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Pittsburgh Glass Center opens doors for a night of teen art

Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Tech apprentices Katie Plunkard (back), 25, and Margaret Spacapan, 22, both of Friendship, work blowing glass at the Pittsburgh Glass Center on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. The center will host a teen art night in September.

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If you go

What: “Play by the Fire”

Where: Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 13

Cost: Free

Details: 412-365-2145,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

If your teenage son or daughter has an artistic side, the Pittsburgh Glass Center in East Liberty has just the event for them.

The center, located on Penn Avenue, will host its first teen art night in September, inviting children between ages 13 and 18 to express themselves and connect with a variety of artistic mediums.

Center Youth Education coordinator Jason Forck developed the idea, center marketing director Paige Ilkhanipour said.

“He came to us with an idea about collaborating with some of the other artist groups throughout the city and bringing them all to the kids under one roof,” Ilkhanipour said.

Shortly afterward, 10 artist organizations including the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh's Makeshop, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Carnegie Library had signed on to provide an evening of creativity.

Interested participants can register through the center's website,

The event is limited to about 200 registrants.

“When the kids arrive, they'll be able to just dive right into a variety of art-making projects,” Ilkhanipour said.

“There will be glass-blowing, silk-screen printing, ceramics, photography and more.”

Live music will be provided by the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh-based DJ duo Tracksploitation and the Swag Monkeys, a “'tween” band that recently performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Mattress Factory artists will help teens combine a small motor, battery, trash and a marker to create a unique drawing; Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will host a booth where teens can create a jewelry pendant, earrings or a keychain using an enameling process, which fuses glass to metal.

The only project participants won't immediately be able to take home with them is blown glass.

“It has to cool slowly overnight, but they can come out the next day and pick it up,” Ilkhanipour said.

In addition to firing glass pieces, the 2,000-degree furnace will also be used to cook pizzas and s'mores for those in attendance.

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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