Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #1

We got a record number of applicants for vendor spaces this year.  With some returning vendors and some exciting new arrivals, we’re really looking forward to seeing all of this great work on July 20.

In the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the great work artists will be bringing to this year’s festival.  First up is Adam Waddell, who makes ceramics and jewelry.




Jason Barkley:  ink and watercolor paintings




Lisa Parker:  jewelry in silver, enamel and glass




Pittsburgh Pottery:




Please donate to support the Polish Hill Arts Festival!


We’re still working to raise the rest of the money we’ll need to produce this year’s Polish Hill Arts Festival — to get the street closure permit, the large tent, to pay the bands, and more.  The festival is a gift to the neighborhood — the PHCA doesn’t make any money on the festival, but donates staff time and materials.

We’ve launched an online fundraising campaign to raise the rest of the funds needed.  It’s easy and secure, and you get to pick a perk.  And you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped to make sure this great event could happen for the seventh year.  Please consider donating, and share this with others who might want to support this great event.

To read more about the event and to donate, click here.

(photo from the 2011 Polish Hill Arts Festival by Leslie Clague)

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor application period now open!


The seventh Polish Hill Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, July 20, 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.

How to apply

Artists or craft vendors: 
Print out the application, fill out, and send.  Please also save and read the information sheet.

Food vendors:Fill out the application, print or email, and send to us.  Please also save and read the information sheet.
PHAF2014_food vendor application

Bands or performance groups:
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:
Email leslie@phcapgh.org or send us a description of what you would like to do.

To volunteers or get more information:Call us at 412.681.1950 or email.

(Photo from the 2013 Polish Hill Arts Festival, by Leslie Clague)

Art, dogs, showgirls, rain, and dancing in the street

The 6th Polish Hill Arts Festival got off to a great start with a jig by Steel Clover, and things got busy very quickly.

Around 3:00 the clouds rolled in, and sprinkles turned into heavy rain.  But many festival goers didn’t leave, instead choosing to crowd into the performance tent, or just to get wet.  The performers kept playing:  Pandemic, King Fez, and The Pressure carried on, keeping the festival going with great music.

The rain stopped by 8 pm, the sky cleared and revealed a beautiful sunset, and Lungs Face Feet performed to a soggy, joyful, dancing crowd.


We’d like to give a shout-out to all the artists and craft vendors, performers, activities, food vendors, volunteers, neighborhood supporters, and the hundreds of people who came to the Polish Hill Arts festival.  All of you together is what makes this such a great event. Even with the rain for a few hours, it was a wonderful day. Thank you all so much!

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #4

Here’s the final vendor preview — it’s a long one! First, here’s Bobbi Williams and Chris Tucker (Above, center and right, at the 2011 arts festival).  Bobbi and Chris will be selling their inspirational hand-painted t-shirts.

Kevin Graham has been selling his surreal paintings at the festival for a few years. See more of Kevin’s work in his Etsy shop.

Aubrey Halliburton and Kazzy Zeinemann will be selling terrariums and other items.  Aubrey and Kazzy are two of the many Polish Hill residents participating in the festival.

Frank and Sarah Cunniff are also Polish Hill residents.  Their independent comics company Atomic Samaritan. released it’s first book, “a brush with fame, a brush with death” last year.

Tilley Hawk, another Polish Hill artist, will have her handmade leather sandals, as well as mixed-media artwork.  See more of her sandals in her Etsy shop, and her artwork at Lili Cafe next month.

David Trenga hand-paints wood cigar boxes to create a unique place for keepsakes.

Joe Holtz has shown at the arts festival every year since it began (here he is at the 2012 festival).  He’s also exhibited his unique paintings on glass around Pittsburgh.

The most affordable artwork in the festival:  Nils Hanczar will be doing his 25 Cent Caricatures.  See more of his work here.

Jason Barkley is another returning artist.  His work includes paintings and drawings in ink and watercolor.

Reyghan Pierce is another Polish Hill resident, a returning vendor, an accomplished artist — and she’s still in her teens.  Check out more of her work here.

