Monday, December 5, 2011

Paranormal Pittsburgh

Jim Pitulski and Marty Patterson watched in disbelief as the K-2 meter, which picks up on energy fields when a spirit is present, continually lit up.
They were watching a video of a recent paranormal excursion at Molnar’s Marina near Elizabeth, PA where the handheld device showed that they were in contact with a spirit named John.
The K-2 meter’s green lights continued to flash, indicating a calm, but steady response as they asked John questions about being a riverboat captain and if he liked the family there. But when they asked the fateful question, “What is it like being dead?” the meter’s red lights flashed, making these investigators believe anger was in the air.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Pitulski said.
Jim Pitulski watches the recent footage from the
paranormal investigation at Molnar's Marina.
Both men say close encounters such as these are rare, but it’s one example of paranormal activity that has been recorded so often in the region that it is considered one of the premier hotspots for paranormal happenings. 
“It’s like sifting for gold,” Pitulski said.
In New Castle, PA, there’s the Hill View Manor, a home that was reserved for mentally and chronically ill patients, who are believed to still inhabit the place. The Moundsville Sate Prison in Moundsville, WV is an old, gothic style prison that is also believed to be haunted. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, another supposedly haunted building, held mentally ill patients.
All of this activity has spawned several paranormal groups who use their own recording devices, meters and cameras to also do private investigations for people who have been spooked in their own homes or businesses.
One of these groups is Ghost Story Investigations (G.S.I.), which includes Pitulski and Patterson as well as several other members with varying levels of expertise. The group got its start about a year ago; Pitulski is the co-founder and technical director and Patterson is one of the lead investigators.
Both Pitulski and Patterson have had an interest in the paranormal since a young age. Pitulski loved listening to ghost stories and watching scary movies.
“There’s something fun about being scared,” he said.
Patterson grew up across the street from a haunted house, which made him more interested in the paranormal.
Some may discount what paranormal investigators do and Pitulski realizes that people might think they’re crazy.
“Whatever you think about what we’re talking about, treat it with respect,” he said.
The group also does a show called Ghost Story TV, which they are hoping to get on the air soon. The show follows their investigations and also brings in other consultants and experts to talk about the paranormal. They’ve done some 20 cases ranging from tourist attractions to the private investigations.
For the show, they hope to provide different viewpoints so people can decide for themselves about paranormal activity. They want to be thoughtful and intelligent but also have fun with it.
In order to pick up on voices and aid their investigations, paranormal investigators use several tools.
Digital recorders, K-2 meters (electromagnetic fields), the Mel-meter (temperature/vibration/electromagnetic fields), an infrared camera, a full spectrum cameras (picks up on UV light), and radio frequency analyzers are just some of the equipment that G.S.I. uses.
These tools detect the various types of energy a spirit is believed to give off when present.
Nearly every paranormal group uses these tools so the G.S.I team is hoping to develop new ways of aiding their investigations.
“Sometimes the best equipment we have is just our own experiences and our five senses,” Pitulski said.
The now demolished Dixmont State Hospital in Kilbuck Township, PA is a popular area known for paranormal activity. The hospital’s overgrown cemetery is the resting place for thousands of patients. Since it was a popular spot for paranormal activity, the G.S.I. crew ventured out to see what kind of evidence they could find.
The overrun cemetery was on a hillside and many of the gravestones were covered in thick grasses. They set a recorder on a stone and began picking up static, which meant a paranormal presence was there.
“Can you tell us how many of us are here?” Adam Iliff asked, one of the lead investigators.
“Three,” responds a voice.
Adam and Marty looked at each other in excitement. The investigators also asked the spirit about its time at the hospital. Its responses weren’t in full sentences but it said the words “pain” and “dead.”
Another investigation, done at a private residence referred to as the Crosby House (in order to not divulge the location), also got quite a response from a spirit.
“Ok, we’re about to start an EVP session here,” Adam said, warning the spirit of their presence. EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are sounds recorded on an electronic device, but not actually heard in person.
They picked up a voice responding with, “You’re in the right place.”
