December 10, 2012

The Latest

While this blog has not been updated in some time, I would like to point you in the direction of our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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January 19, 2012

Speaking Of... Coming Again on February 4th!

Pittsburgh's own Speaking Of... arts and performance is coming back on February 4th to the New Hazlett Theater. This is a really exciting event that is gaining popularity quickly each show. What's really cool is that this event is unique to the area, but would be really great to see Speaking Of... events taking place in other cities! Curator Phinehas Hodges is genius when it comes to hand-picking talent for future shows that bring to light the best talent in the area. If you've gone to a previous SO event you can probably attest to this. The latest promo video above was co-directed by Samm Hodges and Chicago-based Mike LaHood.

Be there!
Link to Speaking Of...

December 9, 2011

"Bailey and the Snowman" Commercial

Local production-house Animal recently created this beautiful commercial for First Commonwealth Bank. It gives me a warm feeling inside my tummy for the holiday season. Directed by Kris Boban with great sound design by Market Street Sound.

December 8, 2011

Ed Piskor & Other Local Cartoonists for the Toonseum's Illustration Ale II!

The Toonseum is once again teaming up with the East End Brewing Company for Illustration Ale II! The Toonseum hunts out some of the top illustrators in the area and get those involved in creating a label. This time with a new beer, new labels and six new artists! This is a limited edition beer from East End Brewing Company with a portion of all proceeds benefiting the ToonSeum! See labels from the first round here. The launch event date will be announced soon, but for now you can soak up the goodness of Ed Piskor's design above, which was recently featured on the very popular BoingBoing! From Ed Piskor on BB:
We have a decent cartoonist scene here in Pittsburgh and it seems that the hub of a lot of activity is our very own Toonseum. As a fundraising measure they, along with a local brewery, created "Illustration Ale" and asked a handful of us to design beer labels.

I decided to highlight my favorite alcoholic cartoonist, Wally Wood.
Here's a link to the label and some photos of my process.
Other artists include:
Mark Bender
Vince Dorse
Jasen Lex (final artwork for this year's label)
Nathan Mazur
& Dave Wachter

(Above images, except where noted, are examples of the artists' work, not the East End Brewery labels.)

November 8, 2011

Pittsburgh Dad

Pittsburgh Dad is an online show created by Curt Wootton and Chris Preksta (Mercury Men, Captain Blasto). Definitely worth a watch or two, and checkout the other two episodes here!

October 25, 2011

Scott Benson for Rendezvous!

Local animator & illustrator Scott Benson has already received so much attention on the blogrolls lately that we probably don't even need to share the video above with you, but for the couple of you that haven't seen this yet, you're certainly in for a treat. I think this is Scott's best work yet, which displays his exploration of digital lighting techniques, texturing, and pushing his abstract illustrations, not to mention the perfectly timed animation. You can read a great interview with insight to how he works and created this video for the Rendezvous' "The Murf" on Motionographer. After just four months after posting the video it has close to 150,000 views. In addition to the Motionographer feature, it didn't hurt to be featured on CBS News, Laughing Squid, InsideOut 7, Drawn!, among countless various other plugs online and beyond. I think I'm not alone when I say I can't wait to see what Scott puts out next!

And why not checkout his latest reel while you're at it.

Oh yea, and if you're not already familiar with the Yinzpiration blog, go read his interview there!


Andy Kehoe's Creatures "Behind Your House"

Andy Kehoe
We've been watching Andy Kehoe's work over the last several years, and were delighted to see that he was featured in a recent article in Hi-Fructose. When he was beginning with his odd and quirky animals/monsters on simple, somewhat flat, one or two-colored backgrounds as you can checkout on his "2008 & Older" Portfolio site. But over the last year or two he's begun incorporating more detail including imaginative foliage and varying textures while expanding his color template. We are totally loving where it's going! His recent show with Maryland-based artist Charlie Immer at Seattle's Roq La Rue exhibited his most recent work. While we weren't there to see it in person, there are plenty of pictures to oogle at the Hi-Fructose article. Andy recently added a few beautiful new prints from this show to his Etsy store, but All Turns to Brilliance has already sold out, so you better get your hands on the remaining ones while they last!
On the Banks of Broken Worlds

Chance Meeting of Forest Dragons

All Turns to Brilliance
(Sold out)

There are plenty more prints to buy in the store. Andy is truly an emerging artist to watch closely and I'd be surprised if his following doesn't double each year. Don't forget to follow his blog!


(Photo at top by Robbie Lowery for Hi-Fructose)

September 28, 2011

Speaking Of... October 1st at the New Hazlett!

Phinehas says:
Speaking of… presents their latest installment of the quarterly series with a "congregation of modern ballet, spoken word, cello, hip-hop and literature at the New Hazlett Theater on October 1st, 2011 at 8:00 PM!

