Re:NEW, Revealed!

large art work made from woven tshirts with children staring up at it

For Immediate Release: August 9, 2016

Jen Saffron, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, 412-266-4424

Leigh White, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, 412-606-9877


Drap-Art, International Festival of Recycling Art, Makes North American Premiere Here
Festival Reflects Multi-Sector Collaboration, Contributions from Dozens of Community Groups

Pittsburgh, PA……Leaders from across the city unveiled the Re:NEW Festival today, to be held September 9 – October 9 in Downtown Pittsburgh and points around the city. Centered on the themes of creative reuse, sustainability and transformation, the Re:NEW Festival will host month-long opportunities for residents and visitors to learn more about environmental initiatives through international art exhibits, artists working directly with our schools, a touring film festival, a regional juried show in a vacant building, workshops for families, public art, live music and markets of upcycled goods. And, in keeping with the theme, delicious meals made from “rescued” produce from grocery stores, with 412 Food Rescue as a program partner, will be served.  Public programs and hours are listed at Visitors may stop by the Re:NEW Festival Visitor’s Center at the corner of Market Street and Liberty for a map, schedule and information.

According to Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership: “We are looking forward to turning an international spotlight on the creative re-use and sustainability that is occurring throughout our region. Showcasing unique Downtown locations as the epicenter of 30 of original, artistic, inspiring programming throughout the city is particularly thrilling to our organization.”

Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, expounds: “The Re:New Festival is all about collaboration, and connecting the arts to community revitalization, the business community, sustainability and the environment. This first ever event features the U.S. premiere of Drap-Art, THE celebration of art made from re-used materials, and we’re excited to showcase Pittsburgh as a center of artistic excellence.  We’re fortunate to have found so many corporate and community partners to make this a reality.”

Re:NEW Festival reflects Pittsburgh’s commitment to arts and culture, and its forward-thinking creative industries and sustainable technologies. Perhaps the most notable example of this is the North American premiere of Drap-Art, the international festival of recycling art from Barcelona, known the world over yet never before showcased in North America. Comprised of approximately 80 artworks from 40 artists, Drap-Art will be showcased in the PPG Wintergarden, Philip Johnson’s architectural masterpiece. Pittsburgh represents the perfect place for Drap-Art, with the Re:NEW Festival embodying the passion and pride of Pittsburgh’s continuing environmental transformation and resilience.

In addition to Drap-Art, a juried exhibition of art based on the festival theme (creative reuse, sustainability, and transformation) will take place with 31 artworks by 20 regional artists at 623 Smithfield Street, a vacant store downtown.

Over 30 organizations from the arts, environmental and education sectors are involved in presenting Re:NEW Festival programming throughout downtown and to points around the city. Groups like Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Resources Council value art as a means to share stories of this region’s continuing efforts to celebrate and improve its sustainability actions and engage residents and visitors in critical issues. From creating art using debris cleaned from Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, to walking and bicycling tours of Pittsburgh’s neighborhood green efforts and public art, the month-long programs throughout downtown and in neighborhoods are much more than a typical arts festival.

Re:NEW Festival highlights:

  • September 9 – 11 is opening weekend, featuring VIP reception at the Wintergarden, a showcase of bands in US Steel Tower Plaza, workshops, talks by artists, and more.
  • Drap-Art artists from Barcelona and Germany will be in residence in the city, giving talks, performing, and visiting schools.
  • Brooklyn artist Matthias Neumann will install Bench IV (Basics), an installation and functional bench from sustainably sourced wood in a community lot in Deutschtown, with a public “barn raising event” and cookout on September 11.
  • Author Sebastian Junger, #1 New York Times Bestseller, will give a talk on September 15 at the Carnegie Lecture Hall on his latest book,
  • Art Olympics will take place on September 17 at 613 Smithfield Street, featuring teams of artists making art in competition with objects donated from Goodwill.
  • Part of a four-part Re:NEW Festival film series, Pennsylvania Resources Council and Allegheny CleanWays will host the Wild And Scenic Film Festival at the Harris Theater on September 22. Also in the series: Kirsi Jansa will screen Sustainability Pioneers on September 15; David Bernabo will screen Food Systems, Ch. 4 on September 29; and Alisha Wormsley will showcase videos from Afronauta October 5.
  • September 24 in the afternoon will feature diverse local TEDx speakers, on festival themes.
  • 412 Food Rescue and Six x Ate dinner series will prepare and serve a meal made entirely from rescued produce, hosting six artists talking about their work over a shared dinner.
  • International Sculpture Center, hosting its annual conference in Pittsburgh this October, will sponsor ISC Connects, an afternoon panel discussion led by Eric Crosby, curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum of Art, with panelists Edith Abeyta, Vanessa German and Steven Siegel, September 25 at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
  • Interfacing with Pittsburgh Public Schools, to include international artist Dolo Navas from Spain, working with CAPA high school students and teaching artist Karen Page to develop a fashion show; lesson plans and presentations with STEAM classes and the Gifted Center. Environmental Charter School’s 7th grade Thinking Lab and Propel Schools will also participate.
  • Industrial Arts Co-op will create a sculpture at Gateway Center, comprised of re-used steel and objects reclaimed from Duquesne Light’s field operations.
  • Re:NEW Festival Tours, such as the Green Arts Tour, will take visitors throughout the city to explore green initiatives in our communities, explore native trees in the downtown footprint with artist Ann Rosenthal, and tour green spaces in the Hill District with Hill House.
  • 709 Gallery will feature the fiber sculptures of New York artist Jacqueline Metheny while local artist Ian Brill will install a light installation in a hollow wall adjacent to the US Steel Tower Plaza.
  • Workshops by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Assemble, Fiberarts Guild, Children’s Museum, and Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse will take place on Saturdays at 623 Smithfield Street.
  • California artist Joyce Dallal will install a massive sculpture in the lobby Gateway Center 2, featuring the form of a baby ingesting locally donated toys, later to be repurposed.
  • Markets of upcycled goods, performances and music will be featured in the 623 Smithfield Street space each Friday night and Saturday.
  • Artist Bekezela Mguni will create a “Community Time Capsule for Black Futures” with a time capsule burial ceremony in the Hill District.
  • On view now through October 30, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will showcase the exhibition “surface | material”, curated by Laura Domencic, featuring works from reused materials by Ron Copeland, Ryder Henry, Bill Miller, and Grace Summanen.
  • Performance art and dance by artists Joan Wagman (Pittsburgh), Felicia Cooper (Pittsburgh), and Ori Alon (Beacon, NY) will take place in 623 Smithfield Street, while Hoesy Corona (Baltimore) will intersect with the VIA Festival in East Liberty.
  • Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council is exhibiting work by artists Christine Bethea, Blaine Siegel, Christina Springer and Suzanne Werder in the exhibition Matere:al.

The Re:NEW Festival reflects a unique, multi-sector collaboration of civic leaders who share a similar spirit of creativity and forward-thinking vision as those from Pittsburgh’s past who set the stage for this City’s transformation and renewal: Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Sustainable Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Resources Council, The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, VisitPITTSBURGH, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Re:NEW Festival media images are available by contacting Jen Saffron,
To stay up to date on festival happenings, like Re:NEW Festival on Facebook and follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @renewfestival.