Adam Waddell makes ceramic objects, jewelry, and other objects inspired by and incorporating natural materials.  Here are his ceramic sea urchin sculptures.  See more of Adam’s work in his Etsy shop, or on his website.

Melissa and Lew of Whimsical Wonders are returning vendors and will be bringing their jewelry, windchimes, and other items made from silverware and other re-purposed items.  Check out their website to see more of their work!

A couple other vendors didn’t get images to us — if we get those, we’ll add them here.  To see more — much more — please join us on Sunday!

A variety of food and drink at the Polish Hill Arts Festival

We’re happy to report that despite being hit by lightning, the church will still hold their parish festival (on Saturday).  And they will still have the always-popular Polish food booth at the arts festival on Sunday.  In addition to the pierogi, kielbasa, and halushky, there will be a lot of other great food at the arts festival, including vegan and vegetarian options.  Here’s the lineup:

Keith Fuller of Root 174 will be selling vegan falafel wraps.

Round Corner Cantina will be there, with some selections from their menu — like seitan tacos and Tijuana Street dogs.

Steve Bland of the Savasana Juice Company will have meatballs on a stick and veggie burgers, as well as his fresh squeezed juices.

Rob’s Awesome Ices will have — yes — ices, but also Thai iced tea.

Cindy’s Munchies, also known as the tiki hut booth, will have shaved ice, lemonade, and cheesecake with strawberries.

The Creped Crusader will be on site later in the afternoon with sweet and savory crepes.

Red Star Kombucha will be giving out free samples.

And a couple of other vendors are still being finalized, so there may be even more.  In addition to the festival food, nearby Polish Hill businesses also have food and drink. Lili Cafe will have lots of iced coffee on hand, along with their usual great selection of teas, smoothies, and fabulous baked goods.  Gooski’s will be open in the afternoon, with their fabulous beer selection, great bar food — and air conditioning.

We’d like to give a special mention to Sarney’s, which is right at the festival site.  Sarney’s will be open from noon – 10 pm on the day of the arts festival  We hear that this may be the last day that Sarney’s will be open — the property’s been sold and will change hands soon.  Whether at the festival, or in the days before, we encourage you to check out this classic, old-school Polish Hill bar.

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #3

Commonwealth Press prints our Polish Hill t-shirts, and they have a growing line of great t-shirt designs — many Pittsburgh-themed.  For their festival booth, they’ve created a new design combining the Pittsburgh Pirates with the Polish eagle.  This isn’t the only design they’re bringing — check out their other t-shirt designs here.

Karen Lillis will be there for Small Press Pittsburgh, with a rack stocked with works by Pittsburgh’s emerging authors and Pittsburgh-based independent publishers, as well as a selection of litmags, zines, and books from elsewhere.  Read more about Karen’s project in this interview, or on her blog, Karen the Small Press Librarian.

Florence Smith makes modern, sculptural jewelry in a variety of materials.  She also has a blog which features arts and crafting events and festivals.  See more of Florence’s work here.

Siren Studio is an artist run association devoted to promoting the creativity and work of local artists  by providing a studio, gallery exhibitions and events that inspire individual and community growth.  Five Siren Studio artists,Monica McElwain, Kelly Jane Walker, Lynn Ratkovich, Jamie B. Miller, and Bevin Baker, will be sharing a table.  Above is a work by Kelly Jane Walker.  See work by all the artists and more on the Siren Studio website.

Jabari Mason brings a bright array of items, including jewelry, notecards, prints, bookmarks, and natural skincare items.  Check out his website, Facemadics, to see more of his work.

Niffer Desmond of Trilodeon makes eco-friendly arts and accessories with a strong sense of design and a unique point of view.  Here’s her Sacred Geometry coaster set.  See more of her wonderful work on her website or her newsletter.

Stephanie Neary will be bringing her handicrafts, zines and comics, local musicans’ cdr’s, and illustration prints.  Above is one of her prints.  Check out her extremely varied output on her website or on Flickr.