“That one sent chills down my spine,” Pitulski said, after he listened to the recording.
What’s interesting about these “voices” that they hear is that a spirit doesn’t posses a vocal box. Without this mechanism to speak, it must produce the sound in another way. The investigators at G.S.I. believe it is electromagnetic waves imprinting itself on the various recording devices.  Sometimes this is heard in real time to the naked ear, but other times voices only are heard when a recording is played back.
The crew continues to develop theories to explain how these “voices” work.
“If a ghost has enough energy, it can manifest itself to the point where it becomes matter and it can move air,” Pitulski said. This then produces the sound of a voice.
Another paranormal group based in Pittsburgh is a team of two, Jeff Gettman and Scott DelleDonne, known as Pittsburgh Paranormal Research (P.P.R.).
The group got their start in February 2010 and has done over a dozen investigations.
The first investigation the group ever did was at The Grove in Gettysburg, PA. One of the bloodiest battles took place here and there have been sightings of Civil War era soldiers and people.
“[The Grove] was a place where a lot of Confederate soldiers died. They tried to progress up the hill but the Union shot them down,” Gettman said.
On their recorder, they picked up a voice shouting, “Halt company! Stand your ground!”
The voice speaks slowly and is in the distance but it’s clearly heard.
The team did an investigation at the Broughton School near South Park in Pittsburgh where several deaths were reported on school grounds.
At one point during this investigation, their walkie talkies suddenly turned on and through static, a little girl is heard giggling then asks, “Hello?”
P.P.R. did another investigation at the Butler Tourism and Convention Bureau in Zelienople, PA where there have been claims of a young boy playing tricks.
They experimented with a flashlight during this investigation and asked the spirit to turn the flashlight on and off.
At the end of the flashlight session, they heard a voice say, “Is that what you expected?”
When investigating these places, DelleDonne said the team tries to look for history to back it up and then “validate it and disprove some of the claims.”
At Madison Seminary in Ohio, which is a home for displaced Civil War families, Gettman and DelleDonne broke out their thermal camera for the first time.
Down in the basement hallway, a small figure appeared, leaning out into the hallway staring right at them. The figure suddenly disappeared back into the room.
“It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen,” Gettman said.
The figure appeared to be a little girl with long hair. Later on, the building owner confirmed that people had seen a little girl in the same area in the past.
These types of paranormal occurrences keep investigators searching for more. And whether one believes in paranormal activity or not, there’s no question that it’s become more popular over the years.
“It seems that it’s not as taboo as it previously was and people are more open to talk about it,” DelleDonne said. “I think television is helping out a lot with that.”
However, many times they find that the reported “paranormal activity” isn’t really paranormal. Gettman said it’s often “ordinary things, like a draft pushing a door open.” Sometimes people can become easily paranoid about the possibility of spirits.
Another situation that investigators often encounter is something that G.S.I. describes as a “fear cage.” Instead of paranormal happenings, it is actually electromagnetic frequencies having undesirable effects on people such as paranoia, dizziness or headaches. Very high concentrations often exist around fuse boxes, transmission towers and windmills because they give off this type of energy.
“There’s scientific proof that some people are more sensitive to that stuff and it can make you do different things,” Pitulski said.
As one of the lead investigators, Patterson said it’s important to rule these things out when first beginning an investigation. He said one time they had a home with a burglar system that caused the home to be “very electronic.”
“This was causing all this interference in the house and that was the haunting,” Patterson said.
The general idea of paranormal activity continues to raise many questions.
DelleDonne enjoys seeing the mix of the past and present.
“You see sometimes [the past] is still bleeding through,” he said.
For investigators, it’s often more about the search, since there’s the possibility that there are no answers.
“It’s not the kill, it’s the thrill of the chase,” Patterson said, who enjoys seeing if something is “trying to poke its way back through to communicate.”
“Maybe we’re not really meant to know,” said Pitulski. “The more we look into it, the more wondrous life tends to become and the more we appreciate.”
For videos from both investigation teams, visit their websites at and
Published in Volume 1 of To The Point on page 3 and online at

