Blue Lapis Light
Blue Lapis Light
Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer. Photo by Jeff Mermelstein.

6. Jonathan Safran Foer at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall: June 9, 7 p.m.

It’s been 12 years since Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures has hosted acclaimed author Jonathan Safran Foer. He’s been quite productive since—publishing three award-winning novels and one nonfiction work, having his New York Times bestselling debut, Everything Is Illuminated, adapted into a feature film, making The New Yorker‘s “20 Under 40” list and being appointed to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Fans of Foer and contemporary literature have the chance to see the Brooklyn-based writer discuss his process and his first new novel in 10 years. The accolades have poured in for Here I Am: It was named a top book by TIME, Amazon and The Washington Post. Family crises, conflict in the Middle East and a devastating earthquake unfold as the novel examines “the meaning of home.” A Q&A and book signing will follow the lecture. Foer’s new book and backlist titles will be for sale via Classic Lines. Buy tickets.

Mattress Factory
Courtesy Mattress Factory.

7. Urban Garden Party at the Mattress Factory: June 16, 7:30 p.m.

How far would you go to throw the party of a lifetime? At the Mattress Factory, thinking way outside of the box is the golden rule—from presenting provocative installation art to staging its highly anticipated Urban Garden Party. This year will be super-sized, as the world-renowned museum celebrates 40 years. Garden Party devotees—there are thousands every June—have been entertained by everything from a half-pipe filled with daredevil skateboarders to a hot tub packed with models. For its 20th chapter, the anything-goes benefit bash will transport revelers to 1977, when the organization was founded by artist Barbara Luderowski. While roaming through the multi-sensory exhibits, scenic garden and festive tent, party-goers will enjoy live performances by Weird Eric, Beauty Slap, DJ Dave Zak, O’Ryan the O’Mazing, Steel City Kitty Burlesque and more. At one of the city’s best silent auctions, art lovers can bid on one-of-a-kind works by artists who have exhibited at the museum. The festivities continue at Rivers Casino for the “MF40 After-party.” Arrive early for the culinary creations and stay late for the people-watching. Buy tickets.

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol and Ann Miller © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

8. Stars of the Silver Screen at The Warhol Museum: June 16–September 24

Color-drenched diptychs of Marilyn Monroe. Captivating Polaroids of John Lennon. Bold portraits of Mao Zedong. With his consummate documentation of both daily life and celebrity culture, artist Andy Warhol was like a living version of Instagram decades before the technology existed. One of the 20th century’s most important artists, Warhol was also a huge fan of famous figures, and his artwork explores fame itself. Discover Warhol’s lifelong infatuation with fame, glamour and celebrity—from his childhood visits to Pittsburgh movie theaters in the 1930s, to the Frank Sinatra biography that sat on his hospital bedside table when he died in 1987. Culled from the museum’s vast collection, the exhibition connects Warhol to today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. See archival objects such as celebrity scrapbooks, film posters and souvenirs, watch segments from Warhol films, and view Pop Art portraits of Grace Kelly and Elvis Presley. On June 16 from 5 to 9:30 p.m., pop into the museum’s underground studio event, Factory Swing Shift, to participate in hands-on film and art activities in a relaxed environment.

Courtesy Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh.

9. Festa di Limoncello at Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh: June 17, 1-4 p.m.

Sip Italy’s second most popular liqueur, picture yourself lounging along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast and kick off the season of al fresco drinking and dining at Festa di Limoncello. The first-of-its-kind festival is bringing the mouth-watering flavors of Southern Italy to Downtown where Vallozzi’s will showcase delectable house-made liqueurs and small plates. Traditionally created from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, the century-old old liqueur is served chilled, often an after-dinner digestivo. The result is an irresistible combo of lemon zest, water, alcohol and sugar that’s refreshing anytime. In addition to classic limoncello, the restaurant will also serve grapefruit, strawberry and orange varieties, including authentic recipes passed down to owner Julian Vallozzi. Celebrate all things citrus as you enjoy tastings and pairings, take beach chic photo opps and tap your sandaled toes to world music. Helping to create the breezy vibe will be lush garlands and an open-air lounge lined with Amalfi’s signature striped beach umbrellas. Buy tickets.

Courtesy VisitPITTSBURGH.

10. Anthrocon at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: June 29-July 2

Stroll through Downtown this summer and you’ll encounter people clad in everything from Pirates gear to sundresses. Come June 29, keep your eyes peeled for the Burgh’s favorite adopted anthropomorphic creatures (sorry, Steely) populating our streets. That’s because the world’s largest gathering of people fascinated with anthropomorphics—aka humanlike animal characters—will gather en masse for Anthrocon. Fans will welcome Pittsburgh’s beloved convention back for four fun, fur-filled days when animators, costumers puppeteers, and everyday folks celebrate their collective fascination. The home of the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates is an ideal spot for Anthrocon’s new new “Batter Up!” theme which is celebrating America’s favorite pastime and featuring acclaimed voice actor Charlie Adler. The most important thing you need to know? Anthrocon’s gift to Pittsburgh, the Fursuit Walk, will delight animal lovers of all ages on July 1 at 2 p.m.,when 1,500 Furries lead a free outdoor parade for the public. Membership to Anthrocon is open to all, and you don’t have to wear a costume to attend the conference!

Check out more terrific events coming up in June in NEXTpittsburgh!

Read Top 11 family events in Pittsburgh this June and Your ultimate guide to summer concerts in Pittsburgh.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.