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Everyone has a story that should be heard. I'm here to collect.

Ryan Keene / Alloy Pittsburgh (mini ep)

A few pictures from the day of the opening

This past Saturday I was very lucky to be invited to the opening of Alloy Pittsburgh.

At first, it wasn't clear what lay in store for us. The trip out to Braddock was quite pleasant, the brief wait in the unshaded parking lot slightly less so, and the ride on the shuttle gave you time to fill out a waiver that confirmed my choice to wear Doc Martins that day. It wasn't until the shuttle turned off the bumpy gravel path and the narrow road opened up into an expansive field that it started coming together. We were going to see some art in an untraditional setting, and it was going to be really fucking cool. My partner David looked at me with child-like glee in his eyes, "This is the best place you've ever brought us!"

The enormous and ancient piece of machinery known as the Carrie Furnace sits peacefully in retirement along the Monongahela. The mostly volunteer staff from both Alloy Pittsburgh and Rivers of Steel where gracious, welcoming, and incredibly informative. Basic explanation: Rivers of Steel is an organization devoted to preserving the history and cultural impact of the steel industry in South Western PA, (learn more here). Alloy Pittsburgh is a collaboration between ROS and the Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania creating an opportunity for 15 artists to create site specific work at the Carrie Furnace.

After the quick background on the project and the furnace, we were allowed to walk around freely. The dangerous spots were all roped off with caution tape. It was one of the most beautiful afternoons I'd had in a long time. Before leaving, I was able to talk to one of the artist featured at the event, Ryan Keene. Listen to our chat and enjoy a sampling of the pictures I took while poking around the hauntingly gorgeous space.

On the shuttle ride back to the parking lot, David and I meditatively watched a train speed past, opposite of our direction. We were both tuckered out after hours of running outside in the sun like children. We don't get moments like that enough.

Thank you so much to Stacy and Ryan Keene for inviting us out to the event; Bill, Marsha, Eric and all the other volunteers; Salt of the Earth and East End Brewery for great catering; Rivers of Steel and Alloy Pittsburgh for an outstanding show.

Ryan Keene on the Internet