Awesome Pittsburgh – See, Buy, Make

This weekend was sunny and beautiful in Pittsburgh. Friday night was the monthly Unblurred gallery crawl in Garfield and the Three Rivers Arts Festival was in full swing. I felt so enamored with Pittsburgh this weekend that I thought I would write a series of posts highlighting some of my favorite things about the Steel City, whether you’re visiting, relocating, or a long-time resident.?

Pittsburgh is Art

First and foremost – Pittsburgh’s Art Scene. Not only do we have Unblurred every month, which features free openings at a bunch of galleries and performance spaces all in a walkable area along Penn Avenue, but we also have the Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District. Organized by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, this free quarterly crawl takes place in walkable downtown Pittsburgh and boasts free family-friendly openings at over 20 galleries, theaters, schools and other cultural locations. Home to several major museums, such as the Carnegie Museum of Art and Andy Warhol Museum, smaller galleries and art centers also stand prominently in the local and national scene, such as our own Society for Contemporary Craft, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Pittsburgh Glass Center.?

The summer always brings with it the excitement of the Three Rivers Art Festival, a free 10-day event featuring over 400 artists, numerous exhibitions, hands-on activities for all ages, outdoor concerts, films, theater and dance performances and lobster burgers.

2011 Three Rivers Arts Festival.
To find out more about Pittsburgh’s art galleries, local artist Rick Byerly volunteers his time to keep a fabulous blog about, you guessed it, Pittsburgh art galleries! A great way to get to know the city through art is by going on the Sprout Public Art Walking Tour. This tour offers a free printable brochure/map that integrates with your cell phone to give an in-depth look at the cities unique murals.

Learn more about the Sprout Fund Here!
Not only is there amazing art to see, but lots of opportunities to start your own art collection! I think we have some of the best buying opportunities around, from stores that are open daily to annual events. Contemporary Craft’s Store features the best international, national, and regional craft artists in our centrally located space in the Strip District and online. We have a strong focus on emerging artists, giving collectors the opportunity to get an inside look and first pick at the hottest new artists! Wildcard in Lawrenceville focuses on local artists and crafters, from cards to t-shirts. Not only does this store and gallery have great artwork, but the space itself is a piece of art with a floor crafted from sliced tree branches and aged brick walls. The opportunities to see and buy local art extend into the frequent, nomadic indie craft fairs organized by the I Made It Market and the once yearly Handmade Arcade, which features a juried selection of DIY artists from across the country as well as free hands-on activities.

Finally, with all of this art, there must be a lot of opportunities to MAKE! From film-making to stained-glass, if you want to learn it, you can find it in Pittsburgh. Classes are available at Contemporary Craft’s Studio, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Union Project, The Pittsburgh Glass Center and so many other awesome places that I can’t list them all.

Students working on a project during one of Contemporary Craft’s Artist and Kids workshops.

There is too much art in Pittsburgh to condense into one short post – Pittsburgh is Art. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section! My next Awesome Pittsburgh post will be about Braddock…which I guess isn’t technically Pittsburgh, but it’s close enough. Stay tuned!