New coffee in Southside

Delanie's features exposed brick walls and a seating
area with wall outlets and Wi-Fi internet.
Dan Watkins recently enjoyed a quiet afternoon with a decaf Americano while grading papers at Delanie’s Coffee in the Southside.

Watkins, a professor at Duquesne, enjoys the “excellent” coffee and comfortable atmosphere that Delanie’s has to offer.
“I usually grade papers at coffee shops so I thought I’d try something new,” Watkins said after noticing the recent addition on East Carson Street in the Southside.
Delanie’s Coffee shop, which opened August 1, offers coffee, desserts made in-house, smoothies, sandwiches, wraps and more.
The AMPd group, owned by Adam DeSimone, runs Delanie’s as well as several other businesses including Diesel Club Lounge and Local Bar & Kitchen.
Randy Recker, the manager of Delanie’s, said that DeSimone wanted to try something other than a bar or restaurant in the Southside.
“There are people that want to come to the Southside that don’t necessarily want to come have a drink,” said Recker.
The shop features exposed brick walls, colorful paintings of the Southside, and an upper level with several tables. Wall outlets and free Wi-Fi internet are also available, making Delanie’s a great study spot for students.
“At least five or six nights out of the week there are going to be people here studying ‘til midnight,” said Recker of the shop, which is open daily from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
Recker was also pleased to report that students have given him positive feedback about the “bright” and “soothing” aesthetics of the shop. The reasonably priced menu is also a hit.
Delanie’s blend brewed coffee from Iron Star Roasters in Costa Rica costs $1.70 for a small. Other available standard hot drinks include a latte ($3.00 for a small), a mocha ($3.25 for a small), an Americano ($1.50 for a small) as well as many more.
If you’re looking for something other than coffee, Delanie’s also offers real fruit smoothies and sparkling Italian and cream sodas. The shop offers $3 smoothies during smoothie happy hour from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Delanie’s also bakes pastries and desserts in-house. Cookies, muffins, cupcakes, mini-cheesecakes, carrot cake, scones and tiramisu are just a few of the options that can be found there. Prices for baked goods range from $2 for a cookie to $5 for tiramisu.

For those looking for something more substantial, Delanie’s offers breakfast sandwiches made right in front of you with fresh sausage and eggs. Turkey chutney, tofu, and three-meat Italian wraps are also available for $6 and fresh house and Caesar salads are offered for $4.
Recker said that Delanie’s is “still a baby” so they have been testing out new menu items. He is currently collaborating with a chef to develop a batter for crepes. Other future plans include fudge, gift baskets for the holidays, and selling coffee by the pound.
Delanie's decor includes exposed brick walls
and paintings of the Southside. 

What sets Delanie’s apart from a chain coffee shop is their customer consciousness and commitment to quality.
Recker emphasized that their freshly made menu items may take “a minute or two longer but the product is worth it.”
Julie Ornato, an employee at Delanie’s, has worked in the coffee business for a long time and emphasized the importance of consistency when dealing with customers.
“We want you to always taste your drink before you leave to make sure it’s how you want it,” Ornato said.
Delanie’s Coffee is located at 1737 East Carson Street and open daily from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
Published in Volume 1 of To The Point on page 2 and online at

Pittsburgh CONNECTS: Public computer centers offer broadband technology to low-income communities

