Pgh's First Art+Technology+Ecology Festival! EVENTS SCHEDULE (click above)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Media Sponsor City Paper to Kick-Off "Green Month" with GA/GI!

This week, we got the green light from City Paper, Pittsburgh's leading alternative news weekly, who has joined GA/GI as an official media sponsor. With an equally rabid interest in spotlighting innovative people, projects and places, City Paper is the perfect addition the GA/GI Team.

"GA/GI will bring green technology to the grassroots community and will make robotics tangible for children," said Gina Mignona, Marketing & Promotions Director for Pittsburgh City Paper. "This event is just what Pittsburgh needs!"

The festival will create a community interest in the green and technology fields, and what it means to the average family. To reach out to the community, the festival will host informative venues, exhibitions, demos and art activities that can connect innovation with everyday people. City Paper will utilize the Geek Art and Green Innovators festival as the kick-off point to a series of month long green events happening around the city including those focused around Earth Day, occurring a few weeks later on April 22.

For more info and news from City Paper, click here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pittsburgh Filmmakers Give GA/GI Reel Support

CEO Charlie Humphrey knows about collaboration. That's why he's the running (literally) CEO of Pittsburgh Filmmakers + The Pittsburgh Glass Center + The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Said Humphrey of the GA/GI Project: "Willingness to work together on new events like this is what makes the Pittsburgh business and arts community so special. We're all very Amish. And this will be Pittsburgh's art and technology barn-raising."
We couldn't agree more. With Team GA/GI spanning Pittsburgh for the products that best showcase the technology and green industries, we're discovering wonderful people and projects daily! The Penn Avenue business district is gearing up, too with a hint that the Glass Lofts-- the newest real estate venture by Friendship Development Associates--could be open for viewing and host a few of the exhibitions. In addition to the galleries normally operating during Unblurred First Fridays, businesses along Penn Avenue with space will be opening their doors and offering their walls for additional demos, art, and exhibitions coming into the community---like film installations.

Humphrey added, "The Geek Art and Green Innovators Festival will take amazing things happening in Pittsburgh, and make them apparent to the general public. It will be like taking a painting and turning it into a relief. Just because people have heard of something, doesn't mean they've seen it or maybe they want to see it again."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Modern Formations Ramps up GA/GI with Electric Owl Studios and Most Wanted Fine Art Scouts the Air Waves

"Whether it’s on the intimate stage, live music, or artwork hung in the gallery space, the goal is to create an atmosphere conducive to bringing interaction and discussion about the arts," the Modern Formations mission states in part. ModernFormations exhibits a diverse range of art mediums including modern visual art, performance art, music, plays, films, and literary readings. This in addition to the cozy couches where you can slump while enjoying the whole experience. For GA/GI, gallery owner Jen Quinio is expanding her 6th annual Spring Salon, a juried group exhibition of local art and artists with gallery visitors voting for their favorite choices and offering exhibition opportunities and cash prizes. All local artists and non-artists are welcome to enter. Modern Formations will also be hosting Fred Gallart from Electric Owl Studios, creators of interactive toys for children. For more information visit the site.

A few doors down....Jason Sauer of Most Wanted Fine Art is looking for a few good airwaves. He's invited students down from his alma mater Edinboro University to share the the good GA/GI vibes, deck out the gallery walls and he's working on having his own radio station for the evening of GA/GI, so he can update people and they can hear bands that will be playing in the area. "I'll be working on a system that goes at least two or more blocks," says Sauer of his technology experiment. And he plans to build the broadcast system himself.

