Polish Hill Arts Fest: the music!


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.


5:00   Timbeleza
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.


7:00 May Day Marching Band
This Polish Hill-based group of musicians got its name from association with the Polish Hill May Day Parade.
Check out some of their music here.

may day marching band

8:00 PARTY!
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


Polish Hill Arts Fest: vendor preview #2

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.

Poison Apple Printshop Moon Patches

PA_Maydays Magic Circle Screenprint

PA_Midnight Spell Tshirt

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.DarrenMyers_1

Myers_Grubb_sycamore bench

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.

Line Sheet Final Copy

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.

Maeve_Clay and Fabric Doll


Maeve_Ceramic Work

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!

Polish Hill Arts Fest vendor preview #1

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.

Kirsten Lowe-Rebel makes prints, pillows, and handcrafted jewelry with Pittsburgh themes.  You can see more of here work at her Etsy store, or her website.

Lowe_Rebel_Kitchen towel BLOG

LoweRebel_16th st bridge pillow BLOG

LoweRebel_batch of cuffs BLOG

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.

AnimoonWorkshop-bullet necklace



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


Lee_Alessi_ShinoMagic Vase


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!

Now accepting vendor applications for the 2015 Polish Hill Arts Festival


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.

Application for artists and craftspeople

Application for food vendors

If your band or performance group would like to be considered:
Email leslie@phcapgh.org, and include links to your music (preferred), or mail a CD.

Artists or groups interested in presenting an activity or artwork should email leslie@phcapgh.org 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)


A sunny day and record attendance at the Polish Hill Arts Festival

Sorry about the delay — we had to rest after a very long — and very fun — day!  Here’s the first installment of photos from the arts festival.



Pete from Pandemic provided music for the first couple hours of the festival and between sets.  Here, he consults with Olivia Kissel on music for her dance performance.


Olivia got a few small audience members to join her.


The Mobile Sculpture Studio is working with young people in Hazelwood to make a sculpture.  They brought their traveling setup so festival visitors could see the process.


A neighborhood band returns:  The Polish Hillbillies, active in the late 90s, are back together and played an energetic set.


Visitors sat on the church steps to chat.

Gangwish started out with bubbles and a dirge, then settled into a meditative set of experimental music.


Jaguar Mountain Rundown, from Uniontown, brought the country music.


Hanging out and visiting with friends.


Timbeleza (with guest samba dancers from the Pittsburgh Dance Center) performed the final set of the day.



To everyone who vended, performed, volunteered, or attended:  thank you for a wonderful day!

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #5

More vendors!  Let’s get right to it:

Reyghan Pierce is a Polish Hill resident and recent graduate from CAPA.  She’ll be selling multi-media works, drawings, and paintings.



Sarah Jo Antonucci makes glazed tile coasters from beer labels.



Malcolm Gittins paints old-time movie monsters:


Malcolm Gittins-1

Nicole Bloch makes jewelry and home items from reclaimed materials, including bike chain.   She’ll also have soaps and other items.



Cyberpunk Apocalypse will be joining us for the first time, bringing a collection of books and ‘zines.


Joe Holtz has been with the festival every year since it started.  Joe creates paintings on glass — an old folk tradition, but updated with pop culture references.



Siren Studio is a group of women, each bringing their own unique artwork.






Jabari Mason will be selling his bookmarks (below), as well as prints, original paintings, and much, much more.



Erin, Lindsay, and Jackie will be selling a great selection of vintage clothes and accessories — at “artist-friendly” prices, they say.


Stephanie Neary’s work includes dense freehand patterns on eggs, light switch plates and more.



And finally, Cheryl Sedlock will be doing tarot card readings, and tabling with Healcrest Farms, who will bring herbal products, teas, and pops.



And that’s our fabulous vendor lineup!  See you Sunday!

Polish Hill Arts Festival performance preview


Here’s the great performance lineup for this year!

12:15  Pandemic Pete
Starting the day, Pete will be playing world dance music.  Pete’s regular events include Pandemic’s monthly dance party  at Brillobox, Fridays at Bayardstown Social Club, and Weather Permitting.