Unemployed for nearly two years, Richard Witt was struggling to find work when he noticed a sign outside of the Bloomfield Garfield Pittsburgh CONNECTS center about jobs.
Last Friday afternoon, Witt, of Highland Park, worked on one of the many computers set up at the center to allow people to use the internet to fit their needs, including searching for jobs.
“Wherever I see the word jobs, I got to stop to find out. So I came in to ask some questions about it and then I found out they had other programs like computers and resumes,” said Witt.
This center, as well as three others in the Pittsburgh area, was created thanks to a grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) which was given to the Neighborhood Learning Alliance. BTOP funds public computer centers across the country and a total of 55 grants were awarded in all.
The Pittsburgh CONNECTS (Creating an Organized Neighborhood Network to Enhance Community Technology Services) program aims to provide access to broadband technology as well education, training and connections to internet content to low income communities.
The other centers are the Hill House Pittsburgh CONNECTS on Center Avenue, the Homewood-Brushton YMCA on Bennett Street, and the Hilltop Pittsburgh CONNECTS on Brownsville Road.
The centers are open seven days a week and hours vary depending on the location. The centers have extensive hours, usually opening around 8 or 9 a.m. and closing around 9 or 10 p.m.
The Pittsburgh CONNECTS Bloomfield Garfield
Center is located at 5321 Penn Avenue.
Pittsburgh CONNECTS centers are free and open to the public and they offer laptops, printers and high speed internet. To sign up to use the centers, people must be residents of Pittsburgh and at least 12 years old. Once registered, they’ll receive a username and password that gives them storage space in the servers, allowing them to access their information at all four centers.
Jim Lenkner, Program Coordinator for Pittsburgh CONNECTS, said that commerce, education, social networking and access to public services are “all delivered through technology and if you don’t have those skills, you’re actually left out in the cold.”
Low income urban communities have the lowest adoption rates of broadband technology due to cost and inability to use technology.
Lenkner said that even those living in low income communities who do have home internet service, “don’t use it as effectively… because the use of technology is not something that they’re comfortable with or they’ve had negative experiences in the past.”
Pittsburgh CONNECTS hopes to mend this issue by providing people with a casual environment where they can use these computers to become more fluent and comfortable with technology.
Since technology is such a necessary life skill, the program focuses on three important areas: employment, education and health and wellness.
Pittsburgh CONNECTS partners with organizations such the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center, the Hill House Association, and the Homewood-Brushton Family YMCA to develop job skills and locate employment opportunities.
In addition to partnering with employment centers, the program also focuses on teaching people how to navigate the internet and use web search tools, as well as word processing skills for creating resumes.
As part of their commitment to education, Pittsburgh CONNECTS is partnering with Pittsburgh Public Schools to work with students in the centers and through after school programs. The program understands the importance of having access to broadband technology as a student.
The program is also partnering with the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing as well as Allegheny General Hospital to bring in programs about various health and wellness issues. They are also teaching users how to find reliable medical information on the web.
With these ideas in mind, the four Pittsburgh CONNECTS centers offer classes to help people gain fluency in various computer-related areas.  Class topics include Computer ABC’s, word processing, navigating the internet, iPhone, Gmail, and more.
Witt, who has taken classes at the center, couldn’t say no to the helpful courses they offered since he needed to learn how to use a computer.
“That’s the only way you can get a job nowadays,” he said.
Michael La Fleur, technology center coordinator for Pittsburgh CONNECTS, teaches some of the classes and hopes these computer centers and classes will help people gain computer competency.
“A lot of basic core concepts that are really easy to grasp, many adults just don’t have and many teens don’t practice,” said La Fleur. “It’s getting people who don’t have those computer skills or don’t think of internet as a necessity, to think of it as a necessity.”
Pittsburgh CONNECTS already has plans to expand including a computer lending program, a low cost computer purchasing program, more classes, and a coffee/snack bar in each of the centers.
“We’re in the business of all of those areas that support and enlighten the use of broadband technology in the homes of people in low income communities with the hopes of improving the outcomes,” said Lenkner.

Published in Volume 1 of To The Point on page 2 and online at

Pittsburgh's handmade craft scene

Joni Ondra was taking advantage of Handmade Arcade to buy one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers for the holidays for her nieces, nephews, godchild, and her husband.
Pati Medina and Kathy Smith-Dowd were also scouring the various handmade goods for t-shirts and earrings in hopes of finding gifts for friends as well as themselves.
“I like the idea that it’s something that not everyone’s going to have and it’s going to have an artistic flair,” said Ondra.
Just like these shoppers, more people are turning to buying handmade, especially for the holidays. And with Pittsburgh’s vibrant, continually growing handmade craft scene, it’s easier than ever, especially since handmade is often affordable.
On November 12, Handmade Arcade took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, which brought out crowds hoping to find handmade goodies for the holidays. The large craft fair featured over 150 vendors, many of them local, who set up their own tables to sell their goods. Jewelry, t-shirts, scarves, plush animals, bags, pottery, house wares and greeting cards were just a few of the handmade items available for purchase.