Images from Electric Owl website and Friendship Development

Deep Local Designs for GA/GI Over Waffles

If you've never been to one of Deep Local's Waffle Wednesdays you are in for a treat! Deep Local describes themselves as an "innovation studio that helps companies rapidly develop and implement new ideas and technology." And they make darn good waffles, too. They were certainly at the top of their game when we approached David Evans, their Chief Technology Officer with our wish list for the GA/GI Festival. As our newest participant they plan to help us make festival-goers into event photographers, by setting up a system for coordinating camera phone images. The photos will actually be broadcast during the festival onto a large centrally located screen. Before taking two bites into his waffle, Evans had it all figured out. It happened so fast, members of Team GA/GI started looking around to see if there was an Staples "easy" button somewhere we could smack. We know of no place else where a full belly and brilliance are so wonderfully matched. Welcome Deep Local! GA/GI is happy to have you aboard. (If you'd like to witness genius over breakfast, attend the next Waffle Wednesday session on December 16, 2009.

Chalkbot: How it Works from deeplocal on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carnegie Robotics Institute to Showcase ChargeCar

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have converted a 2001 Scion xB into an electric commuter vehicle that will serve as a test bed for a new community-based approach to electric vehicle design, conversion and operations.

The vehicle is part of a new research project, ChargeCar, headed by Illah Nourbakhsh, associate professor of robotics. The project is exploring how electric vehicles can be customized to cost-effectively meet an individual’s specific commuting needs and how an electric vehicle’s efficiency can be boosted and its battery life extended by using artificial intelligence to manage power.

“Most electric cars today are being designed with top-down engineering to match the performance of gas-powered cars,” Nourbakhsh said. “Our goal is to revolutionize urban commuting by taking a different approach — by first analyzing the needs, conditions and habits of the daily commutes of actual people and then using this ‘commute ecology’ to develop electric vehicles suited to each unique commute.” The researchers calculate that a typical Pittsburgh commuter might save 80 percent of energy costs by switching from a gas car to an electric car."

The ChargeCar team also includes Gregg Podnar, co-principal investigator with Nourbakhsh; research engineer Josh Schapiro; senior research programmer Chris Bartley; project scientist Ben Brown; Intel Labs Pittsburgh senior researcher Jason Campbell; and students Vibhav Sreekanti, Paul Dille and Matt Duescher.

Meet the people...see the car at GAGI Fest!

photo by Alan Guisewite.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fashion Show Fun Begins Now! + GAGI Welcomes Rebellious Nature

The GAGI Fashion Division recently met to discuss strategy for their not-to-be-missed extravaganza! The team, led by Kristin Barker of Jonano, a fashion company whose sleek, eco-chic clothing will also headline the show, met at Neighborhood Academy to see the first of a series of pieces being designed by high school students. The dresses, skirts and other clothing are made of discards from the school as well as items from nearby business neighbors like Trader Joes. Amanda Gross, a well-known local fiber artist is their instructor. The dress shown here is by Briana, one of her young designers; it's a representation from a group that just pops and fizzles with color and imagination. We can't wait to see what else they recycle!

The fashion show will also highlight vintage clothing, LED enhanced clothing from Webelow Wear, and nature inspired robotics wear designed by Amisha Gadani. GAGI's Team is also looking at other fashion partners.

"This combination of high end, high tech, and recycled couture is exciting and fresh! " said Team GAGI during recent discussions. Adding another element of great collaboration, The fashion show will take place in the "Hot Shop" of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, one of the world's top glass facilities, which received a LEED Gold Certificate for its environmental design.

Also new to GAGI: Rebellious Nature. Rebellious is a hip, new gallery and clothing boutique with a rebellious soul and a environmental message. They'll will be doing T-shirt design and silkscreen for GAGI, from their home base at 401 N. Graham St., just a stones throw from the Quiet Storm cafe. (And they are rebellious if your think organic, U.S. made, fair trade, fair labor, and sweat-shop-free thinking is a bad thing.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lots more in the works for GAGI!

