Manchester Craftsmen's Guild

Being Good

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.21.38 AMBeing Good is a collaborative effort to document three remarkable Pittsburghers who are using their art, and committing their resources, to improving distressed neighborhoods in the city: Vanessa German, poet, performance artist and sculptor, photographed by Lynn Johnson; Bill Strickland, ceramicist, educator and entrepreneur, photographed by Scott Goldsmith; and Randy Gilson, visual artist and gardener, photographed by Brian Cohen.

Being Good runs from October 27, 2014 through January 2, 2015 at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. A reception and artist talk are scheduled for November 6th from 6 – 8 pm. This event is free and open to the  public.

The Artists

Brian Cohen is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, He specializes in documentary and editorial photography. He holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Binghamton University at the State University of New York with expertise in Visual Culture Studies. Cohen has published work on the role of photography in shaping public opinion. His latest photographic work focuses on documenting Pittsburgh’s remarkable transition, and is featured regularly in NEXT Pittsburgh.

Scott Goldsmith has photographed feature stories for National Geographic, LIFE, TIME, Fortune, Business Week, Sports Illustrated and People. His work has taken him to the jungles of Costa Rica, the swamps of Jamaica, the slums of Haiti, caves, deserts, and several rides on Air Force One.  He has worked in 49 of the 50 US states and 10 foreign countries and has won over 100 awards for his work. In October of 2011 he was honored by the National Academy of Science for work published by National Geographic.

Lynn Johnson holds a B.A. in Photographic Illustration and Photojournalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Masters from the School of Visual Communications at Ohio University. She was a staff photographer at The Pittsburgh Press for seven years before beginning her freelance career as a contract photographer for Black Star then Aurora Photos. Johnson was awarded the National Geographic Photographers’ Photographer award for 2013. She is currently represented by the National Geographic Image Collection.

The Subjects

Bill Strickland is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. He founded Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in 1968. In 1996, he received the MacArthur “Genius” Award for leadership and ingenuity in the arts. Strickland was chosen by President Obama to serve on the White House Council for Community Solutions in December 2010. NCECA recognized Strickland with the Outstanding Achievement award at the 2012 conference. Strickland, his wife Rose and daughter Olivia, reside on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

Randy Gilson moved to the Northside 30 years ago, and despite the conditions he fell in love with the neighborhood. So he started picking up litter and planting miniature gardens. In 1995 he purchased a dilapidated building on Arch Avenue which he turned into a veritable work of art (if you walk down that street, it’s hard to miss). By involving community members, his enthusiasm spread and many residents began to take more pride in their neighborhood. According to Randy, “When you do more for others, you find that you do more for yourself.”

Vanessa German is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the power of transformation and healing through sculpture, poetry, photography and performance. Her mixed-media sculptures incorporate many objects found in her neighborhood, Homewood, including doll parts, antique tins, household objects and African beads. With her surreal, three-dimensional collages such as those from her “Tar Baby” series, Vanessa seeks to reclaim words and objects that symbolize the oppression of African Americans.

Radical Days 2014 Photo Booth

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RADical Days 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 12.40.40 PMCelebrate RADical Days with MCG Youth & Arts on Saturday, October 11th. From 5:00 – 6:30 you can see pottery demos, make bracelets and necklaces, or have your photo taken in our photo booth. Stick around for an MCG Jazz concert. Free and open to the public.

Park Journeys Ambassadors

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Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.48.03 AM“By promoting involvement in the world and providing indispensible life experiences, Park Journeys, Inc. is an organization that accomplishes genuine youth development.” –Claire Cawley, Ambassador Delegation 006 Grand Rapids

Park Journeys Inc. is a a national youth development organzation dedicated to providing America’s teens opportunities to travel the road to their potential. Through their Park Journeys Program, peer to peer learning experiences, healthy lifestyle coaching, social justice, travel, and professional networking fuse together the essential elements of interconnectedness and interdependence.

The work in this exhibition showcases teens working with teens from different backgrounds and cities in another world miles away from their comfort zone.

On this journey they are one, they are family.

The exhibit opens Friday, September 26th at the Susan Zubik Welcome Center at Catholic Charities, 212 Ninth Street in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, from 5:30-9:00 pm in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl.

Presented in association with MCG Youth & Arts.

Play by the Fire

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Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 1.51.34 PMMark your calendar for Saturday, September 13, 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Be a part of the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s first teen art night, open to anyone age 13 to 18.

Have fun, express yourself, try something new and connect with art and other young creative people. MCG will have current students demonstrating on the potter’s wheel, as well as an interactive Photobooth. Attendees will be able to print their own photos to take home.

Learn more at:

Coloring Pittsburgh – Opens July 11

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Coloring-Pittsburgh-Exhibition-PosterColoring Pittsburgh is a photography exhibition that was curated by students from Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth and Arts Program. They were part of a course titled Curating and Installing Exhibitions. As part of the course students developed a theme and designed a call to artists which was distributed throughout Pittsburgh.

The exhibit opens Friday, July 11th at the Susan Zubik Welcome Center at Catholic Charities, 212 Ninth Street in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, from 5:30-9:00 pm in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl.

Visit to view the work.

Accomplishment 32

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accomplishment32_webWe at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild would like to invite you, your family, and your friends to our Spring 2014 Family Day on Thursday, May 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This year-end exhibition is referred to as Accomplishment, and it is our 32th annual celebration.

By attending you’ll have the chance to see the works of art created by MCG’s dedicated afterschool students and to meet the staff that works with and inspires them daily. Refreshments will be served and there will be awards, presentations, performances and more. This is an excellent opportunity for you to celebrate your child’s accomplishments with us during the afterschool hours this spring.

If you have any questions about the evening or our after school program, please contact Rose Mary Gubser at 412-322-1773 Ext. 302. Visit us online at for additional information and to subscribe to our e-mail updates.

2014 MCG Invitational Photo Booth

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Thank you for attending the third annual MCG Invitational!

2014 MCG Invitational – Thursday May 8

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poster_2014_webThe third annual MCG Invitational continues the tradition of serving Pittsburgh area high-school students. By providing this opportunity, the MCG Invitational will highlight talent, reward achievement, and encourage hope among those who might otherwise be overlooked.

The MCG Invitational seeks to recognize excellence and extol achievement demonstrated by youth in urban and economically disadvantaged communities. By heralding these values, this exhibition will reward meritorious students with cash awards, prizes and post-secondary education scholarships.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 8, 2014. Submissions will be accepted March 1-23.

Click here for more info.

Process Masters

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process-mastersExemplary high school students, dubbed Process Masters, from the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Youth & Arts program will exhibit visual art from various mediums and several will give artist talks.

The exhibit opens Friday, April 25th at the Susan Zubik Welcome Center at Catholic Charities, 212 Ninth Street in downtown Pittsburgh, PA, from 5:30-9:00 pm in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl.

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