig Freeman.
Craig Freeman has been active as a visual artist, gallery owner (Fast Forward) and musician (Lost Realms) in the Pittsburgh art scene for the past six years. Born in isolated area of rural Pennsylvania, his sensibilities were formed by his thirst for all things cultural, including underground music, street art and skateboarding. Freeman has been a part of the gallery installation crew at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Wood Street and Space Galleries for several years, hanging shows in all forms ranging from complex international kinetic and new media works to paintings by local artists. Freeman will be joined by an all-star lineup of fellow art handlers Elizabeth Rudnick, Nathan Curtis and David Zak. They are the ones that help you to get your show up on time for your opening reception! All are showing and playing gigs in the Pittsburgh art and music scene.
Hyla Willis is an artist and designer working across a wide range of media. She is a co-founding member of subRosa, a mutable (cyber)feminist art collective that creates open-ended environments where participants engage with objects, texts and digital technologies that critique the intersections of information and bio-technologies on women’s bodies, lives and work. She was selected as Pittsburgh Center for the Arts’ 2014 Artist of the Year and created “America’s Least Livable City,” an installation about her hometown in the Central Valley of California. Willis has been the recipient of fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, and the MacDowell Colony. She teaches Media Arts at Robert Morris University. Willis’s team will include Ryan A. Murray, Felipe Garcia-Huidobro and Hannah G. Thompson.
D.S. Kinsel is a creative entrepreneur and arts administrator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He expresses his creativity through the mediums of painting, installation, curating, action painting and social media. As a recipient of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Grant, he served as the resident artist at 720 Café, where he provided the boutique with creative support while producing commercial-based print work and window displays. He is currently a resident artist with Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery (supported by the Artist Opportunity Grant from Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council). Kinsel is the co-founder of BOOM Concepts, a combination workspace and creative hub in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Kinsel has served as the MGR Pittsburgh Youth Empowerment Arts in Action Program Coordinator & MGR National Social Media Coordinator. He works with youth, community artists, and community partners to identify ways for youth to express issues of social justice through drama, dance, music, visual art, and technology. Kinsel’s team will include Daryl Collier, Anqwenique Wingfield and Julie Mallis.
Erika Johnson is the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Center For Creative Reuse, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting resource conservation, creativity and community engagement through material reuse.
Christiane D is an award-winning visual artist, poet, writer and musician. Over the past 20 years, her projects have been at the forefront of the Pittsburgh art scene. She is also the Artist Relations Manager at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
Maritza Mosquera is a Pittsburgh-based visual artist, educator and curator. She is known for socially engaging, community-based work. She is also known for her work in the dynamic, critical programs at the Andy Warhol Museum that spark conversations on gender, race and social issues.
Wayne Younger is a pastor at Cityview Church, a Christian congregation centered in the East Deutschtown neighborhood. Cityview Church actively serves the North Side community with strong neighborhood and youth-centered programs.
Project sponsors include Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, City View Church, Girlfriends Youth Group, Construction Junction, Artist Image Resource, The Home Depot, Pat Catan’s / Prism Art Supplies and ioby. ioby is a community of donors, volunteers and leaders dedicated to making their neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable. The ioby mission is to deepen civic engagement in cities by supporting community-led neighbor-funded projects in urban neighborhoods. We greatly appreciate the generosity and support the East Deutschtown community has shown Neu Kirche in promoting and establishing our public art initiative.
Neu Kirche Contemporary Art Center is a is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization founded in 2014 with a focus on the local community, operating as an economic, social and cultural asset for the advancement of the Northside. Neu Kirche supports contemporary artists, proposing new ways to think about art making by promoting cultural vitality through community engagement.