Customers check out some of the unique jewelry pieces at Handmade Arcade on November 12, 2011.
What’s unique about handmade is how much different items can vary.
Jewelry was made from a variety of different components including glass beads, enameled pieces, brass, or even old buttons. 19 Moons’ Gothic, Steampunk, and Victorian style necklaces, bracelets, brooches and earrings use old watches that are taken apart to show the intricate gears and mechanisms. The intricate, unique pieces can cost anywhere from $20 to $80.
Green Bubble Gorgeous sold all-natural, organic soap, bath salts, lip butters and lotion bars. A bar of soap shaped and decorated like a bundt cake cost just $5.50 and a Mango Green Tea lip butter was $3.50.
Exit343Design had silkscreen prints and greeting cards with designs ranging from deer to an anatomical heart. Prints ranged from $10 to $40.
Ondra, of Friendship, liked the fact that she was supporting the artist and the items she bought were “unique things that you can’t find at a mall, certainly.”
Smith-Dowd, of Penn Hills, was happy to support “business for people trying to make a living” and said she will continue to buy handmade in the future.
Another similar craft fair opportunity in Pittsburgh is through I Made It! Market. The nomadic craft fair not only holds events, but also has a dedication to helping local artists.
Carrie Nardini, organizer of I Made It!, said the craft fairs give local artists the opportunity to sell their wares in many different places.
“We want local artists to get in front of a lot of different kinds of customers to be able to expand their market,” she said in a phone interview.
The fairs are juried and often have a theme such as holiday, children or weddings and take place in various locations in the Pittsburgh area. Previous locations include Southside Works, Bakery Square, Mount Lebanon Park, Hartwood Acres and Schenley Plaza. Crafters are selected based on the quality of their work and the type of goods they create, whether it’s jewelry, clothing, art prints or anything else that works with the theme.
Recent events include I Made It! for the Holidays at Bakery Square on December 2 and 3 and another I Made It! will take place on December 7 on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus.
I Made It! for the Holidays at Bakery Square included over 80 local artists. Vendors included Nina Ramone (knit scarves and hats), Textilegifts (purses, scarves and bowls made out of fabric and jeans), and Rachel’s Cure by Design (glass, beaded bracelets).
“Why I Made It! is kind of cool is that people can try things out and talk directly with customers that they’ll meet on multiple occasions,” Nardini said.
She also added that people can create a relationship with the artist and many times, people will follow that artist outside of the craft fair setting, whether it is through an online shop or other fairs.
The markets provide great opportunities for the artists, but I Made It! also helps them expand their handmade business.
They offer small business workshops for crafters who are selling online as well as social events so crafters can network with each other. Nardini can also help with marketing and social media aspects of selling handmade.
Although market-like events are occurring more often, there are a few stores that offer handmade items as well, making for convenient holiday or year-round shopping.
Wildcard in Lawrenceville is the most popular with a huge selection of handmade goodies such from mostly local artists. Items in the shop include greeting cards, t-shirts, stationary, original art, bags, jewelry and more. Prices vary depending on the goods, but greeting cards are only a few dollars and t-shirts often run for just under $20. Wildcard is located at 4209 Butler Street.
Another store also located in Lawrenceville (3613 Butler Street) is Pageboy Salon & Boutique. In the boutique, independent and local designers are featured and a variety of handmade accessories and house wares are available. Items include vintage button magnets, feather and leather earrings, quirky clothing pieces (such as a tan jacket with plaid sleeves), and button bobby pins with vintage portraits on them.
So Me in Glenshaw also has handmade items from local crafters and a jeweler’s studio. Colorful ceramic plates, beaded necklaces, and soy wax candles are some of the goodies available at the store located on 3394 Saxonburg Boulevard.
Two other unique things one might find around town are the traveling Craft-O-Tron and the Upcycla-Tron.
The Craft-O-Tron is a craft vending machine made from a recycled cigarette machine bought on eBay. The goal of the machine is to spread the word about the local craft scene by selling handmade items for $5 each. The machine, which can hold over 200 items, travels all around Pittsburgh and can be found in museums, cafes, bars, food stores and more, depending on the month.
Previous items available in the machine include beaded wrap bracelets, fish-shaped catnip, small pottery bowls, soap in the shape of an owl, and magnets with a painting reprinted on them.
Lynne Kropinak, who does all the stocking, boxing, and maintenance on the machine, loves going to craft shows to pick items for the machine.
“It’s a labor of love and it’s really fun to go into places and say, ‘I’m with the machine.’” she said in a phone interview.
Kropinak also runs the Upcycla-Tron which is a similar machine but instead it features crafts made out of recycled materials.
The Craft-O-Tron is currently at the Square Cade (1137 South Braddock Avenue) and the Upcycla-Tron is at Creative Reuse Pittsburgh (214 N. Lexington Street).
Through things like the Craft-O-Tron, Handmade Arcade, I Made It! Market, and other events promoting handmade goods, it’s easy to buy handmade and support local artists for the holidays.
Nardini, who has also been a crafter for years, believes handmade items given as gifts mean a lot more “versus something that kind of met their needs from the store.”
Kropinak has been a crafter specializing in jewelry for over 25 years and gets joy out of both making crafts and giving them.
“There’s really nothing that can touch you more than something that someone’s made with their hands,” she said.
Buying handmade not only insures a unique gift, but it also has other benefits, such as supporting small, local businesses.
“You’re not only supporting a person who is trying to make a living on their craft but you’re also helping to put more money directly into our local economy by purchasing handmade,” Nardini said.
Pittsburgh already had a very present handmade craft scene, but it appears to be growing and continually gaining followers.
“Pittsburghers attach a lot of value to neighborhoods and communities,” said Nardini. “[With handmade] it’s that community aspect but there’s also the aspect that you’re contributing to the cycle that is helping the individual person in your community versus a mass produced item.”

