The Polish Hill Arts Fest is one of the city’s liveliest summer events. The Fest attracts people of all ages from across the city and includes a broad range of vendors from fine craftspeople to young, local artists. Live music, unique performances and fun activities for the kiddos. Plus, we always have amazing local food vendors. This year, for the first time, the Arts Fest is 100% volunteer-run. And (as always) we look to you to help us make it happen.
July 17th, noon to 9pm (this’ll be awesome, just wait).
If you would like to participate in the the fun, as an artist, a performer, or a food vendor, please reveal your interest through one of the following links (applications are due by May 1st!):
So much happened at the festival – here’s the second installment of photos!
The musicians of Timbeleza brought a big blast of energy with their Brazilian samba drumming,
And then the dancers showed up,
This young festival-goer was completely entranced by the samba ladies
and this little girl got to help Timbeleza play,
Pandemic Pete was on hand all day to do sound and keep the music going between sets,
Laura Zurowski’s dream-themed Sleepwatch project offered a quiet place for visitors to sit and contemplate
Nicole Bloch of Erra Creations,
Mathew Tembo and the Afro Routes band brought the sounds of Zambia,
These two gentlemen were enjoying the music and demanded to have their photo taken,
The May Day Marching Band got going just as the rain came,
… and kept the energy going through a short storm, as people danced in the street,
… until the storm ended, and the music kept going,
Then PARTY! came on, and brought some 80s rock-n-roll energy,
Which got the kids dancing,
Until it was time to stop, and call it a day.
Thanks to all the performers, vendors, organizations, and volunteers. And thanks to everyone who came out to help make this a great day!
(All photos by Leslie Clague)
There were a lot of great photos from this very hot, fun, and exhausting day, so this is the first of two installments.
Here’s Elias Khouri and his dad Najeeb. Elias just turned 14 and has been playing guitar for a year and a half. This was his first public performance, and he’s pretty amazing.
This is Karen Lillis, writer and organizer of Small Press Pittsburgh,
Jeffrey Krusl, with Jude Vachon, saying hello,
Florence Smith, of Djoi Designs, with her wonderful jewelry and accessories,
Aubrey and Kazzy had terrariums, among other things,
Joe Holtz, who has been at the festival every year since it began,
Garick Tai-Lee and Charlie Alessi with their ceramics, here with a visit from a mobile art project,
Jabari Mason (and the gorgeous Mrs. Mason) has also come back every year,
The Mobile Sculpture Workshop came back with their welding setup and art-in-progress,
Volunteers from Assemble, with art activities,
Elizabeth Monian of Land Art Generator Initiative,
Little House Big Art,
Carnegie Library, who have also joined us every year,
There were lots of kids, and ices, of course,
And we’ll be back soon with the rest of the photos!
(All photos by Leslie Clague)
We’ve got some great organizations and individuals bringing free art activities, demonstrations, and projects to the festival!
The Mobile Sculpture Workshop, a pilot program of the Industrial Arts Co-op, will begin building their second major sculpture at the festival. The sculpture will be designed by eight local area youth, and its on-going construction will be displayed at various events over the summer.
The Mobile Sculpture Workshop was created by the Industrial Arts Co-op as a summer workshop aimed at demonstrating the techniques of safe and proper welding and metal fabrication to Pittsburgh-area youth grades 9-12. Eight sculpture apprentices have been chosen, along with three alternates, to help construct a large-scale sculpture for public display and installation in the Hazelwood area. You can learn more about the Mobile Sculpture Workshop by visiting their website and following their Facebook page.
Little House, Big Art
Little House, Big Art is a unique art and craft studio on the Northside where kids, adults and everyone in between can come in and make stuff in guided projects or in an open studio. The activities they are bringing to the festival include some paintables (canvas panels, wooden picture frames, and wooden snakes) and stuff for plastic and wood beading.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will lead a Gardening Gloves activity at the event and provide materials from its Music, Film and Audio Collection for check out with your library card.
