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


Saturday, July 3, 2010

WE'RE BACK for 2011

GA/GI is hosting the first Think Tank meeting for 2011 this upcoming week at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts! We'll keep you posted on plans for second year on our new blog at a site soon to be announced!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The GA/GI!

Photo shown: GA/GI Archives

GA/GI boasted no shortage of photographers, many who are just now rolling film from their cameras. We feel truly blessed on this score. Some took advantage of our "Live! Laugh! and Upload" system created by Deeplocal to send images as they happened. Others caught images on the fly from one venue to the next trying to find food that was quickly being devoured; swarms of students like Adam Keene from Mpowered at Duquesne University, hung in for our belated but astonishing fashion show; he met us at the end of the evening nodding and patting his back pack. In our last post, You met Spike from VivoLive, who experimented with an awesome live stream of GA/GI Activities, the busy battery going out moments before our first model hit the runway. GA/GI Fest was a-whirl with showcases, show stoppers, first-year surprises and happy paparazzi snapping away. It is these images that will best tell our story, and some of the most compelling photographs of the Geek Art/ Green Innovator's event have been captured by Heather Mull. A photographer of considerable talent, Mull shot the March 31st City Paper cover featuring Bill O'Driscoll's GA/GI Festival story. And recently through artist Randie Snow (who's work is still on exhibit at Voluto Coffee), we discovered Mull's images in the blog "Keystone Edge." They are amazingly beautiful! Mull captured some of our finest festival moments, so while we work to put together our comprehensive Media Review, this retrospective of some of the evening's delights, is a feast that will surely curb any post event anticipation! Click the link below view and enjoy.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

THANKS ALL!!! GA/GI Sweeps the Media and Steals Your Hearts!

GA/GI made PA history and cemented Penn Avenue as a Pittsburgh arts icon thanks to the thousands of you who attended! We have tons of media footage to filter through, art to return, hand shaking to do with our sponsors and partners and post meetings to plan. But we will soon be letting you see how it all played out and will showcase our best GA/GI videos and images soon! Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your participation in this amazing event and keep watching our blog for updates! In the meantime... Do you have comments or images you'd like to share for our GA/GI Media Review... ideas for GA/GI 2011? Please e-mail us:

A special thanks to Dave Edwards and Art Energy Design for the generous use of the "Power Flower" brand!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Can't Be THERE? Watch GA/GI on VIvoLIVE!

Spike Katora director of Product Development @ Vivo Live caught us between bouts of festival madness and offered to broadcast us Live! Looks like another festival first as we live-stream our activities during Unblurred on Penn from 5 to ?

Katora began his company a year ago when his aunt was getting married. Her husband-to-be parent's couldn't make the wedding, so Spike sprung into action creating a live stream and making it happen with one computer and one camera! One year and one "Innovation Works" grant later , and he's taking on GA/GI, excited about the cool people and projects we've pulled together for the evening. He'll be roaming our 4 clusters with one small camera and only a back pack for back up!

It going to be one grand experiment within our experiment, and we'll all be holding our collective breaths for the moment we go LIVE!

Watch GA/GI LIVE! Tonight!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

What's LIVE @ GA/GI

A sampling of performances! Dilworth School World Beat Drummers, Life In Balance, and Cello Fury (Formerly Cellofourte)

World Beat Drummers performing @ GA/GI Day 10 am to Noon @ Union Project 801 N. Negley Avenue in Highland Park for the first segment...
Then for GA/GI Night 5-11 pm @ 4800-6100 Penn Avenue...Life In Balance. Cello Fury, (also shown in video). Also The Rusty Nails Bag Piper---Brett Boye, DJ Stevey B. of iParty; then to round out the evening---DJ James Gyre @ our 9:30 pm fashion show "Pedal to the Metal!"
Also $7 for a special 7 pm performance "Tap into the Possibilities" @ the Dance Alloy Theater!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Banner Week on Penn Avenue!

Pick up Penn--a community clean-up campaign--organized by Festival Associate and FDA Intern, Meaghan Maher; valiantly executed by Matt Galluzzo, Art District Manager and Jason Sauer of Most Wanted Fine Art with a crew of eager volunteers, topped off a banner week on Penn Avenue! The Penn Avenue Arts Initiative put some steam behind the festival all last week hosting City Paper and On Q for interviews with FDA Staff and Festival Partners; then Sunday, Rust Belt Radio caught us to get some words in about the upcoming event. Listen and watch for everything to come out this week in the media as we start the countdown to GA/GI!

