Steve and I ventured out Saturday afternoon and what started out as a gray, dark day became perfect
First, we met George and his 1973 VW Thing. He came when the weather was good as his vehicle has no roof! Made in West Germany and customized in Redondo CA, he bought it in Indiana and told me his goal is to have every car he thought was cool when he was a kid. He has five cars and I should have asked him what the other four were but that question will have to wait for the Oktoberfest Car Show at the old VW Factory in Westmoreland next Sunday, October 14th.
Jason Sauer of Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery was the host of the event and showed me his demolition car named DOA and “that’s what it is” he said,”Dead!” That is why it was covered with a white sheet!
Parts of it have been torched out of the body and grace his Art Gallery walls and there is even a car pieces wind chime hanging from the tin ceiling of the gallery. He was the host for the day. He was at an event in Texas and had Xerox Most Wanted signs and people posed for the piece you see on the gallery wall. All the photos are on the trunk of a car, hanging on the gallery wall and the participants tagged themselves on FB.
Sam Thorp posed by the van she painted.
Steve bought a psychology book at Awesome Books a few doors down and he pointed out the giant sleeping cat in the front of the bookstore. We had fun in Garfield Saturday afternoon.
The weekly photo challenge: Solitary hosted by Cheri Lucas at WordPress.
A single picture seemed about right.
(Oops. there are figures in the drawings.)
My friend Steve told me about a documentary he watched last Saturday night about the Toynbee Tiles. Toynbee Tiles? I’d never heard of them. The documentary is called Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles . It’s a film by Jon Foy and was chosen as one of the best documentaries of 2011 by Roger Ebert.
Turns out there was also an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about the tiles downtown but I missed it when it came out.
So last Sunday afternoon, Steve and went to look for them. We found three of the Toynbee Tiles. The first photographs of them were in the 1980′s so I am a latecomer to these mysterious plaques. And I am intrigued by their placement in so many locations.
A couple of them are paved over. Chicago doesn’t allow them, they rip them up. But in Pittsburgh they are there for pedestrians to walk over and cars to drive right on top of them. It is a mystery who places the tiles but there are a lot of them in the world. Right by the church where James and Laura were married in Columbus, OH at Third and Broad there’s another one and Laura’s seen it! They are considered guerrilla art. And a mystery!
You can see it in the crosswalk below.
An you can see the above tile in the crosswalk below.
Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the opening and thanks for the encouraging and supportive emails, calls, and comments from friends and family. My friend V sent these beautiful flowers and Jen brought sunflowers and Barb cut gladiolas from her garden, tied them with a bow. Thanks for all the love. And thanks Emily for hosting the show.
Limiting myself to a single image, shot on my iPhone at school. I like to document their artwork.
Teaching art to K-8 students, I had many choices.
I am posting this first grader’s response to the question What is Your Favorite Thing About School?
Here are some fellow bloggers responses to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Create
The sunflowers are a gift from a friend.
This photograph was taken in the art room today on my iPhone. Most of the middle schoolers were on a trip. After lunch I had a few who didn’t get to attend. This wonderful painting was created by a young man named Scott. He painted the sunflowers a friend had brought me.
I didn’t want to leave the flowers at home alone so took them with me to school. They were so vibrant and summery.
Oh, the unexpected surprise of the gift of flowers from a good friend.
Friday after school, I put the bouquet on the front seatand when I arrived at my son and DIL’s home and took them out of the car, my granddaughter ran down the hill of the front yard to greet me and said excitedly when she saw them, “Oh we studied that artist! ” Later in the craft store she picked up a Starry Night Umbrella and told me it was the same artist as the Sunflowers. She’s 8 1/2 and just completed second grade Tuesday.
Thanks for the flowers, friend. I thought it would cheer you to see them in Scott’s painting.
(And that eyeball glaring from the chair is from the cover of a book that belongs to Scott’s classmate and friend, J, who told me he has checked out the photos on this blog! Cool. )
To see other responses to the weekly photo challenge click here
Beware of Fox!
It’s been up on this porch roof for at least a couple of days.
I was driving to the zoo from school on Monday.
The story I heard from the guy out in front of the house next door?
The guy who lives there does demolition and probably got it from some home he was tearing down. It is the season of demolition around the city as you know.
A photographer has no choice but to pull to the curb and shoot the scene. Remember the days of women’s stoles with fox heads dangling and tiny paws with claws? Beady eyes? Ugh. Wonder if they take him in if it rains?
The last book we read in 2nd grade Intervention Group was the Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.
Making hearts with hands.
We’re working on decorations for the Spring concert next week, drawing friends.
The theme is friendship. I’ll make a photo for each student in this third grade and thought that maybe notecards would be nice, too. Several were absent today so it was easier to fit everyone in.
How they helped me out this afternoon after the weekly photo challenge was posted: Hands. We had a lot of fun. I told them the problem of creating a heart with all of their hands. This is how they experimented with me.