The event features Texture Contemporary Ballet, writer Alan Olifson, local hip-hop artist Billy Pilgrim, and writer Taylor Grieshober (of the New Yinzer) along with spoken word artists and classically trained musicians.

Speaking of… is building on an eclectic yet cohesive tradition — the creation of a space in which artistic forms that are normally practiced in completely separate spheres are brought together. The result is always remarkable, and sometimes scientific. This October, look for electronica meeting ballet, a DJ spinning alongside a writer and an encounter of spoken word poetry with classical cello.

Tickets are available for $10 presale, or $15 at the door, and can be found here or on Showclix.
Local hip-hop artist Billy Pilgrim

Link to facebook event

September 16, 2011

Crabs in Love

Beautiful second-edition print by the fine folks, Paul and Valerie, at Tugboat Printshop! This print is almost sold out (as of , so go get yours now!

August 10, 2011

Andy Kehoe Blabs!

Checkout artist Andy Kehoe's fantastic new painting for the Blab! Show at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle opening this Saturday, August 12th, which will stay up until to September 3rd! If you're in the area, don't miss this show which features well established artists including Shag, Travis Lampe, and many others! Digging those dark, mirky colors.


August 9, 2011

Off Brand Premiere Screening FREE at Southside Works on Thurs, Aug 11!

Local film director Thom Glunt (previously mentioned here) recently completed his latest project entitled Off Brand, which is a quirky comedy about a European film director who is the "world’s greatest terrible" director. Thom is providing everyone who wants to see two 'pilot' episodes for FREE at the Southside Works Cinema this Thursday, August 11th, at 7pm or 8pm. No tickets needed, but I would suggest going to the earlier showing in case you don't get in and can wait to get into the 8pm screening - or see it twice!

I've seen both episodes and they are brilliantly written with professional acting and strong production values. Although Thom's background is mainly in music videos and commercials, it's a bold move to take the dive into storytelling, not to mention acting and directing, so that he's able to use this as a creative outlet and show what he really wants to do by manipulating his audience through his own words. This show is on par with the best of the best and we really hope there will be more episodes in the near future! Off Brand is a pure labor of love and it shows through this strong quality of filmmaking. Come out to show Thom your support for him to continue creating awesome shows such as this!
Off Brand stars some of the great talent in the area including veteran actor Adam Kroloff, Juliana Carr, and David Fedor, and includes music by the rocking Pittsburgh-based Meeting of Important People. Thom was also able to nab UK-based illustrator Louis Roskosch, local animator Kris Boban and illustrator extroadinaire Ed Piskor to give a helping hand with illustrated sequences.
Checkout this short clip of "controversial director" Richter Brand in his past explaining to a US television talk show host what he thinks about critics saying his films are driven derivative.
Thom, as T & E say, "Great job!"


June 14, 2011

Monkey's Uncle bottle label for East End Brewery

There's a new brew being released this Saturday, Monkey's Uncle, by the micro-est brewery in the burgh, East End Brewery. From known drinkers, I'm told this is some of the best beer you'll drink. The illustrious Wayno has once again designed their label! Love the monkey, colors, As EEB says, he "has captured the quirkiness of this beer," which only makes me want to try this beer even more!


June 13, 2011

Speaking Of Noir at the New Hazlett Theater this Sat, June 18th!

Yo! What are you up to this coming weekend? Lots of great stuff is coming up and I know this place needs updated, but this Saturday, June 18th, at 8pm one of the coolest events of the summer is happening at the New Hazlett Theater (Allegheny Square East)! The Speaking Of arts series is hosting NOIR, a "night of mystery stories, dubstep/ballet/break dance fusion, soul and jazz, and the spoken word." From writer/creator Phinehas Hodges:
The evening features readings by National Book Award Winner Terrance Hayes, Paul Lee, and local legend K.C. Constantine alongside the music of Dreamjob and the dance choreography of Hannah Galvin and Randall Miller, along with a finale number choreographed by Evolve Productions.

‘Speaking of…’, founded in November 2010 as an event that showcased spoken word alongside fiction and poetry in a welcoming, open atmosphere at Amani Coffeehouse. is bringing the same motif to this event. Beyond the absurd talents of the writers and musicians and dancers, 'Speaking of...Noir' will also feature not one but two Cave Canem fellows, Laura Yes Yes and Mahogany Browne.
You can't not checkout this short, very cool video that portrays an awesome mood that sets the noir scene, directed by Phinehas' bro and local motionographer Samm Hodges:

Tickets can be purchased online at for $8, or $10 at the door. Also for all of you online socialites, check them out @speakingofpgh and/or at Facebook. This event is not to be missed!

Link to facebook event
Link to Speaking Of

(Poster art above by illustrator/animator Kris Boban!)