Shown here, Ryder Henry, a local artist working on one of our GA/GI banners. They are recycled discards from the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Thanks Paula Weiner! Also thanks to Nancy Schuster and Mable Bozeman and family for their participation. And a ^5 to Bob Ziller, who let us use his space and Warholesque poppy patterns to get this task done and done beautifully! Colors from Westmoreland Paint in the Strip District. Also Shown, Mega Photographer Heather Mull, shooting @ the Pittsburgh Glass Center for City Paper.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coucilman Bill Peduto has gone GA/GI! Join Us This Saturday, March 27 for Pedutube!

We weren't shy when Councilman Bill Peduto asked us if there was "any way to assist" the Geek Art and Green Innovators Festival. As anyone can imagine, mounting a first-ever-festival is no joke, so we've been looking for pledges and partnering the way all business is currently done in America, making a connection with Bill Peduto--on Facebook! Councilman Bill tells us he's "backed more green legislation than any other member of city council." We're delighted that he's signed on to help raise funds for the city's first eco, art and technology festival--GA/GI!

Via "Pedutube," Bill has helped raise nearly $10,000 for local organizations and promoted their causes to new audiences in a fun and unique way. We discovered that two of our GA/GI partners--the Union Project and Friends of the Urban Forest--have been part of this wonderful program!

Here's how it works: Join us on Saturday, March 27th at Cappy's on Walnut Street in Shadyside at 10 pm with special guest DJ Muddy! Or if you can't make it, you can still be a part of PeduTube by using this form (click here) and requesting a YouTube video for a $5 donation... Or be a sponsor of GA/GI by pledging a nickel, dime or quarter for every dollar we raise. Thanks for your support....and we'll see you there for fun, laughs, friends and more GA/GI 411!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

GA/GI Gets Posters, Wallpapers and Hula Hoopers

We can hardly wait to open an e-mail from Pierce Marrato @ Touchfaster! He's been designing many of our wonderful marketing materials for GA/GI including a poster now in progress. We've also had the assistance of another incredible designer, Debbie Holt from Unique Picturap (no "e" no "w"). Debbie creates wonderful papers with business logos and family pictures. (She'll put your grandmother on paper and make her a rock star!) Debbie's work will be the main signage in and around the Glass Lofts and along the Avenue.
And let's hear it for hoops! Hoop Union from the Union Project will be hooping it up at the intersection of N. Pacific and Penn Avenue around 5:00-7:00 pm; showing us how to get our bodies moving for spring with exercise that's fun and healthy for the whole family! They'll showcasing the most beautiful display of hula hoops we've ever seen!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Many Universities Does it Take to Make A Festival?

....So we started counting...a bevy of dancers from Point Park, Dj's and artists from Indiana State University; an intern and an entire Mobile Science Laboratory on wheels from the University of Pittsburgh, A professor/jewelry maker and a city planning doctorate from Penn State; a professor of a print shop and his top students from Edinboro University, volunteers from Chatham University; entertainment, robotics specialists from Carnegie Mellon University and a film crew from Duquesne University with others still coming in.....Thanks to all of you for your support! We'll keep the column running...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GA/GI: Homegrown and You'll Love the Flavor!

The 4800-5500 blocks of Penn Avenue are about to play host to Pittsburgh's First Art and Technology Festival! So what's an emerging urban neighborhood to do? We're planning to spruce it all up! Community and fans of the festival will come together for a neighborhood "Pick-up Penn!" We'll get rid of the bulk of debris left on the streets from Pittsburgh's recent "snowmageddon." Then on March 27 and 28, over 100 artists have vowed to take on a public art project that (if you don't already know) will be a huge and beautiful surprise!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Glaceau is a vitamin water company so cool, as they "remodel" their online look, they are using Facebook* as their homepage.
"Don't be alarmed!" the first line greets you when you get there! (With us, quite the opposite occurred.) Any company with enough self esteem to not sweat a few changes in their marketing plan, but in fact anticipate possible reaction of surprise, is our kind of sponsor! Glaceau, sporting a whole look and several awesome new flavors, will be keeping us hydrated through a number of events leading up to, during and after the Geek Art/Green Innovators Festival. Pop into one of our information sites to pick up a samples on April 2: the Pittsburgh Glass Center @ 5472 Penn Avenue; The Glass Lofts @ 5491 Penn Avenue or ou Eco-Tech Info Center @ 113 N. Pacific Avenue. Welcome GLACEAU Vitamin Water to Team GA/GI!