45 Days of Sleepwatch
45 Days of Sleepwatch
In March of 2015, Laura Zurowski found a series of 45 poems posted to Craigslist Missed Connections. Titled “Sleepwatch,” each poem explores the common symbols and themes that infuse our dreams. In this interactive project, visitors can read the original Sleepwatch poems, learn about the meanings of various dream elements, and create and share their own piece of writing or artwork in response.
Assemble, a community space for arts and technology in Garfield, will bring an interactive kids crafting activity and information about its free and low-cost STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) youth programs. This is their third year at the festival. We haven’t heard what they’ll be doing this year, but it’s sure to be fun! (Photo from 2013 Polish Hill Arts Festival)
Land Art Generator Initiative
Land Art Generator Initiative will provide drop-in workshop activities that invite people of all ages to think about renewable energy and sustainable cities through the lens of art. Visitors will learn about the LAGI 2016 STEAM Prize and how to participate.
At the LAGI table will be images of large-scale public artwork proposals from past LAGI design competitions. Also on hand will be innovative renewable energy technologies (third-generation thin films and organic photovoltaics, etc.) that kids can play with and learn about. A station will be set up that will take kids through the design process and give them the tools they need to draw their ideas of an artwork for the city that can provide clean electricity. STEAM Prize flyers will be free to take away, providing all the information that kids and parents will need to be a part of it (opens on August 15).
LAGI Books and field guides will allow kids to look up more information about technologies and see additional examples of artwork proposals. Art+Energy Flash Cards will be available for kids to use and to take away.
Visitors will also get a sneak peek at the WindNest public artwork with desktop motel and prototype.
Here’s the next installment of the vendor previews! Jason Bartlett returns with his evocative watercolor paintings.
The ladies of Siren Studio have an eclectic output, each with her own style. Here’s Amanda Synpweic,
… and Monica Cervone:
Guglielmo Botter lives in Italy, but has family ties in Pittsburgh and has been visiting here each summer, making pen and ink drawings of the city. Learn more about Guglielmo and his work here.
Elizabeth Klaczak will bring her handmade soaps and bath products.
Candace Davis and Seth McBurney will have multi-media crafts, including planters, garments, and drawings. They also collaborated to create the poster for this year’s festival!
Jordon Milchak of On the Skids, will have his t-shirts and designs. Check out more work here.
Trileodeon is the multi-media work of the very talented Niffer Desmond. In her words, her work includes “awakening arts, learning toys, healing tools, inspiring apparel, eco conscious home decor”. Learn more on her website, and see more of her work in her Etsy shop.
Jude Vachon will have reusable tote bags, envelope clutches, bike streamers, fabric headbands, and more.
Just got final confirmations from bands, so without further ado, here’s the performance schedule!
12:15 Pandemic Pete
Pete Spynda plays a “hybrid of traditional folk music and contemporary dance music from around the world. Dj sets are borderless, combining cutting edge dance music from remote regions of the world with traditional folk music.” Pete will be on hand all day to keep the music coming between band sets. Click here to listen to Pandemic.
1:00 Urgent Notice
Elias Khouri is a 14 year old Polish Hill guitar whiz who has only been playing for a year and a half. He’ll do a short set for his first public performance. We think he’s pretty amazing — check it out!
2:00 Tilley Hawk
Tilley’s playing a short set of country music. We don’t have a clip to share, but based on her other gig (she’s the singer for the punk band Zeitgeist), it’s sure to be awesome.
4:00 The Hills and the Rivers
They describe themselves as “Post-apocalyptic river folk. From the roots to the branches, the springs to the sea.” Listen to some of their music here.
A percussion group specializing in Brazilian rhythms, from the samba batucada of Rio’s famous Carnaval to the samba reggae and funk-infused Bahian music of the north coast. Timbeleza has played at the festival every year since 2009, and they’re big neighborhood favorite.
