by Janet Jonus
Rivers of Steel opens their Carrie Furnaces site to the community for an afternoon of art, industry, and Family Fun.
Rivers of Steel’s Arts Community Day on July 21 at Carrie Furnaces celebrates the Pittsburgh area’s rich industrial history. Held on-site at the historic Carrie Furnaces in Braddock, the Community Day highlights the Rivers of Steel and the heritage of the region. Carrie Furnaces is the emblem of Rivers of Steel’s historical preservation and industrial history but there is so much more. Rivers of Steel also promotes art reflective of the region’s history, our industrial past, and our dynamic future.
The Community Day is held at Carrie Furnaces in Braddock, PA. The event runs from 1200PM-500PM. Highlights of the day include interactive art and science activities for the entire family, musical entertainment, artist demonstrations, industrial tours, and presentations by the Rivers of Steel.
Family-friendly activities include Live Aerosol Arts & Painting with the Rivers of Steel Arts Curator of Urban Art. Part demonstration, part hands-on activities, kids will learn about the techniques of color and composition as they contribute to art being made on the spot with Carrie Furnaces as the inspiration. Rivers of Steel Arts also presents a BIO/Cyanotype Workshop. Cyanotypes are a traditional photographic process that produces a blue and white print (literally a blueprint). This activity gives kids of all ages, and their parents and grandparents, the opportunity to make their own cyanotype based on the aquatic biology of our region’s rivers. The Carnegie Library of Braddock has a Silkscreen Activity. Kids can create and decorate their own silkscreen print on paper with a special silkscreen design for the Community Day. This is a fun, hands-on activity that FamilyFunPittsburgh has participated in at other events and we highly recommend it. Artist Curtis Reaves of C-clear in McKeesport has an activity sure to please kids, the Makie-Makie Slime Workshop. Kids get to make and play with slime.
Musical entertainment for the day is provided by Appalasia. The dynamic trio plays folk-inspired original compositions on the dulcimer, ehru and banjo. They will be playing on and off throughout the day.
Artist demonstrations highlight the industrial art of Western Pennsylvania. Woodcarving artist Aaron Booker brings his unique talents to the community day. Mr. Booker is known for his intricate chainsaw carvings of animals and wildlife. The Mobile Sculpture Workshop will have a demonstration of artistic welding as they build a metal sculpture. The MSW is an outreach of the Industrial Arts Center and brings industrial metal art to the public. Rivers of Steel Arts will have an aluminum casting demonstration. Aluminum casting has both industrial and artistic applications. Artists will use molten aluminum to cast works of art. Artifact Metalworks will be having blacksmith demonstrations. Blacksmithing is creating objects out of metal, usually steel or iron. Blacksmiths used to be an integral part of daily life, crafting everything from horseshoes to nails to pots for cooking.
Rivers of Steel will be offering two special tours. The Iron Garden Walk highlights the natural environment around Carrie Furnaces, and the Rivers of Steel’s management of them by using an “addition by reduction” approach to maintaining the wild environment. Rivers of Steel is also offering a “Mini Carrie Furnaces” Tour for an additional fee ($5.00 for adults, children 17 and under are free). Carrie Furnaces takes us back to the days when iron and steel were Kings. Rivers of Steel says, “The guided tour highlights the drama of the iron-making process, while sharing stories of the site’s technology, its workers and their culture.”
Food can be purchased on-site. Wings & A Prayer will have local comfort food and Snowie Cones. C & D Kitchen serves up soul food.
Portable toilets with a hand-washing station are available on-site. It is a natural, industrial location with a rough walking surface. Strollers and wheelchairs should be able to make it through most parts of the site.
Pay what you like at the door.
There is parking available on-site. While your GPS might not show it, Carrie Furnaces Boulevard is open off of the Rankin Bridge. Port Authority buses do not serve the site but Rivers of Steel is running buses from the following locations:
Carrie Furnace, Carrie Furnace Boulevard
Braddock Library, 419 Library Street, Braddock
Carnegie Free Library of Swissvale 1800 Monongahela Avenue
Rankin Christian Center, 230 3rd Ave., Rankin
Giant Eagle 420 E Waterfront Dr, Homestead, PA 15120
For more information, check out our calendar here: https://familyfunpittsburgh.com/event/community-day-rivers-of-steel-carrie-furnaces/ . Check out the Rivers of Steel website here: https://www.riversofsteel.com/ 412-464-4060 /
The entrance to Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104. Please note that this is a new road and may not be recognized by your GPS or online mapping programs; it normally works on Google Maps however.