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The artists are coming! the artists are coming!

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

 
 
Americans for the Arts holds its national convention in the ‘burgh his weekend, which means 1,000 people who promote the arts and arts education will be walking among us.
 
Robert Lynch,  its CEO, said that Pittsburgh is “the perfect place to gather local arts agencies from across the country because you can literally see the positive impact the arts can make in transforming a city.”
 
Yes, and on Wednesday, as a kind of pre-event event, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Office of Public Art will hand out free updates of its guide entitled “Pittsburgh Art & Public Places,” which expands on the 2006 and 2008 editions to include the Northside. The previous editions focused on Downtown and included part of the North Shore.
 
You can get a copy at Katz Plaza between 5.30 and 7.30p on Wednesday, when some artists will be giving mini-tours of some of their favorite art sites. The booklets will also be available at Visit Pittsburgh kiosks, at arts institutions and public libraries.
 
A dedication of Sheila Klein's Eastside pedestrian bridge will take place at 4p on Friday. You have never walked across such a bridge anywhere else. Check out conference-related events taking place starting on Friday here.
 
“The book was one of out first big educational efforts because we realized Pittsburgh didn’t understand all that it had,” said Renee Piechocki, director of the GPAC’s Office of Public Art. “What it takes for people to care is to raise awareness that it exists.
 
“We did a series of walking tours last year and would get 30-40 people at every one. During a gallery crawl, we had 600 people making origami magnolias.”
 
Mr. Lynch hit on something that Ms. Piechocki made more specific in telling me of the reactions of people from other cities when they leaf through the Public Art guide: “They say, ‘Whoa, you have a Romare Bearden, a Louise Bourgeois and a Jim Campbell all within a short walk of each other?’”
 
The Bearden ceramic mural is in the Gateway Center T station. The Bourgeois works are the sculptures in Katz Plaza. Campbell’s light installation is on the Wood Street Galleries.
 

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