Published online at

Free museums for students

Point Park students can now experience the polka-dotted mannequins of Yayoi Kusama’s Repetitive VisionWinifred Lutz’s urban garden and many other pieces of installation art at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory museum for free.
Students can also get free admission to the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History in Oakland as part of a program that began January 1, 2011.
One of the Mattress Factory's most popular exhibits Yayoi Kusama's,
Repetitive Vision, features three white female mannequins covered in
red dots surrounded by mirrored walls and and ceilings.
In the latest move, The Mattress Factory signed a contract with Point Park University that gives students free admission with a valid student ID. The admissions partnership with Point Park began on August 29.
Kelsey Patsch, Administrative Support/Weekend Supervisor for The Mattress Factory, set up the admissions partnership with Point Park. Patsch said the decision to offer free admission was made based on the fact that other universities in the area have this opportunity and that Point Park has a “really close affiliation with the arts.”
Located on the Mexican War Streets in the North Side of Pittsburgh, The Mattress Factory features contemporary installation art. Every year, artists from around the world come to create their works while living at the museum. The pieces are often the size of the entire room which allows visitors to walk around in the art.
The art often deals with topics that are relevant to a younger generation such as political or socioeconomic issues. A recent exhibit called Neighbo(u)rhood explored the intricacy of living together and feelings of belonging, identity, and sense of community.
“It’s something that the student body would want to connect with,” Patsch said.
“The Mattress Factory is a really great resource for students. We can provide programming for Point Park students,” she said, “that maybe a bigger organization would skim over.”
Beginning last winter, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History also began offering free admission with a valid Point Park student ID.
Leigh Kish, manager of communications and media relations at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, hopes that Point Park students will take advantage of free admission “to come enjoy the art.”
“There’s not that many free activities for students,” Kish said.
“We have two museums that have great permanent exhibitions and there’s plenty to see all year round,” said Kish.
Both the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History feature world class international collections.
In the natural history museum, students can check out one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the world. Other exhibits feature American Indians, minerals and gems, Ancient Eygpt and various types of wildlife from around the world.
Students can currently check out Population Impact, an ongoing exhibit on how humans are affecting the world’s ecosystems. Another ongoing exhibit, Lord of the Crane Flies, includes specimens, video, photos and illustrations about crane flies and why they are important to our planet.
The Carnegie Museum of Art features everything from French impressionist paintings to Egyptian sculptures. Contemporary film, video, and photography are also part of the art museum.
Until December 31, students can see Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey, a collection of original drawings from Andrea Palladio, one of the world’s most influential architects.
Another ongoing exhibit is Handmade: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood. The last 70 years in studio craft movement is shown through 65 pieces of artwork.
Kish was also happy to report that since the beginning of the year through the end of July, about 300 Point Park students have taken advantage of the free admission.
Tara Brandau, a junior photography major at Point Park, said that previously, museums were “not a top priority to spend money on in college.”  Now with the free admission, she is more likely to visit.
“Art is an important part of life and people should be exposed to it and appreciate it,” Brandau said.
Now with free admission to these great Pittsburgh museums, Point Park students can do just that.
Upcoming Exhibits
The Mattress Factory:
 Sites of Passage
September 9, 2011 – January 8, 2012
An Egyptian art exhibition featuring artists from both Egypt and the United States.
Hans Peter Kuhn
October 6, 2001 – January 1, 2050
Hans Peter Kuhn’s light installation made specifically for the roof of The Mattress Factory will be on display.
 Factory Installed
October 28, 2011 – February 26, 2012
Juried show featuring Pablo Valbuena, Mariana Manhaes, Natalia Gonzalez, Nika Kupyrova, Than Htay Maung, and Veronica Ryan.
Carnegie Museum of Art:
Picturing the City: Downtown Pittsburgh, 2007-2010
September 23, 2011–March 25, 2012
Nine photographers from Pittsburgh show their city through its parks, rivers, architecture and people.
Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story
October 29, 2011­–April 8, 2012
Charles “Teenie” Harris was an African American photographer who worked for the Pittsburgh Courier and captured life during the Civil Rights and Jim Crow era. Nearly a thousand of his photographs will be on display.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History:
 M is for Museum
October 15, 2001 – August 30, 2012
An interactive, hands-on exhibit that goes behind the scenes of the museum.
 RACE: Are We So Different? 
September 28, 2013–April 30, 2014
The exhibition explores the history and science of race, how people live with it and research that can change how we understand it.
For more information on current and future exhibitions, visit,, and
How to get there!
The Mattress Factory:
From downtown Pittsburgh take the Route 13 – BELLEVUE TO WEST VIEW bus.
Get off at Brighton Rd at Taylor.
Head north on Brighton Rd toward N Taylor Ave.
Turn right on to Sampsonia Way.
The Carnegie Museums:
From downtown you can take:
Get off at the dinosaur statue (the stop after the intersection at Bigelow Blvd and Schenley Drive).
The Carnegie Museums will be on your right.
There are more ways to reach these museums. For more information on how to get to there, visit to plan your car, bus, or bicycle route.