*To view the Vitamin Water site under "construction click here, for FB page click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Birds, Trees and Robots for the Little Ones @ GA/GI DAY

Did you notice that the GA/GI Fest is at two special times? That's just so we can give children K-5 their own special Geek Art/Green Innovators event in the morning before "Unblurred" on Penn. We call it GA/GI Day! The Union Project at 801 N. Negley in Highland Park will play host to a variety of kid-friendly activities from 10 am to noon; starting with a performance of the World Beat Drummers from Dilworth Elementary School followed by creative movement by Dance Alloy's Ayisha Morgan-Lee; then visit with David Edward's Power Flower, Replay My Play designer Sibel Deren ; hear puppeteer Flora Shepherd read "The Lorax" by Dr. Suess, plus enjoy a healthy snack with drinks provided by our new sponsor Turner Dairy Farm. Turner Dairy Farm will also be part of our Twilight F armer's Market @ GA/GA Night starting at 5 pm at Grow Pittsburgh 5429 Penn Avenue.
Birds, Trees and Robots graphics by Pierce Marrato @ Touchfaster

Monday, March 8, 2010

GA/GI In the Making: Alberto's Island Vessel

Look what Team GA/GI member Alberto Almarza has been up to...He's collaborating with artists at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. See his plans, his art, and hopefully--this finished project!

We (Heart) Bikes @ GA/GI Festival!

Tim Kelly in collaboration with Bike Pittsburgh and in conjunction with Car-Free Fridays and "Unblurred" on Penn--are rolling out one of the most important components of the Geek Art/Green Innovators event--our "smokeless" parade!

"Bicycles are a mode of global transportation and an important component of historic technology," said Kelly. "Somewhere along the line and in the United States in particular, they got relegated as toys, but that idea is rapidly eroding. As everyone looks to reduce their carbon footprint...bikes are back in a big way!"

Walk or bike while showing your love for this smart, healthy, & fun mode of eco-transportation and show support for green innovation in Pittsburgh. There will also be organic t-shirt giveaways, pizza at the destination spot, plus you can paint your bikes if you like, & more!

THE ROUTE:The "smokeless" parade begins/ 6:30 p.m. at the Kingsley center, 6435 Frankstown Ave, proceeds along the E. Liberty Bike-way, left on Negley, right on Penn ave, finish Spak Bros Pizza 5107 Penn Avenue/ where bike parade participants can join in the GA/GI Festival fun! Interested? Tim Kelly is your Contact:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

GA/GI Where Bold Fashion, Flycicles and Waffles Rule

Rebecca Strzelec, an associate Professor of Penn Sate, Altoona who formerly lived in St. Louis, grew up thinking that the Cardinals were the only team in baseball because of her father's love for the organization. Years later, she has retained her fascination for all things baseball, much of it manifested in bold, colorful, and extraordinary wearable art. You'll see some of her most stunning work built layer by layer in various plastics and photosensitive resins at the GA/GI Fashion show "Pedal to the Metal." Other fashion headliners include our eco-tech founders: Jonano, Amisha Gadani, Neighborhood Academy, Rebellious Nature and Heather Joy Puskarich and Webelowear along with our latest fashion friends Hey Betty! vintage clothing and collectibles/ Kelly Lane Designs "Clothing with color", Little Earth accessories from salvage, LaVerne Kemp hat couture and Jorge Myers hand-painted style.

The Flycicle generated from the mind of Wes Johansen who states: "The future is upon us, but it's not quite how we imagined it. Where are the flying cars and robot wives? This is not the Utopia that was once promised by the slick suited corporations of the fifties. The social and economic problems of society still persist. Technology has proven to be a frustrating savior." You'll enter his visionary installation: Yesterday's Tomorrow on April 2.

The Waffle Shop is a neighborhood restaurant that produces and broadcasts a live-streaming talk show with its customers, operates a changeable storytelling billboard on its roof, and runs a take-out window that sells food from countries engaged in conflict with the U.S. The shop is a public experiment that brings together people from all walks of life to engage in dialogue and the co-production of culture. Starting at 11 pm, after the Geek Art/Green Innovators Festival on April 2, bring in your program or enter wearing your GA/GI gear, blab about your GA/GI "experience" and get $1 off your plate of waffles! Waffle Shop is at 124 S. Highland Avenue 15206.