They were very excited to help and try to accomplish the objective. Working together and all being part of something was a good exercise in friendship. The only part I was directing was reminding them to not let their heads get in the way so I could see their hands from the chair where I was standing. All students were engaged in learning.
And the close-up cropped version
Eighth graders in the art room.
Rubber bands and string. Buckets of color. Vinyl gloves.
Bought more shirts tonight to take to school to try again.
They’ve got the hang of it. The practice.
I tell them - no design turns out exactly as planned.
Friday morning in the hallway a blur of t-shirts walked by.
I felt satisfied.
Did you ever tie-dye anything in your life?
The third day. The actual opening. The third in a series of posts highlighting emerging artists and their exhibition.
It was a great night at UnSmoke Artspace, Braddock PA. Seems to make sense to show the successful and well attended exhibition after two days of hardwork and preparation.
Everyone was waiting and waiting for the plank to break as Aaron drilled and drilled for more than four and a half hours. You can see him fall in the blurry photo and applause broke out!
Congratulations to Aaron Meyers and Justin Sorensen on (Voice of rational being)
After school on Wednesday, I drove to Braddock. Directly across from the Edgar Thomson USS Mill is an old Catholic school building that’s been transformed into a spacious art gallery. UnSmoke Artspace.
I was fortunate to spend an hour or so watching Aaron set up some of his work and followed him around, shooting and talking and only once did he ask me to hold a plank while he drilled into the brick wall so I wasn’t too useful. He was gracious and explained his exploration of materials and how he had transported the art in a truck and what his performance would be during the exhibit.
One thing that struck me is how Aaron inquired about my teaching at school AND about what my blog is about. So although I was there for the purpose of photographing him and his art, he expressed interest in what I do and it was an easy exchange. Aaron has empathy and understanding for the teaching as his mom and I are colleagues. He told me how almost every school he attended in the city is now closed.
A two hour drive from Pittsburgh. My book club had a fun and memorable getaway weekend trip. We stayed at the Historic Bedford Resort.
Sunday, Joan and I went to see the National Museum of the American Coverlet- housed in a beautiful Historic Common School. A coverlet is a woven bed cover, although there were some floor coverings, too. The coverlets display changes every four months. We learned a lot about the history of the coverlets with our knowledgeable guide explaining the differences. The last photos are of the gift shop where you can purchase reproductions of the antique designs and fabric for quilters.
The Museum and Museum Shop are open daily, year round.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Admission is $6 ($5 for age 60 and over). Kids under 12 are free. Group rates available.
If you have a coverlet, you can bring it to Melinda and Laszlo Zongor and they can help date it and identify the weaving method.
The Jacquard Loom
There are looms and spinning wheels on exhibit.
This is not your ordinary face painting!
Last week one of my student’s moms came in to create a special gift for the Communications student teacher as a farewell present on her last day of student teaching. The timing of it fell on Friday afternoon when they were scheduled for Art class and they asked if it would be okay and I agreed it would be fun to see an artist at work. ( I think she is going to return for Career Day, too)
Michele Johnson is the owner of 7 Heirs Body Art Co/ 7 Heirs Media and was telling us about how she was doing body art painting during the Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears concerts, drawing a crowd as concertgoers looked on at her work. It is true, she is quick and creative and the design appears rapidly and beautifully and the addition of jewels tops it off. The students gave a nice round of applause and it took no time at all!
Have an event and need some pizazz, call Michelle 412. 586.5006 or email her – kristal_klere(at)yahoo(dot)com
Pittsburgh’s National Aviary was the happening scene on Friday night in the city. Steel Band music. Desserts.
Artist Reception and Patron Party was in full swing.
Elvis the African Penguin Makes Art to Auction Off to Benefit Persad Center
His feet were all aflutter. Perhaps he enjoys making art without an audience.
Here is the piece I donated. They invited a group of artists to create a commemorative artwork to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. I know one should just make a donation and not tell about it but it is a good cause and perhaps some of my students might seek counseling here in the future and be helped as my good friend J always tells about a former student the organization helped a long time ago.
Below is the photograph I created to commemorate their 40th Anniversary.
Had to bake the cake first before I could photograph it and I chose the wedding cake recipe from the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum and used lots of gel food color by Wilton. Buttercream icing.
UPMC presents Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art
Monday, May 14, 2012
August Wilson Center for African American Culture
980 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
6:00 – 11:00 p.m
“Persad’s signature event is both a verbal and silent auction featuring over 200 pieces of art from local, national and international artists including photography, painting, sculpture and jewelry. Come enjoy great food, drinks and entertainment and take home some fabulous artwork.
To purchase tickets to the event or to purchase an underwriting package, click here.“
My college friend took the train into Grand Central and met my sister and me in Bryant Park today. We walked to the Museum of Modern Art, saw the Cindy Sherman Show and Eugene Atget Show.
Joyce is an adventuresome street photographer, capturing all sorts of people in the city. This worker was happy to oblige. I photographed her photographing him. We had a fun time at the MOMA Sculpture Garden, dueling photographers.
