CULTURE

Matter of Light

A matter of light, part of the tree’s shade over the yard, a zelkova leaf, narrow palm of the rustbelt in April, green tints,

Pittsburgh’s Famed Stairways to…

“Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the cockeyedest city in the United States. Physically, it is absolutely irrational. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat…And then the steps — oh, Lord, the steps!” –Syndicated Columnist Ernie Pyle, 1937 (as qtd. in “Steps of Pittsburgh”)

The Perfect Winter Blend

I loved reading “The Plot to Scapegoat Russia” by Dan Kovalik, a lawyer with United Steelworkers of America in Pittsburgh, even though I disagreed with just about every page of it. We all benefit from hearing sustained arguments by serious people who challenge our beliefs and assumptions. In the end,…

It Only Made Sense

After my mother died, my sister found a bundle of yellowed letters:

An Artful Blend

At their best, cities cultivate relationships among buildings across time. Destroy too many historic structures, and you lose memory, craft, and persistent cultural value. Fail to build new buildings well, and you risk stasis and irrelevance. The balance of time periods should be art as well as commerce. Accordingly, a…

Different Takes on Homelessness

Given the unprecedented recent spate of destructive hurricanes, Contemporary Craft’s exploration of homelessness couldn’t be more timely.

A Creepy Mill Town

Calynn Lechner isn’t sure what’s looking back at her. The clay face she’s sculpting has a beak like a turtle and lobster-​ish whiskers. When she’s done, the skin will look gelatinous, like a jellyfish’s. “It’s a smorgasbord of everything,” says Lechner, 23, her tattooed arm moving slowly as she uses…

Just Because

I know there are things that you ain’t supposed to do and will probably get you a good whipping if you’re caught but you’ll do them anyway just because and for no other reason than just because.

A Bold Look at Race Through Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art

When Vogue lauded “20 /​20: The Studio Museum of Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art” as the most important art show in America, they guaranteed a critical response. Setting aside the hyperbole, the magazine established race as the context for viewing and thinking about the exhibition, stating that “as…

Miscalculations

I. Through my in-​laws’ breakfast window in the country, the nuthatches roll and bounce and shake spiny winter brambles. Their breasts puffed round as if to fit in the hand of a child. I scrape rings of hardened milk from my coffee mug while I confuse the birds for chickadees…

Diamond Horseshoe Ball Kicks Off Pittsburgh Opera’s season

Pittsburgh Opera officially started off its 201718 season with the Diamond Horseshoe Ball at the Omni William Penn on Friday, September 22.

Blue Bra

She was out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square saying no to the theft of her future, her blue bra cupping young breasts, exposed when soldiers bludgeoned her for defending hard-​won revolution, ripped off her concealing abaya, stomped her slender chest. The bright blue bra shining out went viral, proclaimed that under…

Rock ’N Soul Gala Remembers The Stanley Theatre

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s 2017 Rock ‘n Soul Gala raised $458,000 and 450 seats were sold. Lead sponsor of this year’s Gala was KeyBank and Presenting Sponsor, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan. Gala guests enjoyed dinner on the Benedum stage with live entertainment by Vintage Trouble, followed by a dessert…

The Fate of a Prison

For a sprawling building in an ambitious Romanesque style on a conspicuous riverfront site, Western Penitentiary has spent most of its life in architectural obscurity. After an auspicious start, it fell quickly from prominence. Now, it may soon fall to the wrecking ball.

What Lies Beneath: The Frick Gets Undressed

It’s the first article of clothing you put on and the last one you take off. It comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures, ranging from exceedingly comfortable to helplessly imprisoned. It can be sporty, sultry, dull or disturbing, and is quite literally the foundation of the outfit…
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