Images left to Right: super-sized necklace by Strzelec, Wes Johansen on Flycicle and the set of the Waffle Shop.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"One Book One Community" Part of the Eco-Tech Tale @ GA/GI"

The Eco-Tech Building (aka the Bloomfield Garfield Activities Center) will be bursting at the seams with green info that's good for the whole family. We're playing host to Urban Tree Forge, Global Links, Creative Reuse, Find the Rivers, Bike Pittsburgh, The Student Conservation Association, The Pittsburgh Technology Council, "Save the Igloo" and the Pittsburgh Chess Club. Our most recent partner is the Allegheny County Library Association with their new initiative "One Book, One Community."

We knew that reading was fundamental...but it's also a "green experience," says the ACLA. The goal of One Book is to establish common ground across communities by bringing individuals together for stimulating conversation and to broaden perspectives. "What better opportunity than when Pittsburgh has been chosen as the host city for World Environment Day."

The 8th selection for One Book is "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson, a story of one man's humor-filled adventures along the Appalachian Trail.

The Geek Art/Green Innovators Festival will be one of several community partners and venues that will support the One Book Program throughout 2010. For more information call the Allegheny County Library Association. 412-921-1123.

Monday, March 1, 2010

GAGI Sponsors March International "Green Drinks" in Pittsburgh! Everyone Welcome!

Green Drinks International is a self-organizing phenomenon that began several years ago, and has gone global! Now there are "green drinks" happening from Argentina to New Zealand! Please come to meet, greet and share your thoughts for a greener Pittsburgh!
(See our official membership badge in the left column)

SAVE THE DATE! Green + Art + Technology Networking Event!

Friday, March 19, 2010 6-9 p.m

Time: March 19, 2010 from 6pm to 9pm
Location: Shadow/Ava Lounge (Near the East Liberty Carnegie Library)
Street: 5972 Baum Boulevard

City/Town: Pittsburgh, PA 15206-3815
Website or Map:

Event Type: green, drinks
Organized By: Geek Art and Green Innovators Festival

(Just two days after St. Paddy's Day....)
A must-do event for anyone in the green, art and technology industries! Mix, mingle and network with peers in your field! Plus a short presentation by Team GAGI (pronounced GAH-gee). Find out how Pittsburgh's premiere green, tech and arts event is all coming together; Hear about the exciting development updates on the Penn Avenue; Plus opt in for a special screening of "Of Engineered and Pioneered in Pittsburgh," ( Also available at the Senator John Heinz History Center.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pitt Has Science on Wheels + Meet the Man Out to Save Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena " Igloo"

The University of Pittsburgh has put science on wheels! And the GA/GI Festival will showcase it!

If you have children in grades K-12, they may have already seen Pitt's awesome Mobile Lab. But lucky for us, more children--and adults--will get a preview, when this 80-foot retro-fitted tractor trailer comes swinging into the Friendship/Garfield community on April 2.

Pitt Mobile Science Lab is a self-contained mobile laboratory that allows students to use current, high-end equipment to perform laboratory investigations. And it's the latest exciting addition to a very active K-12 education outreach effort sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Biological Sciences.

Other partners of this outstanding program include: The University of Pittsburgh Translational Sciences Institute, The Pittsburgh, Life Sciences Greenhouse, The Lyceum Group, Thermo Fisher, and Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.

Meet the architect who is out to save the Mellon Arena! Rob Pfaffmann--a mega awarded, LEED and "green" man--comes from a long line of ground-breaking architects. His great, great grandfather helped to create Chicago's uninterrupted chain of lakeside parks. FF 100 + years and another Pfaffmann is leading the charge. This time to "recycle" Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena making the igloo shaped building beautiful and useful to the community once more. Rob Pfaffmann will be at our Eco-Tech Building (aka Bloomfield/Garfield Activities Center) @ 113 N. Pacific Avenue during the Geek Art Green Innovators Festival to give you all the details, and show us what the future of the Mellon Arena could be!

