Friday, December 30, 2011

New/End Year Tradition

So I've got this thing in my blood where I have to get to the Strip District around my birthday. And since said birthday is next Monday, today ended up being the day. Who couldn't ask for a better one?? Sunny and 47 degrees?? Not your usual December Januaury fare, that's for sure. I was going to title this post "End of the Year Tradition" but the truth is, my birthday falls at the BEGINNING of the year, and I've got the time for this tradition before the END of the year. That being said, I guess it should really be called my "Transitional Tradition". So why the Strip? Well....
Take the Society for Contemporary Crafts, what's not to intrigue and engage your brain here??? The current exhibit is the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this piece for a million tagged reasons. First, it's made of hundreds of old fashioned price tags, dangling and swinging in the breeze! Each tag has an image or word stamped on the surface and the cotton strings tying each one makes the 8 year old Charo in me scream, "I NEED that!" And what is it about those old tags? When I see them in the Worthington Hardware Store or in Staples, part of me sees no problem in buying 100 of them in each size and color. Of course, the Minnie Pearle in me sees no problem either. Secondly, it screams "girlie girl", need I say more?  Regardless, this dress brought up many fun memories from childhood (My poor mother.) and it also made me question what part of me blocks the impulse to buy and create with something that causes such a pleasant visceral reaction?
Along with the great sculptues in the exhibit is an artwork by my former colleague and
Saxonburg Co-op member Mark Weleski. These are two separate canvases, hand streched to perfection. Look deeply, look inside. It's all there. Mark's works are currently on view at the Co-op if you are interested in seeing more of his abstracts and also his photo realistic work. A quiet man, his work speaks volumes.  There's much more to see at the AAP exhibit which runs through Jan. 14.

And of course it wouldn't be a blog post without a pot or here's the latest addition to my collection:

This little mug jumped off the table while I was perusing the shop at SCC. Joanna Powell of Boulder, Colorado got me with earthenware and as she writes on her card, "humor and whimsy". Yummy buttery glaze, slip, sgraffito and a perfectly sized handle! Love it, too!! Now, take notice of that box with the blue pom pom on top. In real estate, they say, "Location, location, location." In retail we say, "Presentation!!" I walked out of the SCC holding that sweet little box like a new baby for everyone to see.
It wasn't simply a day for art. Many of you know the Strip is full of people, smells, steet vendors, hats. socks, Steeler gear and so much more. The day was filled with stops at Roxanne's Dried Flowers for a good head full of eucaclyptus and a box of anise seeds, and a stop at Mon Aimee Chocolate...only two bars of Salted Dark Chocolate this year....A stop for chai, a giant jar of feta cheese...two new crazy hats. I am ready for the new year!
So as 2011 comes to an end, I've concluded it was a year of change and growth, a good one. Finishing it out with great art and some inspiration for 2012 is a tradition I'll gladly do again, same time same place, next year.


  1. I was in Pittsburgh for a night and absolutely loved it there. I stayed in the theatre district, near the train station (is that right??).

    I would be all over that tagged mannequin as well... What a great piece!!

    Have a great 2012! Cheers!!

  2. Yep, the theater district is awesome and only a few blocks from the Strip, just walk up river and you're there. And omg, the trains station itself is amazing architecture! I think you can still get walking tours around town to see all the cool gargoyles and the old jail. C'mon back!!!

  3. Sounds like a very productive day down at the strip!
    I love eating tacos right on the street there at Raynas Latin Foods Market, take home some empanadas and Jamaican meat pies...Maybe a breakfast at Pamela's...
    Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!!!!