2:15  ViraSamba
This ensemble will get everyone dancing!  ViraSamba includes some members of Timbeleza.


3:15  Olivia Kissel
Olivia  was a founding member and co-director of Zafira dance troupe and has taught and performed around the U.S. and abroad.   Olivia also makes jewelry and will be selling her pieces at the festival.  Learn more about Olivia’s work here.


4:30  Gangwish
Gangwish was originally Sam Pace’s solo project to experiment with abstract drum and synth.  It’s turned into a collective vision of expansive and experimental pop music.  The performance at the festival will include members of Midnight Snake/KMFD/Acid FathersTemple.  Sam also promises  surprises — we don’t know what kind of surprises.


5:30  The Polish Hillbillies
A band-about-town in the late 1990s, then the members went their separate ways.  They’re back together with a reformed lineup which includes three original members.   It’s great to welcome this neighborhood band with their alt-country sounds back to Polish Hill.


6:30  Geña y Peña
Geña is from Puerto Rico and moved to Pittsburgh in 197.  She duets regularly with Carlos Peña, in a project called “Geña y Peña” and they perform boleros corta-venas all over Pittsburgh.


7:30  Jaguar Mountain Rundown
From Uniontown, Jaguar Mountain Rundown describe themselves as “alternative/cowpunk/rock”.


8:30 – onwards  Timbeleza
Timbeleza is a batucada — an African influenced Brazilian percussive style.  Returning to perform at the festival for the sixth year, Timbeleza is a big favorite here and one of the bands that people ask us to bring back each year.


Here they are performing at Pittatonkatonk Brass Festival in May:


And the energy won’t stop between bands — Pete from Pandemic will be on hand all day playing great world dance music between sets.

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #4

Another daily dose of great vendors!  Owlet Organics is new to the festival.  Their embroidered baby clothes are super-cute.




Alethea Okonak, aka John the Craftist, will bring back her great Pittsburgh themed cards and other paper items:




Cathie and Renee of Animoon Workshop will bring nature themed jewelry, housewares and art:




Jared Ondovchik of Artifact Metalworks makes knives that are both useful and as beautiful as sculpture.




Olivia Kissel will have jewelry and art created from “chain, old money, flotsam and jetsam”.  Olivia will also be performing Middle Eastern dance at the festival.



Eddie Maier is from West Virginia.  He’ll be bringing woodblock prints.  See more of Eddie’s work here.



Whimsical Wonders is another returning vendor.  Their wind chimes and jewelry are made from old silverware.



And we’ll have more artists and craftspeople coming up tomorrow ….

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #3

So many great vendors this year — we’re not even halfway through the list!  This preview starts with Tugboat Printshop, who are with us for the first time this year.




Next up is Andy Scott, a cartoonist who creates zines, comic books, posters, and more.  (He did the poster for the arts fest in 2010 and 2011).




Commonwealth Press will be bringing their Pittsburgh-themed t-shirt designs.  Last year, they had a Polish Pirates t-shirt that was very popular.  They say they’ll be bringing that back this year (see below, right) along with a bunch of other great original designs


Florence Smith creates jewelry and accessories in leather and metals.


SD536316 SD536338

Garick Tai-Lee and Charlie Alessi, also known as Three Rivers Clay Works, will bring back their ceramics this year.


And finally, Boustead Bead Company will bring their beaded jewelry:


Another update is coming tomorrow!

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #2


Variety is the spice of the great vendors we have, too!  First up is Christian Breitkreutz, with prints.



Next is woodworker Kris McCartan:



Karen Lillis brings her Small Press Pittsburgh display back to the festival.  Stop by to pick up great books by local authors.


Next is Nate Taylor, who will be selling his illustrated books:



Nate will be showing with Abby Diamond, who will have her ink and marker illustrations of animals:



In a slight departure from art (but still crafty), Shadyside Nursery will be selling terrariums and succulents.


More previews on the way — stay tuned!