Monday, February 22, 2010

EcoCents to Get Big Debut @ GA/GI

Out on the shelves for a mere two weeks, this awesome, new Pittsburgh green guide hasn't had a big party yet, so we're helping them shine at GA/GI.
"It was a community driven project," says Corinne Bechtel, who along with co-owner Megan Cook, spearheaded the EcoCents Green Guide. It took the two women over a year to unearth, compile and highlight dozens of people and places where "green" thinking reigns. The creators of the publication acted more as editors, allowing their subjects to write their own individual stories and so the book is chock full of information that might not make it to the pages of ordinary guides. One example is Turner Dairy Farms, who talks about their new rBGH-free milk; there are recipes for green cooking as well as something for"Whatever floats your kayak," the two creators claim. "You can find ways to make it greener with EcoCents." Meet the women and buy the book @ the Geek Art/ Green Innovators Festival; discover all the wonderful ways to add more "green" to your everyday living....and EcoCents has over $1000 worth of coupons to prove it!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Edinboro University's Eco-based Prints @ Most Wanted for GA/GI

Professor, John Lysak told GA/GI, "We will have some artists and students in this exhibit who created imagery specifically for the exhibition, using some of the listed themes, such as robotics, digital media, green technology or eco-friendly and mind-expanding art." Other Edinboro University artists will bring pieces created, that neatly fit the festival themes. Some of the processes used include photo-lithography for digital and hand drawn images, water based screen printing (which is fairly eco-friendly), relief printing, letter press printing, linocut, woodcut or intaglio printmaking. Most of the artists in the exhibition are creating their prints using hand-made fine art techniques or papers from sustainable fibers such as cotton and bark from harvested trees for an Asian aesthetic. Said Lysak of his show with pieces still being processed: "I think it will be a very interesting exhibition with a wide range of approaches to theme and media." Shown above is work Lysak himself will include in the show: "Verdant Growth" and "A Way Back."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

See Me @ GA/GI 2

There's more to art than meets the eye!

Monday, February 8, 2010

GA/GI Festival's First VIdeo "Teaser"

First GA/GI Video Teaser is complete! Will be on Youtube soon!

The Man Who Makes That "Great Little Wine from Lawrenceville" @ GA/GI

The creator of an urban winery, Engine House 25 is coming to GA/GI! And though a legend could be concocted that the wine is as light as the winged clouds seen floating above the personage of Roberto Clemente, whose photo hangs at the entrance of the building in honor of the saint-like baseball player, himself the subject of the museum of the same name: We don't mind telling you that the entire establishment and the winery are a vision of one man--photographer Duane Reider who is making and remaking history at Engine House 25.

Rieder and his partner Tim Gaber, once a bassist in a rock band, have been crushing grapes in the basement of their Roberto Clemente Museum aka the old fire engine house 25, since 1999. Back then, Rieder's passion for Roberto Clemente collectibles and his photography were the focus. It was when Rieder's wife got tired of seeing $20,000 a year go into grapes without any return, that Rider went legit and Engine House 25--the wine--was born. Penguins CEO Mario Lemieux has become a fan of the wine. Athletes like Franco Harris even have their own limited edition label. And Reider, whose passion for Roberto Clemente, led him to establish the nationally known museum, has built two businesses in a vintage Pittsburgh establishment that have become the rallying point for celebrities, sports fans, and wine lovers alike.
On April 2 @ GA/GI you'll meet Duane Rieder, and get the 101 of honoring a baseball legend and making urban wine from the man himself. Can't wait? Call the museum for a visit. 412-621-1268.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

In Other News: "The Saudi Arabia of Coal" and Excerpts from"YERT" to showcase at the Union Project, A GA/GI Partner, on Feb. 11

YERT (Your Environment Road Trip), is a year-long eco-expedition through all 50 United States, filmed by three young explorers with video cameras in hand and tongues in cheek. The trio scouts the landscape of America for unique approaches to environmental sustainability, persistent in their quest to show that Americans want to do the right thing--they just: A) Don't want to look strange doing it and B)Don't have the time or means to explore all the options. The YERT team takes the time! They drag us kicking, screaming and laughing week by week, play by play through a mix of outrageous antics and provocative examples, taking risks while still managing to give us thoughtful and insightful reporting. While we wait for this cinematic gem to release, you can see excepts, and enjoy a multi media presentation of an original play,"Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal," all on Thursday, February 11 at 8 p.m. @ the Union Project, 801 North Negley Avenue. The cost is $15 General Admission and $10 for students. Tickets at

This presentation is brought to you by: The Sierra Club, The Citizens Coal Council, The Center for Coalfield Justice and Mountain Watershed Association.