Maggie Negrete is a returning vendor.  Maggie will be selling ‘zines and prints.  See more of her work on her website.

There’s lots more artists to show you — another festival preview is on the way!

Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #2

Here are another batch of the amazing artists and craftspeople who will be vending at the arts festival.   First, we have Myra Falisz with her P-Rogues™ characters on cards and other items.  See more of her work here.

Cathie and Renee from Animoon Workshop make jewelry out of reclaimed and natural materials.  You can see more of their work in their Etsy shop.

Masha Fishman will have colorful paintings of animals.  She will be sharing a table with …

Masha Vereshchenko, who paints more surreal creatures — see more of her work here.

Nate McDonough does illustrations in pen and ink.  Here’s one of a familiar Pittsburgh landmark.  Nate has exhibited with the festival a few years running, and we’re happy to have him back.  Check out his site to see more of his work.

Sarah Jo Antonucci was here last year, and her colorful coasters and tiles were a popular item.  Take a look at the wide range of designs she makes on her website.

Such great stuff!  We’ll do another preview in a few days.  Until then, keep up with arts festival developments on the festival information page or our Facebook event page.

The performance lineup for the Polish Hill Arts Festival

Things have finally come together and the lineup is complete!  Here’s the lineup and the performance schedule for the festival on Sunday, July 21:

12:15 – 1:00     Steel Clover
Susan Borowski is Steel Clover, performing Celtic standards.  She will be playing with special guests:  whistle player Bob Pegritz and well-known Irish singer Mike Gallagher.  Check out the Steel Clover website, and listen to the music here.

1:15 – 2:45     Pandemic
DJ Pete from Pandemic will play lots of his favorite music including Balkan beats, gypsy brass, Afrobeats, bhangra, Russian ska, reggaeton, dancehall, baile funk, tropical bass…and more.  Find out more at the Pandemic website, and listen to some of their sets here.

3:00 – 3:45     Married to the Wolf
Last year, Kayla Slicker played at the festival with her solo project, The Committee for Getting Attention.  Now she’s back with a new band, Married to the Wolf.  They don’t have any sounds online yet, but Kayla describes their sound “we are comprised of an electric piano, guitar, drums and trumpet. some of our songs are instrumental, painting a picture of a place or event, while others have droney, delayed vocals. not really sure what genre it falls into”.  Kayla is a Polish Hill resident — part of the amazing pool of neighborhood talent!

4:00 – 4:45     Timbeleza
A returning festival and neighborhood favorite, the Brazillian samba drum ensemble Timbeleza is guaranteed to get everyone moving.  In addition to their dozen or so drummers, they’re also planning to bring capoeristas and samba dancers.  Be sure to check out their website, which has a lot of clips of their performances.

5:00 – 5:45     Flora Fauna
A moody, trippy post-rock band and another example of great Polish Hill creative energy.  Listen to their music here.

6:00 – 6:45     King Fez
In their own words:  “King Fez takes a romp through Turkish, Exotic, Bellydance and Pop styles of music..sometimes all at once!”  Here’s some more info, and here’s a video.

7:00 – 7:45     The Pressure
The Pressure is an ” authentic 60s style reggae and ska act”.  Listen to them here,  or watch a video — this one is about Pittsburgh’s own Rialto Street.

8:00 – 9:00     Lungs Face Feet
Another Polish Hill-based band, Cumbrian-style brass bandLungs Face Feet is a huge festival favorite — and getting pretty well-known around town.  We’re really glad they are  back this year to close out the festival.   Listen to Lungs Face Feet here, and find out a little more about the band here.

So that’s the lineup — and we’re really excited to have them all joining us!

UPDATE, July 20: We have an unexpected last-minute special guest at the Polish Hill Arts Festival! Pete/Pandemic has given up his afternoon performance slot so that the Harlan Twins, whose show at Weather Permitting was cancelled, can play. The Harlan Twins will go on at 1:30, and Pandemic will be dj’ing before and after their set, and between bands.


12:15 – 1:00

Steel Clover

Solo Celtic