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Arts, Sports & Culture

Three Rivers Arts Festival Kicks Off Today

Those attending the 55th annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival will find portraits of air, a 4 story figure named Lady Pneumatica and a tribute to the Fort Pitt Block House.

The festival that runs today through June 15 has a theme of aesthetic creativity and environmental sustainability.

“Many of our art installations explore either the built environment and architecture or the natural environment and how our actions can impact and affect the natural world around us,” Veronica Corpuz, Director of Festival Management, said.

Such works include Susan Goethel Campbell’s “Portraits of Air” -- a mixed-media installation based on her 2013 distribution of more than 100 air filters throughout Pittsburgh.

To keep with the environmental theme, artist Edith Abeyta plans to attach more than 3,000 donated t-shirts to a wooden framework to construct the Seneca word for water, on:ne:ka’.

“To create one t-shirt you have to use tons of thousands and thousands of gallons of water,” Corpuz said. “And then a lot of the textiles that go into that manufacturing also end up in landfills, so it’s a reflective piece that we hope that our audience will be able to enjoy and think about.”

The festival will also feature several movies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the inaugural Complaints n’at Choir in which Christiane D will use grievances from Pittsburgh residents to construct a song.

Performance artists Squonk Opera will also have a show called “Pneumatica” described as “an event about air, made by air and powered by air.”

Using the “very medium of sound,” live original music will be playing while inflatables are pumped up to create a 40-foot high figure that has a wind turbine on its head - named Lady Pneumatica.

The Arts Festival will also celebrate Pittsburgh’s local history.

Corpuz said the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform “A Letter from Home” to honor the 250th anniversary of the Fort Pitt Block House.

“This is a very special concert, we invite the entire community to join us to not only celebrate the  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, but also the Fort Pitt Block House, two gems of our city” Corpuz said. “And we really think it’s going to be a terrific night.”

Corpuz said the festival will have a total of about 750 individual exhibit or performance artists.

The schedule and list of performances for the 10-day event can be found on the festival’s website.