May 18, 2011

The New Yinzer Presents Tomorrow, May 19th and Friday, May 20th!

First, tomorrow (May 19th) at Modernformations gallery (4919 Penn) at 8pm is the last reading of The New Yinzer Presents' season before their break until August. Have some drinks and come out to hear some great readers including Steve Himmer, Derek Pollard, and Traci O'Connor. Only five bucks, or free with a contribution of a potluck dish. Then on Friday at the former Borders in East Liberty from 7 to 9pm is A Reading at The Fleeting Pages! "Join us for a reading with some of our goofy, brillant staff. Readers will include Kris Collins,
Scott Silsbe, Taylor Grieshober, Celine Roberts, Mark Mangini, Holly
Coleman, and Nicole Leckenby. So much New Yinzer, so little time!"

Link to TNY blog
Link to the New Yinzer magazine

Retro Boards

A nice shot of some super rad works that are helping brighten up an otherwise depressing house front in an unknown location of town. I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is the same project as this one (the Pittsburgh Beautification Project), previously mentioned a while back. The image above was shot by local photographer John Craig (AKA Craig Photography). Check him out on Flickr, too.

Can you tell us where this is? UPDATE: We now know from a commenter below that you can drive by these boards at 102 North Avenue, right next to the historic Garden Theater. Thanks Dobler!

Culture Club and Free Admission at Carnegie Museum of Art on Thurs, May 19th!

Tomorrow after work the place to be in town is at the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes)! First, from 3:30pm to close the museum is free to the public. If that isn't cool enough, they are hosting an event called Artists and Scientists: Creative Thinkers from 5:30–9 pm. There is a catch - to get into the event, it's $10, but includes two 'free' drink tickets. So if you really think about it, you're getting two events for the price of one. An awesome deal if you ask me, and sure to be an interesting time for learning and networking. From CMoA:
Happy hour has never been so interesting. Museum staff and guest presenters engage you in provocative conversation about art and life. Start with a drink at 5:30 p.m., and then join in a salon-style conversation in the galleries starting at 6 p.m.

Andrey Avinoff, whose art is presented in the exhibition Andrey Avinoff: In Pursuit of Beauty, was also director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In this lively discussion, entomologist John Rawlins, paleontologist Matt Lamanna, science educator Mary Ann Steiner, exhibition curator Louise Lippincott, artist Tom Sarver, and art educators Lucy Stewart and Marilyn Russell explore the way Avinoff looked at the world.
And here are a few of Andrey's works to get a feel of his subjects if you haven't already seen the current exhibit:
You can read a bit more about this Pittsburgh-based artist on CMoA's website. His show will be up until July 24, 2011.

Link to Carnegie Museum of Art

April 27, 2011

Riverlife Animated!

A beautiful new piece of animation from local animator Scott Benson produced by Riverlife! Riverlife is a "public-private partnership established in 1999 to guide and advocate for the redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Riverlife works to reconnect Pittsburgh with its rivers by bringing recreation, ecological restoration and economic opportunity back to our waterfronts." This video is the first installment of several and we think this video really helps bring out the best of this area. It would be awesome if they utilized several local (and non-local) animators in several styles to create the future installments, but I think Scott's work here is an outstanding start!

April 12, 2011

Tragnark for Rock the Campus!

Here's a sweet new piece from Tragnark, illustrated to promote the Rock the Campus For The Cure event in Dallas, TX on April 16! So digging these character designs!


April 6, 2011

Ambulantic's Water Matters

Shot and edited by Ben Hernstrom, head of production company Ambulantic. Checkout more of their rad videos on Ambulantic's YouTube, some of which were featured on BSH before. This video was created as a supplement to the Water Matters! Global Conference that took place this past June, as part of World Environment Day (which is June 5th this year). Also I found interesting is that the music was created in this video by none other than transplanted LA PGH-based artist Andy Kehoe. Awesome work as always!

April 5, 2011

Joe Wos featured in the Village Voice!

Our very own local ToonSeum curator/founder Joe Wos is featured (briefly) in a brand new article in the Village Voice, mentioned in the same article as Jules Feiffer, Jim Woodring, Tony Millionaire, David Delmar, and Jason Yungbluth! That's some pretty strong company to be mentioned with. The article is interesting in exposing the lives of several cartoonists and how they are able to translate their drawings into cold hard cash, using Joe as a prime example of being able to realize his strong-points and plugging that into the art community while opening one of only three cartoon museums in the United States. From VV:
Joe Wos got comic-strip assignments in school, but was fired from all of them, including one on the college paper he co-founded. "I think I knew then," he says, "that I just wasn't a good fit for the funny pages." So Wos started doing what he calls "performance cartooning."
Read the rest of the article here...

(Illustration at top by Chicago-based Mitch O'Connell for Village Voice!)