1) Stop by the Artists in Mission Gallery this Friday night to experience one of this month’s featured presentations of Unblurred: First Fridays on Penn Avenue, the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative’s monthly gallery crawl that highlights a variety of visual and performing arts, as well as clubs and restaurants along Penn Avenue (6 p.m. – 2 a.m., most events free). The July 5 Crawl presents Bradley Carter, a Chicago-based artist whose work aims to dissect the assumptions we hold—both positive and negative—about religion and religious structure. By turning toward the intellectual and conceptual questions we raise with regard to religion, scripture, and more general notions of the divine, Carter hopes to show how “both art and faith have taught [him] that the process is at least as important as the destination”—unless, of course, your destination is his show, in which case you’d better hurry over to Penn Avenue. 7 – 11 p.m. Free. Artists in Mission Gallery, 5159 Penn Ave., Garfield.
2) If you find yourself staring at your feet on a Friday night, then put on your dancing shoes and hop on over to the St. Clair Park Amphitheater in Greensburg. Every Friday from June to August there’s a different group of musicians who take part in what has been called “the best outdoor music series in Western PA.” This Friday features Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution, a self-proclaimed “12-piece explosion of love” whose Brooklyn roots and New Orleans influence unite to create an invigorating combination of gospel, rock, jazz, and soul. Last year, rain kept The Love Revolution from finishing their set; this year, they’re back to show Mother Nature who’s boss, and to leave us, as they put it, “with one hell of a revolution on your hands.” 7 p.m. Free. Preshow music by Donna O from 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. St. Clair Park Amphitheater, 135 N. Maple Ave.
3) If The Love Revolution sounds a little too lively for your taste, you might prefer an evening under the stars on the Great Lawn at Clayton, the famed Frick Estate and Art & Historical Center. First Fridays at the Frick takes place on the first Friday of the month from June to September and features an array of contemporary musicians who perform while audiences enjoy an evening of food, friends, and music. This Friday presents Robert Michaels, a Toronto native whose ability to infuse classical guitar with deep-rooted elements of jazz and Flamenco has gained him recognition in the Canadian jazz and classical guitar scene. All six of his albums have gone platinum in Canada, so come see him (and Larry Crowe, a fellow Canadian who will be accompanying Michaels on drums) in Pittsburgh before his shows start selling out. $5 suggested donation. 7 p.m. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze.
4) If you’d prefer to sing your own songs this Friday, head over to Upper Lawrenceville’s Blue Moon for its Friday night karaoke. The rainbow flag in the window and the male mannequin busts lining the back wall will let you know you’re in the right place for belting out show tunes or big diva ballads. The cheap drinks and wide array of karaoke choices will keep you there until closing, and the running commentary between surprisingly talented singers and the snarky DJ will certainly keep you entertained, even if you’d rather not sing your heart out. Friday evenings 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. Free. 5115 Butler St., Lawrenceville.
5) “Look closely,” suggests the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s introduction to its newest exhibit, Lifeforms, which runs today through Nov. 17. The showcase features works of art inspired by Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka’s glass biological models, which were made for Harvard University’s museums in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Robert Mickelsen, inspired by the Blaschkas’ work, conceived of the exhibit as a way of demonstrating the means by which acts and products of science can morph into art. Over 100 pieces were submitted from places as varied as Scotland, Australia, Japan, Italy, England, and Canada; 50 were chosen for the exhibit, whose opening reception begins Friday at 6 p.m. Of his endeavor, Mickelsen says, “the representation of natural forms has been a tradition in glass for as long as humans have worked the material…But no one has ever succeeded in such accurate and realistic representation as the Blaschkas. This may be because no one has been tasked with the challenge the way the Blaschkas were–until now.” 6 – 9 p.m. Free, with hot glass demonstrations and light refreshments. 5472 Penn Ave., Garfield.