We've been so busy, we haven't had a minute to post on our blog! So many wonderful things are happening with GAGI Festival! Our schedule of events is exciting and expanding. Our team is nailing down media sponsors, we're talking to amazing technology people...We've found a group to hoola-hoop and we're designing glow-in-the dark T-shirts that may "show up" on our fashion runway! We can't give away all the details yet, but suffice it say the GAGI Team is working hard to present far and away the most amazing and delightful springtime event in the city!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Power Flower is GAGI's logo for 2010

"This may be the first case of shared branding in the city, " said David Edwards Of Art Energy Design as he generously loaned us "Power Flower" images for GAGI's 2010 marketing. Soon to have its "face" on brochures, T-shirts and even magnets, the solar powered flower of steel and aluminum will be taking on a few alterations and doing more than its usual duty of keeping us informed of alternative energy sources.

"When we saw David's incredible flower, we knew it was the perfect icon to represent both the green and technology fields," said Christine Bethea, GAGI Founder. "It has a foot--so to speak--in both camps." A night time image of the Power Flower by local photographer Rick Byerly taken at the Sprout Fund's Hothouse event this past summer, will be making its debut on paper-saving hand-outs shaped like business cards. This size will make them easy to leave at locations, put into wallets and post on bulletin boards around town. Meanwhile Debra Holt, a local entrepreneur who creates custom gift wrap, is making the flower's graphic design work for fiber applications.

"We're looking forward to seeing Power Flower in all its incarnations," said Bethea.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New to GA/GI: Three from Pittsburgh's Green Network

Three "green" groups have signed on as participants to the GA/GI Festival: Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, The Student Conservation Association and Garfield Community Farm. Friends of the Urban Forest will be working with us to expand our site locations along Penn Avenue and "recycle" art from their October 30th Arbor Aid event by showcasing some of the best work from this annual art exhibition as well as any new pieces created by the participating artists. Meanwhile university students from the SCA are working hard on a festival strategy that involves projects with children and highlighting the good work they do (while cleverly annexing us to their upcoming MLK Day events). And in other developments...Rev John Creasy of Garfield Community Farm has some exciting ideas that involve art and food! We'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 12, 2009

NEW TO GA/GI: Union Project and Art Energy Design

With his heart and vision firmly planted in the East End, Jeff Dorsey has gone from the executive directorship of development in Friendship to become--well, Executive Director of the Union Project in Highland Park. It wasn't a stretch for the tall guy, but it was a change. An important one to a community out to reinvent itself. As the East Liberty, Garfield and Friendship neighbotrhoods push forward with innovative agendas, Dorsey is again among those riding the crest of the wave, by inviting the public to program Union Project-- in fact, program the space from the"outside in."

Said Dorsey:"We want to talk to people. See what kind of ideas they have in mind that we can help grow." And there is plenty of room for that. The one thing the Union Project building has is space--in spades. They currently offer it to people teaching classes in zumba, yoga, African drumming, and even hula hoop. " Dorsey also showed us several beautiful (and affordable) offices for rent. "We want every bit of our space used," he said with enthusiasm. He sees the Geek Arts and Green Innovators Festival as a perfect partner for the Union Project, who will host the kick-off ceremonies on Friday, April 2, with a robotics "play date" for pre-schoolers, a performance by the World Beat Drummers from Dilworth Elementary School, and green and tech activities with students from Peabody High School, coordinated by the Union Project's Ameri Corps staff. There's even talk of doing a "dancing machine/pop-n-lock" workshop for the kids.

"The Union Project is looking to connect the larger arts community," said Dorsey, "And we plan to build that community from the grassroots up." He adds with a smile, "That definitely includes Techies and Greenies."

And on that note.....
"I also have a collection of insect/bot sculptures made from recycled kitchen items that have LED lights that run on internal rechargeable batteries that can be charged from the flower sculpture. These are all about fun and humor and they literally hang around," said David Edwards describing the accessories that come with his Power Flower.