Yert: The Film is coming "soonish!"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Of Artists, Art and Artistic Collaborations coming April 2

Justin Visnesky grew up in a village in Pennsylvania, went to college
in Jimmy Stewart’s hometown of Indiana, PA, and now lives in the Sixburgh. He makes photographs of the simple, quiet times in life; taking the ordinary and making it something more, something for the keeping. You'll see more of Justin's introspective work at Image Box, 4933 Penn Avenue:"A firm that handles all your design and marketing needs." (And who--for a limited time--is offering businesses a free, no obligation, consulting session.)

Evolve is a firm "dedicated to advancing synergies between environment and architecture," who will celebrate their anniversary as "Evolve5!" They will take segments of their surrounding community--Friendship--and imagine what it might look like in a more sustainable world, a prospect which concerns us all as we envision how sustainability might affect our own places and social relationships. Evolve is located @5530 Penn Avenue. Click here for a look at their select projects.

And... Over 50 artists have agreed to paint utility poles on Penn Ave. Check it out on our Face book event page! Click here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Team GA/GI Profile: Alberto Almarza sez, "Honor your inner oddball!"

From a TedX conference hosted by Leadershipship Pittsburgh 11/09

Friday, January 29, 2010

Touchfaster will Take GA/GI Fest and Super Size it!

we wanted a large, leafy festival salad, but we wanted more veggies with that. So Adam Keene, the Duquesne University dymnamo who runs Mpowered introduced us to Touchfaster, an engergetic group of six 20-somethings, who have combined their considerable resources and incredible talents to create a company that makes artistic culture in the city "happen."

The Touchfaster group has been in the making for several years. Six friends, Kevin Saftner, Christmas Eger, Eli Rebich, Pierce Marratto, Cory Chicconie, and Skip Douglas have "hung out together," since their early school days. Saftner was a young DJ who often booked bands in which the others performed. He eventually entered IUP as a Business Management Major, and the others members of Touchfaster also went away to different colleges. It was later, when they had all graduated with complimentary skills that Saftner assessed the possibilites, reconnected the group, and they have been working out of his home in Dormont for the last several months.

Said Saftner, "Touchfaster orginated as a music promotion company, now we're involved in music, arts, and fashion." And we should add charity benefits. Their Facebook page on January 26 said in part:
Hey guys. Come hang out with us Saturday night down at Folino's in the South Side for our Haiti benefit show.......Time to lend a hand and help... change some lives together.>>>:::POWER ON:::<<<<

Touchfaster is on a roll. They will be promoting GA/GI to a diverse mix of people, designing marketing material, providing music, and giving GA/GI some branding assistance. In addition Saftner is also completing another project: A new restaurant which will serve "family style" food.
Penny's Diner (mapquest it at 4080 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15367) opens February 8th, 2010.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do Dance, Coffee, Pizza and Zipcars Have in Common? They're New Faces at GA/GI!

Our newest partners will be putting some spin on the GA/GI event! For GA/GI Day:Dance Alloy will be treating kids at our Great Play Date--"Birds, Trees and Robots"--to a creative movement class with instructor Ayisha Morgan-Lee. Other activities will be a performance by the Dilworth School Drummers, a visit by David Edwards Power Flower, Replay my Play, a Project funded by Penn Ave neighbor Sprout, and a other "green" activities. For GA/GI Night @ Penn Avenue "Unblurred," The Spak Brothers will be open serving their special brand of pizza, garlic wings, chicken salads, or even their phenomenal perogies (when they aren't sold out)! Spak will co-sponsor a Bike Pittsburgh project (TBA). Voluto Coffee plans to host some unique eco-tech art on their walls and visitors to GA/GI will get to sample some super delicious hot coffee, and get info on cool upcoming events like World Environment Day. Dance Alloy Theater is back for evening entertainment as well! Heather Ferri, a tap dancing Pittsburgh native, will introduce the newest vibe in shuffle rhythms since Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. Ferri’s “Tap into the Possibilities” will expose people to the idea that tap is not just one sound or story. Her dynamic, 8-section piece tells multiple stories through the sounds of taps, contemporary movement, and spoken words performed by college students from Point Park University. Cost at the door is $7.

