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Monday, June 9, 2014

(Th)ree and (F)ree Rivers Arts Fest

Summer in Pittsburgh unofficially begins with kickoff of the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival.



For 10 days each June, hundreds of art and jewelry vendors, stages with free music of names big and small, and activities for kids are all offered in the heart of downtown, at Point State Park. Mark and I go every year without fail. (And FYI, the band pictured above is called Machete Kisumontao. A friend of Mark's is in it.)

I think the people watching there itself is worthwhile. The Pittsburgh spirit, particularly in the main grassy area where center stage is located, is constantly pulsing with life and spontaneity.

Several years ago I took a summer photography class and we spent a whole evening taking photos at Arts Fest. I remember getting so many adorable photos of families, little girls and boys hula hooping, and other fun shenanigans. I've come prepared with my camera ever since.

One instance I wish I could have captured with my camera this weekend: A little boy trying to catch raindrops with his tongue. It was a very cute, short-lived moment.

However, this cute little doggie begging for food makes up for it:



Of course, there's some great art to be seen, too.

While I didn't buy any glass mosaic work at the Jenn's Jems booth, pictured above, I learned the store also offer classes. A four-hour class costs $40 and includes everything but a frame, which seems pretty reasonable to me. It might be something I'll take advantage of in the future.


The only piece I did buy was this Mr. Rogers digital print, which I love because 1.) Mr. Rogers is an awesome Pittsburgh-area native, and 2.) It looks very pop art inspired, like a lot of Andy Warhol's work, who happens to be another world-famous Pittsburgh native.

And most importantly, 3.) Mark and I have been seeing this piece for the last two or three years at the festival, and we finally broke down and bought it this time.

At $35, the price was OK, but it's fairly big, I think 13 by 19 inches. That was our hang up last year, but whatever. I'm sure we'll find a place for it.

The artist, Red Robot Creative, also does similar portraits of other American icons.

One other booth I really enjoyed was Abandoned Pittsburgh, because I love looking at photos of rust belt decay. However, most of the things I see online are from Cleveland and Detroit, not so much Pittsburgh these days, so it was nice to just enjoy looking at more local stuff.

For local readers, the festival continues until June 15th.

What kind of art catches your eye?


  1. Yay, you bought the Mister Rogers piece! I remember you looking at that when we went a few years ago. I'm jealous. Linda and I went on Saturday, and one of our neighbors was there with her gorgeous glass mosiac pieces (not the same booth you have a picture of). We might get a custom piece done sometime soon.

    1. That's so cool! Why haven't you taken advantage of that resource sooner? All the windows at your house could be mosaic pieces by now. ;)

  2. I love pop art also! Im a big fan of Andy Warhol so anything inspired by him always catches my eye.

    1. If you're ever in Pittsburgh, there's an entire museum dedicated to his work. Five floors, all Warhol. And some of the displays get rotated in and out because there still isn't enough room for all of it. It's pretty cool to see how his artistic style evolved over time. :)

  3. Wow, I was probably standing right near you judging from this picture!

    1. Pittsburgh does seem to be a small place in that way, amirite?