Sunday afternoon was the official dedication of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs- A Holocaust Sculpture at the Community Day School at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Ave. The sculpture is a maze in the shape of the Star of David, created with glass blocks which are filled with six million pop tabs which took almost five years to collect , each tab representing a human life lost in the Holocaust. Many people contributed time, money and effort to the creation of the sculpture and the beautiful surrounding park. Walking into the maze, one is struck by the magnitude of the horror of genocide, the number of victims is hard to fathom but the pop tabs in the glass blocks are a reminder of the millions killed.
The resident artist, Elena Hiatt Houlihan has been with this project since 2002. Pop tabs were being collected since 1996 and Mr. Walter the History Teacher at Community Day School had aquariums filled with them when Elena arrived to help the student teams design the sculpture. Their original artist statement was read by her at the dedication ceremony today.
Elena had been a resident artist at Greenfield Elementary when I was the art teacher there and I remember her talking about the ongoing work of this sculpture and then funding and other circumstances delayed the completion.
It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and there were speeches and prayers and an 8th grader played the violin. A chill wind and shadows gave one a shudder and reminded those present of the significance of the memorial sculpture. Never Forget.
I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.
Receiving a standing ovation, Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakArtist in Residence Elena Hiatt Houlihan and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Bill Walter who started the collection of the pop tabs when he was teaching the Holocaust to middle school students at Community Day School.
Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name
My friend R sent me an article from the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette by Sara Bauknecht, about “Remains”, a one-woman show playing at The New Hazlett Theater on the North Side – Thought I might be interested in going. I read the part about going through boxes of memories and stuff from one’s parents and it piqued my interest.
You can read more about the star of the show, Beth Corning, at her blog
“This year’s offering is a one-woman show (starring Beth Corning ) made with Tony Award-winning choreographer/performer Dominique Serrand, co-artistic director of Minneapolis-based The Moving Company.”
and before you know it, R went online and bought us tickets. I’m so glad she did. It was excellent. Powerful. Graceful. Moving. Evocative.
And it’s there for just 3 more days!! If you live in Pittsburgh, you should make a plan to go this weekend.
We went to the performance Thursday night and stayed for the Talk-Back afterwards.
Beth Corning asked the audience if we might Tweet, Facebook and tell friends about “Remains” – (a Glue Factory Project) which is playing Friday June 7,
Sat June 8th and a Sunday Matinee at 2 (June 9th) when you pay what you can for admission.
R and I went to the lobby and then I wondered out loud how to blog about it and R suggested I ask to take a photo of Beth. So we turned around and went back and I took a photo with my iPhone.
A nice man, Alex showed me how to take a panorama with my new iPhone in the theater lobby and showed me where to stand in the corner. A bit dark but fun. Thanks Alex
We headed to Market Square to La Cucina Flegrea where the kitchen had closed but served us each a bowl of delicious minestrone and some bread.
And if you don’t live in Pittsburgh, you could invite Beth and Dominique to come to your city. Maybe they will consider a tour! The show’s theme is personal and universal simultaneously.
Formerly the Carnegie Library Now the New Hazlett Theater
Beth Corning after the performance.
The Lobby of the New Hazlett Theater
Market Square Scene
A bowl of minestrone at La Cucina Flegrea in Market Square, after the show.
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.
Looked out the back door window in the kitchen. Saw the first letter “A” started. Already on the “L” when I got out to the yard with the camera. After I took all the photos I googled to see who was having a sale. Turns out an artist Kim Beck has the skywriting project as part of her “The Sky is the Limit” exhibition. (click for article in Pittsburgh Post Gazette) Each part of the letter is a mile long. Scroll down for still photo. Uploaded my first YouTube this evening so we’ll see how that works.