They're will be a lot of Zipping around during GA/GI, too. In Zipcars! They're Coming from their centrally located address: 429 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1626(412) 475-5909! Billed as "Wheels when you want them,"the company rolled into Pittsburgh a little over a year ago and hasn't stop moving since. Zipcar sees their deal as "better than having your own car." There are 40 Zipcars parked throughout Pittsburgh in neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Downtown, Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Southside and Northside. There are also over 6000 Zipcars available in other major cities like New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Toronto and many more. Zipcars are available for self service reservations for as little as $7 per hour or $67 per day, and that includes all of your gas and insurance costs.” And more good news! GA/GI Fest goers are getting a special offer! Check it out at: .

We also noted that Zipcar isn't shy about listing their "green" benefits which include a break down of how car sharing will save billions of dollars in gas and oil. Indeed, a Zipcar is the perfect car... if you like the convenience of not owning one!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Want a sneak preview of what our Team partner, Jonano, of GA/GI's Fashion Division has in store for you on April 2? Check out their eco chic from Portland's Fashion Week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

GA/GI @ Pittsburgh's First SAG Screening

When Cathy Yonek said we could bring our GA/GI Festival Dog-n-Pony show to Pittsburgh's first ever SAG Screening Awards party, we ran all the way! Ran with fliers, art off the walls of the ARTica Gallery to add some atmosphere, and along the way snatched David Edwards of Art Energy Design, who had just enough time to grab his wife and his camera.

Pittsburgh was only one of a few sites beyond Hollywood asked to coordinate a city screening; one other included was Philadelphia. The fun-filled evening which included eating sushi from the back of a luxury car, headlined many of the folks who faces end up in the string of movies being made in Pittsburgh. The event was held at Island Studios. (More to come)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Profiles in Green: Salvage Artist, Amanda Gross and John Metzler, Urban Tree Forge

Amanda Gross, one of GA/GI's "green" Fashion Designers, worked with a professor at Eastern Mennonite University in a class called "Trash Fashion." She designed and created five outfits from recycled materials and helped put on a group fashion show. She was hooked; very interested in exploring art that reused items no longer deemed valuable for their original intent and purpose (a.k.a. trash). "I reuse trash in my art as a metaphor for hope. Is says that we as a society, as individuals, can do better," said Amanda.

These days Gross teaches at The Neighborhood Academy, a faith-based, independent college-prep high school for Pittsburgh's low-income youth. Students attend school all day with an academic schedule in the morning and either sports or Arts Connection in the afternoon. Amanda's class "Recycled Fashion Design" is one of their afternoon art options.

In addition to opening up conversation about the use of resources, the class has allowed Amanda and her students to connect to several community partners in and out of the school: Teachers, local artists, and community members have been saving all sorts of things from the landfills in order to support the project. Crazy Mocha in Lawrenceville has been especially helpful saving plastic caps and tea bag packets. Students have used materials as diverse as packing materials, plastic tableware, magazine clippings, and junk food wrappers. And the results are stunning!
See them at the Fashion show the evening of GA/GI at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

John Meztler calls his business Urban Tree Forge, a "creative manufacturer of hardwoods, millwork, furniture, cabinetry and sculpture." And he truly does it all! Metzler, collects his product from Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and other nearby communities; trees that have outgrown their usefulness and are pushing up sidewalks, blocking roads, or are damaged. He more than collects them, John "rescues" them.

In one instance, he got a call from a friend in Brookline to save a mighty ash tree which may have gone to a landfill. Turns out this large tree can yield about 900 square feet of super, tough flooring or become tool handles and baseball bats. Another call from Indiana Township saved a tree that had uprooted and fallen across a creek. Good wood for a multitude of uses. Still again, another rescue mission: This time a giant Mulberry in Wilkinsburg, a rarity in woods. But it isn't enough that John rescues these jewels from the urban forest, he then carefully considers the future of the wood. In nearly all cases, pieces from the tree will be sent out to be dried in a kiln, some taking months to cure, or even up to one full year. Pieces of the wood are then sold to artists and cabinet and furniture makers who come to John's warehouse on Washington Blvd, to find just the right planks for everything from benches to bracelets. Urban Tree Forge also rents space to over a half dozen artists to create and develop uses for wood materials.

You'll be able to see John's wonderful work as well as art created by other artists using fodder from Urban Tree Forge and other salvage finds during the Geek Art/Green Innovators Festival on Penn Avenue. Hosts for these displays are Friends of the Urban Forest, Grow Pittsburgh, and the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation's Activities Building aka GA/GI's Eco-Tech Center.