Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iron Chef Diaspora?


Three teams of artists face off in sculpture challenge at New Hazlett Theater

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 25, 2007) – Look out Steelers, Pittsburgh's newest art event, Art Olympic Theatre, threatens to lure away some of your die hard fans with the action and excitement of competitive art making, arena style! On October 6th at 7:30pm, the New Hazlett Theater will host three teams of artists who will compete to build winning sculptures out of secret materials (read: junk to be unveiled at the event). The only supplies that the teams may bring with them to the challenge are the contents of one suitcase. Adding to the suspense of the evening is the arrival of Team West Virginia, led by WVU sculpture professor and artist Douglas Loewen. Tickets are $10.00 and will be available at the door.

Conceived by Tom Sarver of The Tom Museum, winner of the Mayor’s Award for Public Art, Art Olympic Theatre brings the drama and spontaneity of reality TV and sports straight to the public in the form of an arts event. Tom was particularly inspired by the Food Network cooking show Iron Chef while developing the idea. The October 6th event launches a series of Art Olympic Theatre events sponsored in part by a Seed Award from the Sprout Fund. Future events are planned for March and July of 2008.

Tom Sarver, Mike Cuccaro, Liz Hammond and Buddy Nutt will host the event, and conduct official Art Olympic Theatre opening and closing ceremonies. Music will be provided by DJ Mary Mack and Mr. & Mrs. Funky of Unfinished Symphonies. Judges for the event will include Heather Pesanti, Assistant Curator at The Carnegie Museum of Art; Mickey McManus, CEO of MAYA Design; Artist Thommy Conroy; and Karen Hartman from the Brew House Association. A pre-event fundraiser for The Tom Museum with special guest Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will take place from 6 – 7 PM in the lobby of the New Hazlett Theater. Admission to the fundraiser is $65.00. More information about Art Olympic Theatre can be found at www.tommuseum.com.


TEAM 1 (Pittsburgh)

Team Leader: Christopher Kardambikis

Team Members: Nicholas Hohman, John Brodski, Jairan Sadeghi

Chris Kardambikis is the co-director of Encyclopedia Destructica, a self-published and hand made book operation that presents sketchbook and journal work from artists and writers. Over a two year period he has overseen the creation of 13 books and helped to produce over 2000 individual copies. He was awarded Full Fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center and was a recipient of the Sprout Seed Award. Kardambikis has studied at the Lamar Dodd School of Art in Cortona, Italy, the CMU Inquiry and Vision Program in Sparta, Greece and holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Chris is best known in Pittsburgh for the development of Encyclopedia Destructica, a popular local zine that features the illustrations of local artists. Chris is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

TEAM 2, "Self-es-Team" (Pittsburgh)

Team Leader: Morgan Cahn

Team Members: Caldwell Linkerbelle, Ange Gagnon, Teresa Martuccio

Multimedia artist Morgan Cahn skyrocketed into the Pittsburgh art scene in the past two years with shows at Brew House Space 101, the Mattress Factory (Gestures) and Future Tennant. Morgan completed the Brew House Distillery Program in the spring of 2007. Her colorful works include painting, drawing, sewing, sculpture, performance and video.

TEAM 3 (Morgantown, West Virginia)

Team Leader: Douglas Loewen

Team Members: Emily Walley, David Hale, Evan Thomas

Nationally exhibited artist Doug Loewen is best known for his kinetic installations and sculpture. He is currently teaching sculpture at West Virginia University.

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EDITOR’S NOTES: The Tom Museum is an independent project of Tom Sarver in partnership with The Mattress Factory.

Sponsors for the event include Whole Foods, Pittsburgh City Paper, Penn Brewery, Big Burrito, Breadworks, The Gypsy Café, MyGoodies Bakery, The New Hazlett Theater and The Mattress Factory. The Tom Museum is supported by The Heinz Endowments and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Art Olympic Theatre is sponsored in part by a Seed Award from The Sprout Fund.

The Sprout Fund is nonprofit organization supporting innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh. Each of The Sprout Fund's programs, Seed Award and Public Art, is designed to advance a community initiative from idea through dialogue to implementation, creating a critical mass of activity for positive regional change. Sprout believes a vital component to building healthy and vibrant communities is civic engagement; serving those who demonstrate the drive and the capacity to think creatively about their communities.

The New Hazlett Theater is a non-profit organization, founded in 2004 with a mission to cultivate the arts and provide a venue for world class and neighborhood cultural events.

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