Personality Test: Stephanie Armbruster
To say that Stephanie Armbruster is an artist with hot ideas would be an understatement.
Armbruster works mainly as an encaustic painter, meaning she blends molten, hot wax with colored pigments to create images on transparent surfaces.
"It's just always been a part of me," the Carnegie Mellon University grad says of her artistic bug.
Raised in Cleveland, Armbruster has lived most of her life in post-industrial communities. So, it seemed fitting that she would draw much of her inspiration from the industrial mosaic that is purely Mid-Atlantic.
In some of her works, the West Mifflin resident attempts to the tell the story of Pittsburgh's transformation — or, at least, some of it — from a rough-and-tumble industrial town into one that is evolving to find its way post-steel-industry bust. Her artwork was featured at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in an April solo show and last year at the 709 Penn Gallery. She received high acclaim, particularly for "Hungry Ghosts," an encaustic piece. Check out her work at www.stephaniearmbruster.com
The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:
According to a survey of my friends, Audrey Hepburn or Anne Hathaway.
The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had.
A bracelet that had a little wind-up music box as a charm.
The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:
I wish I could apply the Photoshop edit-undo feature to real-life scenarios.
I can't live without my: iPod, cellphone, DVR, or laptop?
Exercise I hate most:
App I wish I could invent:
I'd invent an app that could tell me how late I was going to be given a destination and departure time.
When I was 10, I wanted to be:
An artist. I've always wanted to be an artist.
Favorite guilty pleasure:
Standing on a bridge over train tracks as the train passes directly underneath me. The wind and sound are incredible.
Best mistake I've ever made:
Staying in Pittsburgh
Something I would do over if I could and why:
Unemployment. Despite the financial hardship, if I were to do it all over again, I would use the time to travel and seek out new experiences.
E. I hate sports
None; I like soccer.
Childhood hero and why:
Batman. I liked that he was dark and mysterious.
Favorite lunchtime spot:
Sun Penang or Penn Avenue Fish Co.
Top thing on my "Bucket List" to do before I'm gone:
I'd like to scuba dive in Belize or the Great Barrier Reef.
In five years, I'd like to:
Have a successful show at a reputable gallery in a major city
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:
The friends that I've made here
Star I'd like to dance with on "Dancing With the Stars":
Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:
The Carrie Furnace
One word my mother would use to describe me:
My favorite reality show:
"RuPaul's Drag Race"
Favorite brunch food:
Frittata with fresh greens
Three people I'd love to have dinner with:
Julie Mehretu, William Kentridge and Matthew Ritchie
My quirkiest inherited trait:
Compulsively buying certain grocery items - right now, it's edamame. I buy a bag every time I go to the store.
Favorite sandwich, plus fixings:
Grilled fish tacos with panela, poblanos, pico de gallo, radishes, avocado, cilantro and lime
My first job:
Working for a guy who trained and bred exotic birds - age 13
My worst job:
A tie between the birds and dry cleaning
Oldest thing in my refrigerator:
A seriously past-due avocado
The best concert I've ever seen:
Underworld live in Central Park, New York City
Saturday mornings, you'll find me:
Young Rutger Hauer
TV marathon I could watch all day and why:
"The Wire," "Breaking Bad" or "Battlestar Galactica." They all keep me wanting to know what happens next.
Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:
Best new gadget I've tried recently:
The worst advice I ever received:
To do the safe thing instead of taking a risk
In high school, I was:
A black-wearing artist chick and a part-time waitress
What you'll always find in my glove compartment:
My most embarrassing junk food:
Anything involving artificial cheese
My most treasured fashion accessory is:
A good pair of boots or my Zuni bracelet
If I wasn't an artist, I'd be:
The last book I read:
"Dance Dance Dance," by Haruki Murakami
My favorite website:
My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:
Tie between Pizza Sola and Napoli's
My favorite cable channel:
I'm deathly afraid of:
My most memorable fashion mistake:
Wearing a black cocktail dress and heels to a friend's medieval re-enactment wedding
My childhood nickname was:
The movie that always makes me cry:
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:
Someone more confident
Life would be better without:
Stress and social pressure
If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:
Matthew Dear or Booka Shade
I never travel without my:
People would be surprised to know that I:
Occasionally collect insects as a hobby, and I volunteered in the entomology department at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in college