Aptly named, the 14-foot tall sunflower sculpture has solar panels on the upper leaves and a small generator that makes power when the flower petals spin in the wind. Power is stored and controlled in 12 volt batteries contained in the base, which the sculpture uses to light itself and the area around it all night with the LED light fixtures under the leaves. There is also an outlet (like a car lighter socket) that can charge cell phones, run laptops or even a small dc water fountain all evening. In addition, a small AC inverter (house current) produces 200 watts of power. Whew! It may seem a lot to ask of a flower, but Edwards has it covered. He is the brains behind Art Energy Design, which quoting its website "integrates sustainable energy technology with a variety of artistic designs and contexts." The Power Flower is also a teaching tool, that travels widely extolling the virtues of sustainability throughout the region. Its shiny face has been seen as several posh events in the area including A Fair in the Park at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Hothouse, an annual event produced by the Sprout Fund. The Power Flower will also be showcased at the Bioneers Conference October 16-18. When not in use, Power Flower docks with its headquarters at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

The Geek Arts/Green Innovators Festival looks forward to hosting Edwards and his super flower of steel April 2, 2010!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pittsburgh Tech Council and Jonano Join GA/GI Festival

"We are thrilled to support this ground-breaking regional event -- and help showcase the innovation and creativity that is defining the next generation of our city! " said Kim Chestney Harvey, Art + Technology Director at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Since 1983, the PTC have been the point people for four primary clusters of the tech industry in Southwestern, Pennsylvania including, the Advanced Manufacturing /Materials, Green Technology, Information Technology and Life Sciences sectors---over 270,000 people, dedicated to the success of the region through technology. In addition, PTC hosts a number of events year- round affording opportunities to network with the best and brightest in the business; hosting tech art exhibitions and maintaining an in-house gallery which Ms. Harvey curates with the work of regional artists.

GAGI also welcomes-- Jonano--eco fashion designers, whose founder, Bonnie Siefers asks, "Why does sustainably have to be stuffy?" Her line of women's dresses, tunics, tops, pants and skirts are ethically made with high style inspired by nature. This Eco chic collection is about clothes that defy trends and seasonal fashion statements. There's a unique vision that defines their design and manufacturing process. The Jonäno website explains: These trademarked collections incorporate production models that benefit small farmers, local artisans and support their communities. Jonäno ecoKashmere Collections are made from viscose from organically grown bamboo blended with organically grown cotton and sometimes a hint of spandex. The crops are harvested close to vertically integrated manufacturers to lessen the transportation costs between fabrication facilities. Jonano eColorgrown Collections utilize the newest techniques for nurturing heirloom colorgrown organic seeds to produce a totally natural color palette. The name--Jonano-- is derived from the Sami language of Scandinavia which translates to "live well."
GAGI has selected Ms. Siefers and her team to coordinate the festival's eco-tech fashion show which will showcase Jonano's cutting-edge clothing as well as street-chic LED-lit and recycled looks...And watch out for amazing fashion surprises, too! Jonano Sales and PR Manager, Kristin Barker will MC and spearhead this stylistic extravaganza.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friendship Development Associates Supports Pittsburgh's First Art and Technology Festival--The GA/GI

Further building the award-winning Penn Avenue arts corridor, the Friendship Development Associates is lending its support to Festival Coordinator, Christine Bethea, owner of the ARTica Gallery in creating a Geek Arts and Green Innovators Festival(GAGI/ GAH-gee) slated for Friday, April 2, 2010 during Penn Avenue's popular First Friday art crawl. The plan is to turn nearly all the galleries and businesses along the Penn Avenue Arts District corridor into a virtual pantheon of arts technology and "green" expositions. Buildings will become canvases supporting projected film, active art and live theatre; there will be Robotics and salvage art exhibitions; a "green" car show; and there are even plans for a fashion show featuring natural, recycled and LED lit clothing.

"We want to talk to anyone who has an interest in showcasing their green or high tech products and inventions; we want to showcase the city's geek and green artists," said Bethea. "We want to include new ideas whether they're in digital or dirt." Bethea was already planning a "green" special event, when she attended a cyber electronics class sponsored by Hack Pittsburgh. From there the idea sparked and was fueled by conversations with Elizabeth Perry, a Technology Specialist from the Ellis School, now a enthusiastic member of the GAGI Team. Persons interested in participating should contact the GAGI production group at