Get to Know These Three Rivers Arts Festival Creatives
The artist booths are spread across four different locations Downtown.
After going virtual in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival is back with an in-person, although still socially-distanced, event.
With more than 150 artists participating for 2021, the free event is open from 12 to 8 p.m. every day through June 13.
This year’s festival looks a little different from years past, with vendors and tents spread across Downtown as a way to keep the event from getting overcrowded. The artist booths will be in four different locations: Point State Park, the corner of Penn Avenue and 7th Street, Fort Duquesne Boulevard and on 7th and 8th streets.
Here’s a closer look at some of this year’s artists and vendors.
Richard Wilson Art
Richard Wilson is an award-winning artist from North Carolina whose work has appeared in the movie “Barber Shop,” the hit television show “This Is Us” and a few Netflix series.
He is also the first African-American artist to have a portrait publicly displayed in a North Carolina courthouse.
“My portrait of George Henry White. He is the last former slave to serve in Congress,” says Wilson.
Wilson, whose dream is to open his own gallery space, says he has been painting and drawing since he was 8 years old. He currently travels across the country to showcase his work at various art festivals.
Pittsburgh Mobile Bars
Founded by Jen and Cory Cope, Pittsburgh Mobile Bars are a fleet of vintage trucks or vehicles that have been converted into bar/beverage carts.
The multi-faceted trucks, outfitted with your choice of rotating taps, are available for weddings, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, bridal showers or even a block party. They can be rented through Pittsburgh-based event producers Flyspace Productions.
“Our first bar cart is a 1963 vintage Cushman Truckster. We also have two other vehicles from the ‘60s — a Ford Econoline and a vintage car from Italy,” says Dale Hess, who was manning the display at the arts festival.
For the festival, Pittsburgh Mobile Bars partnered locally with Klvn Coffee Lab and Goodlander Cocktail Brewery to offer four beverage options: Cold Brew, Cucumber Citrus Cooler, Strawberry Basil Fizz and Sparkling Green Tea.
Pittsburgh Mobile Bars will be parked at Point State Park on Friday and Sunday.
Britney Smith Ceramics
Britney Smith is one of eight emerging artists chosen by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to appear at this year’s festival. An adjunct professor at Carlow University, as well as an alumni of the school, Smith’s medium is ceramics, with a focus on teaching others and creating functional art pieces.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust choses emerging artists for a scholarship each year following an extensive application process. The scholarship covers the artist’s booth fee, as well as a tent and table at the arts festival.
“I would like to potentially become a full-time ceramics professor, or open up my own studio space so that I can offer the same kind of opportunities that I’ve had access to,” says Smith.
One Million Roses
Leynel Ariaas and Lucia Guzman co-own New York City-based One Million Roses. The artist of the duo, Guzman uses wire to create handmade sculptures, little figurines and keychains.
“When we started, we had a little table in the streets of New York City and we started making little flowers and animals out of wire and people started to ask us to create specific things. That’s how Lucia got into making more and more,” says Ariaas.
Hailing from Boardman, Ohio, Robert Walker’s paintings are inspired by his imagination. Although paint is his primary medium, he also creates various formats of prints, including 3D prints and tapestries. He also creates his own frames from a specific carving technique that uses foam and resin.
This is his sixth time taking part in the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
“It’s different this year because it’s spread out and I am in a different location than in past years, but as far as it being lucrative, I have had a great show this year,” he says.
Heather Conley and Myles Geyman are the husband-and-wife owners of Pittsburgh-based Stak Ceramics, which is noted for its line of handcrafted housewares that incorporate technology.
Their pieces include decorative tablet and phone docking stations. There’s also a phone vase that can charge your phone as well as hold your flowers.
Stak also has an exclusive, Pittsburgh-focused line of products featuring the city’s famous skyline, which are sold only at local art shows.
“This is our seventh year at the arts festival. It’s different this year, but I think it’s been really great to give some of the businesses Downtown a chance to get some extra foot traffic,” says Conley.