Published in Volume 1 of To The Point on page 4 and at

Art of Flight screening at PPU

A group of friends anxiously waited outside of the GRW Theatre for the chance to see some of the most remote places on earth during “The Art of FLIGHT.” Among them were Derek Kaufman and Carlos Jimenez. Both students were both anticipating the film after learning more about it.
“I saw the trailer and was very much interested,” said Jimenez, a freshman dance major who was also there to support his friends in the Action Sports Club.
“The Art of FLIGHT,” presented by the Action Sports Club and the John P. Harris Society this past Thursday at Point Park, follows snowboarder Travis Rice along with some of the best riders in the world as they challenge what’s possible on a snowboard.
Kaufman, a freshman musical theatre major, had been looking forward to the film for a while. He said what’s different about this film is that snowboarders journeyed to places nobody has gone before.
“It takes the boundaries that people have set and breaks them down,” he said.
The snowboarders were challenged by dangerous terrain and less-than-perfect conditions at times in areas like Alaska’s Tordrillo Range, Wyoming’s Snake River Range, Colorado, the Andes, Chilean Patagonia’s Darwin Range, and British Columbia’s Kootenay Mountains.
In addition to the beautiful landscapes and exceptional access the crew had, the filming is what really makes the film stand out. Unique angles and aerial views allow the viewers to immerse themselves in the action. Full DOLBY surround sound and the highest quality visual format also add to the viewing experience.
Michael Potoczny, president of the Action Sports Club, thought the viewing of this film “would be a good way to kick off winter.”
“It’s one of the first extreme sports films that has movie quality,” he said.
The film was presented by Red Bull Media House, which lets student organizations play their films on campus. The Action Sports Club plans to do another Red Bull screening next semester.
“The Art of FLIGHT” screening fits perfectly with the club’s mission of bringing together action sports, such as skateboarding, biking, skiing, snowboarding, with filmmaking and photography.
During club outings at skate parks, members shoot video and take photos. They also want to eventually put together a magazine with the material they’ve gathered.
“It’s bringing all these together and showing people that this is possibly a career that some people want to do,” said Potoczny.
With the winter season ahead, the club will also start skiing and snowboarding.
The screening ended up having a great turnout and the film captured the audience.
“My eyes were glued to the screen, every shot was riveting,” said Kaufman.

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