6:00 Mathew Tembo and the Afro Routes Band
Mathew is from Zambia, now based in the Midwest, and his music fuses indigenous Zambian vibes with contemporary sounds. Check out his website to listen.
A (mostly) Polish Hill based, female fronted cover band playing 70s and 80s hits, some pop, and some metal. They’ve been a big hit at Oysterfest, Pumpkinfest in homestead, wrestling events, and lot of shows, so while they’re not the usual PHAF fare, we’re glad to have them here. Maybe they will take requests. Until recently PARTY! was known by another name; here’s some video.
Need info on how to get here and where to park? Here it is: PHAF2015_gettinghereandparking
Here are more of the 30+ vendors who will be at the arts festival! First up is Small Press Pittsburgh, represented by writer and organizer Karen Lillis. Karen will bring a wide selection of books from local authors. Learn more about Small Press Pittsburgh.
Poison Apple Printshop is artist and printmaker Adrienne Rozzi, who creates original handmade art and fashion inspired by witchcraft, magick, and the occult. Check out her website to see more of her work.
Adam Waddell is a returning vendor whose distinctive ceramic and multi-media work is always a favorite. See more of Adam’s work in his Etsy shop.
Darren Myers is a new vendor and a Polish Hill resident. He’ll have his hardwood bowls, cutting boards, and some raw slab furniture made in collaboration with Ben Grubb. Check out more of Darren’s work in his Etsy shop.
Candle With a Cause products are custom designed for the non-profit organizations that are featured on each label. The holders are made of post-consumer glass and the candles are soy wax.
Reyghan Pierce is a young Polish Hill artist who’s been showing at the festival for four years.
Sharing a table with Reyghan will be Maeve Gannon, a painter and ceramicist.
Eryn Hughes of Apothecary Muse will bring her handcrafted small batch herbal soap, insect repellent spray, skin salves, natural deodorant. See the full range of Eryn’s products in her Etsy shop.
That’s it for now — we’ll preview the rest of the artists and craftspeople next week!
We’ve got another great lineup of artists and craftspeople this year. Some are returning vendors, and some are with us for the first time. There’s some great work coming to the festival this year — here’s the first preview.
Renee and Cathie of Animoon Workshop create one-of-a-kind jewelry, home décor, and collaged gifts from reclaimed and natural artifacts. They have vended with us before, and it’s great to have them back this year. See more of their work.
Owlet Organics is another return vendor. Amanda Comeau makes adorable organic clothes and items for babies and kids. Check out her website to see more.
Garick Tai-Lee and Charlie Alessi are Polish Hill residents who’ve shown at the festival for several years. Their gorgeous ceramic work
Jared Ondovchik is also a Polish Hill resident and returning vendor. He shared some information about these handcrafted knives: “The first picture is of a butcher’s knife hand forged from 3/16″ thick 1084. It was finished with a mustard patina and a rosewood handle. The second knife was forged from an old file. I drew the handle way out and wrapped it back into itself to give it an organic look. I even forged a leaf on the end and framed it inside the handle.”
“The third picture is of a 8″ chef’s knife that I am really proud of. It was forged from 1095 and has an ironwood handle with brass hardware. The tang runs through the handle and is peened over the bottom piece of brass for a permanent seal.”
Stay tuned for more festival previews, including more artists and craft vendors, the musical acts, and the activities!
The eighth Polish Hill Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, July 19, and the application period is now open for people who wish to participate. The festival includes artists and craft vendors, live music, food, and art and craft activities. This is quirky, less traditional sort of arts festival. It’s also an inclusive, family and kid-friendly event.
For vending: fill out the application and either email or send to us. Be sure to read and save page 2, the information sheet.
If your band or performance group would like to be considered:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and include links to your music (preferred), or mail a CD.
Artists or groups interested in presenting an activity or artwork should email email@example.com or send us a description of what you would like to do.
To volunteer or get more information: Call us at 412.681.1950 or email.
(Photo from the 2014 Polish Hill Arts Festival, by Leslie Clague)