Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome to the VAF blog!

This space is setup as a temporary informational tool until our website is released...

The Pittsburgh Visionary Arts Festival (VAF) will occur in August 7th, 8th and 9th of 2009! It will entail 50 individual artist booths spread along the main lawn of Schenley Plaza in Oakland. The festival's main sponsor is our own Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, which has made an outstanding effort to make this vibrant event happen. We are also in the proccess of applying for a Sprout Fund Seed Award to help cover the high costs of such ambitious event. The Sprout Fund is now well known for supporting unique, innovative, independent initiatives in Pittsburgh, so we are hoping they are going to enjoy supporting this one!
The lineup of artists so far is amazing. I have setup a slide show of their works, even though these pictures definitely do not do justice to what these artists will be up to at the VAF!

The confirmed artists so far include:
Aimee Manion
Alberto J. Almarza
Ally Reeves
Ashley Brickman
Bob Ziller
Bill Davis
Bruce Brinker
Carlee Freeman
Christina Martine
Christine Bethea
Connie Cantor
Constance Merriman
Deanna Mance
Dean Cercone
Elin Lennox
Encyclopedia Destructica
Etta cettera
Gabe Felice
Ian Green
James Gyre
Jay Del Greco
Jesse Riesmeyer
Jonathan Brodsky
Jude Vachon
Juliana Morris
Kyle Ethan Fischer
Laura Gyre
Lowry Burgess
Mark Traughber
Matt Marino
Mike Budai
Morgan Cahn
Moshe Sherman
Randie Snow
Rose Clancy
Ryder Henry
Sebastian Van Gorder
Shaun Slifer
Sherry Rusinack
Tom Estlack
Troy Blum
Vanessa German

In addition, the VAF will be honored with the performance of tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE's HiTEC (Histrionic Thought Experiment Cooperative), an experimental orchestra composed of 20 or so visionary local artists, muscicians and mad scientists. HiTEC will give three performances to close each day of the festival, at 8pm, under Schenley Plaza's comfy Main Tent. Check out HiTEC on youtube.

Other Cool Features of the VAF:

1) "Tricksters”: This is a conceptual work created to represent the dance and movement fields of art in the VAF. I am now working on putting this together. A group of about 20 movement artists (I don't want to narrow the term to dancers) will take shifts throughout the festival weekend to perform this free-form piece. "Tricksters" are trained (and untrained) movement artists who will be in disguise as normal observers of the festival. Unexpectedly, the Trickster will spontaneously combust into statues, ballet dancing, contemporary contorsionism, monkey-mode and many other perception-pushing feats and treats, only to come back to normality in an instant. Their role is to challenge our perception of the boundaries of the physical body in public contexts, creating momentary escapes from consensus social reality into beautiful displays of freedom. I hope I am explaining this clearly for now. There will be a detailed description as well as a list of official Tricksters coming up soon.

2) "Micro-curation": I am truly exited about this idea, it came in a flash of inspiration. Of course I can't pull this off by myself, I need the participating artists. This concept involves the idea of each artist of the festival being both an artist and a curator. Each of them will be a host for an invited guest artist of their selection, for them to display one or two works. So they will select an artist (or anybody they decide) to bring a work to display in their booth. My realization was that, in doing this simple step, we will double the amount of exposure of beauty to the world (or something like this). Also, the visionary artists, will be able to share with us who they think is doing beautiful work out there. All the artist needs to do is think of a person and borrow one of their works to show, it is a completely symbiotic relation! I will not force anybody to be a micro-curator, but I proposed to the artists to think about the idea during this time. I think by August it could easily be an amazing initiative brought to full bloom.