Within the last 5 years of my life here in Pittsburgh, Pabst Blue Ribbon has sure been a main catalyst in many interesting experiences for me. I know they’ve been around for much longer then that, but you see, I’m from a more rural area that enjoys Keystone & Coroes Light ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ As far as an affordable light laugher goes, here in the city, I’ll drink PBR, and I'll probably even buy it, though I am a cider or wine kinda gal. The reason being heavily reliant on the incorporation of art for their promotional material and on the cans themselves. With an art and design focus, I truly eat that shit up, or should I say gulp. . .
Pabst has been supplying interesting and truly inspiring art design from artists to beer consumer for a while now. At the very least, the art has expanded within the the past half decade; this year marking the 6th year of The Pabst Blue Ribbon National Art Contest. This competition is an open opportunity for artists to submit their work as 2D Art Can Designs with a recent addition of a Digital Media category. I’ve been enjoying these designs through my years of drinking Pabst as I’m sure many other artsy millennials have. All of which I can only guess has continued to inspire some pretty amazing things for PBR and the art community.
Every year, each city with Pabst Blue Ribbon marketing representation is required to throw an art show and the curators are given the freedom to be as creative as they’d like. Pittsburgh’s handler of all events and sponsorship with music, art, and lifestyle related to PBR is Laura Janov who has been working for Pabst for a little over three years. With this job Laura says that she has, “had opportunities to work with so many different creative people who have opened my mind to various possibilities with events in Pittsburgh. I’m lucky enough to have a job that supports my ideas, and the ideas of others, while giving artists a platform.”
Her background coated in creativity and design mixed with some innovative persons surrounding her; Laura’s idea began to take root. She explains that, “I’ve been at this job for awhile now and I wanted to do something unique, but was stumped. A tube TV kept making its way back on to my porch, after continuing to try to throw it away, I learned you can’t throw these away due to environmental regulations.”
Inspired by a friend who encouraged her to recycle the outdated electronic pieces in an art show and after some muddleling around, the idea of PBR AV Club was born. Laura then slowly started to build a team of the right artists and it morphed, with their help, into what is to become on October 6th.
Along with Production Manager Todd Keebs, installation artist Kyle A. Adams, and some help from Chris Boles owner of RedFishBowl who coordinated all animation artists, this idea was brought to life. While booking all visual and performing artists, Laura and Keebs deliberated over what acts would work to make the performances flow seamlessly with the artwork and visuals. Laura assures us that “In the end we came out with an amazing lineup of local talent. Kyle provided all the installation gear and more knowledge into how the installation might happen, working with Keebs to bring the original idea to fruition. Watching those two workout how to bring this totally raw idea to reality was amazing to experience.”
In the words of the production manager Todd Keebs, “This event incorporates original animations and visuals from local and national artists, mixed live with other video content, and all displayed on projectors and with a large array of LCD monitors… plus a few other fun surprises! The soundtrack for the evening will be provided by a variety of local musicians ranging from experimental electronic music to synth-pop to live mash-ups of music spanning the last 4 decades.”
Laura and Keebs both frequently talk of local artists as I interview them; something that is truly expanded upon with this event. Ever since Keebs has been to Art Basel, which is an organization with a driving force in supporting the role galleries play in nurturing the careers of artists while also giving initiative to local art scenes and helps create international collaborations, his thoughts have amplified. Keebs says that “PIttsburgh's come a long way in recent years, but also has a long way to go, so supporting local artists is one of the best way to do that.” Laura shares that, “The Importance of local art here in Pittsburgh is that it does what it should do, it brings us all together. In our fairly small city, local art has a real sense of community where everyone knows everyone. It’s a reasonably judgement free zone, where we are all free to create and work together to build Pittsburgh’s art community together and feed off one another's energy, or just simply support each other, just simply be there.”
An event with the name AV Club definitely fills me with reminiscent energy and flows brainwaves back to very fond memories. I had to see if these guys were also in the AV Club, where dreams of the tech-nerd-teenagers took flight and where I found out how cool these different platforms of communication can be. Unfortunately Laura’s school was small and underfunded, so AV Club didn’t exist. Though also at a school without one, Keebs maneuvered his own way. “We didn't have an AV Club, per se, though I did somehow manage to convince my school to let me spend a few periods a week in an rarely-used recording / mixing studio in the basement to experiment with synthesizers and re-mixing old multi-track recordings from the 80's. So I guess you could say I had an AV Club of one.”
Being the only AV Club event happening with PBR in the country, If you weren’t in the program in high school, no worries, this is going to be even better, and it's here in Pittsburgh! This really cool event on October 6th at 3577 Studios is going to give you a super artsy example of what it might have felt like to be super excited and nerdy about all things AV related. The location’s address is at 3577 Bigelow Blvd starting and it starts at 10pm going until late. There will most definitely be PBR beer there and entry is free to the public, also SHAMELESS PLUG, a gif of mine will be featured in the instal YALL SHOULD STOP BUY ITS GONNA BE REAL FUN!