Re:NEW Festival 2016 Preview + Artist Picks

Published On August 10, 2016 | By Leah Kennedy | Lists

Re:NEW Festival

In the coming weeks, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council will welcome artists, tastemakers, performers, and intellectuals for a month-long celebration of creation at the annual Re:NEW Festival.

Kicking off September 9, artists will host and display citywide projects representing Re:NEW’s conceptual themes of creative reuse, sustainability, and transformation.

Little Shilpa Rubber Slippers; Drap Art

The festival will be shaped largely from the surrounding community, and participants will host various art works and spectacles within venues around the city.

From Sept. 9-Oct. 9, more than 20 organizations from local arts, education, and environmental sectors will play a part in presenting programming in downtown Pittsburgh.

Notable exhibits include the North American premiere of Drap-Art, a series of provocative artworks created with reused materials by 50+ international artists; plus a local exhibition–comprised of 30+ artworks from Southwestern PA artists–to be juried by CMOA’s Eric Crosby, DS Kinsel of BOOM Concepts, and independent curator, Kilolo Luckett.

As always, visual arts remain a major creative focal point of Re:NEW Festival; and there will be much to explore at this year’s installment.

Check out a few of our top event picks and must-see exhibits below:


Storm by Ian Brill

Free | USX Plaza | Sept. 10 ~ Oct. 9 

All month long, venture into the Storm–a fully immersive, Igloo-shaped corridor-space, made up of colorful programmatic light and sound. Constructed from custom, reconfigurable technology, Storm’s compelling revamp reflects the characteristics of its unique environment, as the technology adapts to immersive, expressive and emergent behaviors. The structure (pictured left) will be located at the rear of USX Plaza.

Mobile Sculpture Workshop

Free | Gateway Center Plaza | Sept. 10 ~ Oct. 9 

Sparks will fly as a new temporary public sculpture takes shape in the heart of the city’s Gateway Plaza. Throughout the month, Mobile Sculpture Workshop will use decommissioned fixtures from Duquesne Light to create a work of art representing Pittsburgh’s renewal, transformation and growth.

Art Olympics with Tom Sarver

art olympics

Art Olympics

Free | 623 Smithfield Street | Sept. 17, 6-9PM 

For the past decade, local tastemaker Tom Sarver has hosted Pittsburgh’s “Art Olympics”–an event series featuring three teams of artists competing to turn piles of junk into winning sculptures. Each team is led by a professional artist, and works are judged in categories including: creative use of materials provided; performance element; and aesthetic quality of final work. During the event, audience members will also be selected for live interviews, where they can critique the works in progress, provide theatrical commentary, and engage in dialogues with the local creative community.

ReMIX Melee

$15 | Sweetwater Center for the Arts | September 17, 7-10PM

ReMIX Melee presents a new take on a familiar concept–one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Watch four local artists race to the finish: each will create their own work from recycled objects to be judged and awarded by art professionals, and attendees can award their picks with a People’s Choice Award. Spectate while you sip (Re)MIXed drinks from local Boyd and Blair (Re)MIXologists, and hear tunes (Re)MIXed by DJ Jim Powell while the MC gives a play-by-play of artists’ activities.

wild and scenic

Wild & Scenic

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

$10-$15 | Harris Theater | Sept. 22, 6-8PM

Wild & Scenic Film Festival combines moving footage with environmental issues, inspiring citizens to take action in protecting their local and global environments. This year at Re:NEW, the Pennsylvania Resources Council and Allegheny CleanWays will host the second annual W&S film fest, where attendees can catch award-winning films, connect with local non-profits, initiatives, and leaders, and enter to win raffles.

SIX x ATE Dinner

Time & Location TBA | Sept. 24, 6-9PM

A special edition of SIX x ATE will feature six local artists and a cuisinier responding to the theme of “Earth.” During SIX x ATE, guests can view 5-minute presentations or performances from the artists, eat, drink, and connect with local creatives for future collaborations and resources. Food will be sourced locally from the 412 Food Rescue, which works with food retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, caterers, universities and other food providers to rescue un-sellable, top-quality food items. Stay tuned for details on time, location and presale tickets!

For a full listing of exhibitions, programming and installments at this year’s Re:NEW Festival, check out the website event page.

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