Postaday 2011 is coming to a rapid close. I accomplished a daily photograph post on my rutheh.com blog. It became part of my day. Everyday. And then I started the Keep or Pitch blog and was thinking how I would clean out my house of accumulation and clutter and inherited items. Grown up children moved out but left their “stuff” and I photographed and posted and wrote stories of possessions and it went pretty well everyday for a good while. Months even. Even got voted Freshly Pressed for the Ceramic Squirrel Family post. But when it came time to get serious and actually pitch a LOT of stuff, I stopped photographing it and feeling nostalgic and made donations big time, had a failed yard sale, and loaded up some heavy duty construction bags and dragged them to the curb. That task is not completed and the third floor beckons to me to get up there and PITCH.
Starting another blog to illustrate where this blog travels in the blogosphere is the plan.
I recreated a “cardboard me”, not because I want to look thinner but need to fit in the mail. Made color copies on card stock. The copies appear a little dull but then I was called two-dimensional! I am already in business size envelopes traveling to friends and bloggers who have agreed to “guest blog” and return photo(s) of my visit with them.
Many of you know Flat Stanley and have helped school students with their Social Studies projects. Now it is the Elementary Art Teacher’s project. And your creativity.
Right now I am thinking of one post a week. I will continue with my daily photography blog and then link to Cardboardmetravels.com as the photos and narratives are returned to me.
If you want a visit from Flat Ruthie/Cardboard Me, email your snail mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see where the blog travels, visit faraway friends, highlight fellow bloggers blogs and have fun. I’m already headed to Canada, Omaha, Croatia, Missouri and Arkansas.
The only thing I’m now worried about is that I’m going to be wearing the same outfit everyday for a year.
Oprah might be on every cover of her magazine but at least her hair and outfit are different!
Friday afternoon we (guests from Florida) and my brother and sister, explored the neighborhood of Short North after we ate lunch in German Village. When asked what we should be sure to see, a woman recommended this painting of Mona Lisa. (painted by artist Brian Clemons) We had fun trying to find it, asking several residents where she was……uh, oh, yes, I know I have seen her….not far….hmmmmmm
A short diversion from the task at hand . We had coffee at Cup of Joe afterwards.
All set for the wedding on Saturday afternoon.
I love the dialogue and exchange the blog posts evoke.
From my friend Suzanne in an email Saturday morning…
Ruthie — your blog post today was great! Reminded me of a photo I took in Oaxaca — hard to figure out how they don’t float away!
So I wrote to Suzanne and invited her to be guest blogger today. I love that my photo of the balloon seller created such a response.
In Oaxaca, Mexico in 2005 another balloon seller busy every evening as the town square, the zocolo, filled with families for the evening’s music, strolling and visiting. Every small child had one of these tied to their wrists, and eyes filled with wonder at the beauty of it.
Suzanne is an artist and her website and artwork can be seen by clicking here .
Anna is eight years old today. I remember going to the hospital in the dark, and then watching the sunrise over the Monongahela River from the window. Then I went to school after she as born and everyone was so happy for our family. It was a happy day. Here is a portrait of her with Murphy the Airedale when she was one. It hangs in her bedroom.
And a recent photograph of Anna and Murphy….
The artist of the painting , Alison Zapata, is a new mother herself and paints wonderful pet portraits. Her website is here
When I teach students how to put markers away I teach them the order of the spectrum. Kindergarteners can do it! We sing a little song, red orange yellow green blue purple a few times and they line them all up in the boxes. I say, “Don’t forget the brown and black. SNAP THE CAPS!” And a box of eight markers is in pretty good shape for the next class.
Anyway, the paints were lined up in order on the counter and when I came upstairs after the buses left, I saw the sunlight coming through the jars of glitter paint we’d used earlier. I have no idea how we received a box of glitter paint but we did. The colors were brilliant and I got excited as I rushed to get my camera. Here’s what I could catch.
Friday night,Warhol Museum, Northside -Poetry reading- Undressing the Body Jan Beatty and Soham Patel. Went up to four and checked out (The Word of God(ess): Chitra Ganesh is the third exhibition in The Word of God series
(Read more at warhol.org: http://www.warhol.org/webcalendar/event.aspx?id=3241#ixzz1Wr8meDi0, R and I went to see the Silver Clouds floating in the air, back down to one and head to the car. Looked over my shoulder and saw the young girls dancing to the Bollywood music spun by DJ Chai. A quick shot with the iPhone but there was Andy when it came up on the screen. Fun!
Six years ago when I came to the school I am now, there were dried out paints in containers that had been moved to our school. I soaked them to reuse the containers. And when the water went down the drain, this is what was left. I taped newspaper over the sink and made a little sign. DO NOT USE SINK. I didn’t tell them why, The next day I brought in my camera, removed the newspaper and photographed the paint splats in the sink. It was really interesting to me. So this is another from the archives. Abstract expressionism.