Creativity belongs to all of us – a life without books, art, music, films, performances, or entertainment would be static and sterile. Pittsburgh has a vibrant arts scene that we can be proud of for sure. Just in the visual arts category, we have nationally renowned museums, galleries, high-quality art centers, and talented local artists (Pittsburgh is ranked 3rd for best city for artists in 2021).
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused severe and unanticipated hardship for the arts across the country. Many Pittsburgh arts organizations and venues are resilient and have found creative ways to continue bringing high-quality art experiences to Pittsburghers.
Learn about 10 small to mid-sized visual arts organizations and spaces in Pittsburgh that are worth your time. So, take a break from surfing the Internet and support one of them with a visit!
Artist Image Resources
www.artistsimageresource.org | 518 Foreland St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 | Northside Neighborhood
Have you decorated your room with a print before? You’ll be happy to know that Pittsburgh has Artists Image Resources (AIR), an artist-run, nonprofit laboratory for printmaking artists, educators, students, and the community. It hosts high-quality art exhibitions, holds printmaking classes, offers open studio hours, and provides functional studio spaces for resident artists to experiment and create art. AIR’s dynamic learning environment is where printmaking artists, students, and the public can learn from each other.
If you are interested in printmaking, take advantage of AIR’s community-based access to materials, facilities, and technical support for relief and intaglio printing, lithography, screenprinting, and digital printing services!
www.boomuniverse.co | 5139 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 | Garfield Neighborhood
Art is an inclusive expression for everyone. BOOM Concepts is dedicated to supporting the development of artists and creative entrepreneurs representing marginalized voices. BOOM provides spaces and resources for creatives of color to create work and showcase their unique voice through their auxiliary locations across Pittsburgh’s unique neighborhoods.
Before the pandemic, BOOM organized monthly art exhibitions, social gatherings, classes for the community, and more at their Garfield headquarters. However, the pandemic forced them to temporarily replace their monthly exhibition with a new artist-in-residence program and digital showcase of artists’ work on social media.
www.bunkerprojects.org | 5106 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 | Bloomfield Neighborhood
Bunker Project is an experimental gallery and an artist residency program supporting emerging artists in all disciplines. Specialized in contemporary and multidisciplinary art-making, it provides an immersive live-work-exhibition space and intimate cultural programming for the resident artists blending production, exhibition, and interpretation of art. In return, the Bunker Project resident artists provide Pittsburghers with envelope-pushing contemporary art experiences that are innovative, experimental, and authentic. Check out who is the next resident artist at Bunker Project!
Casey Droege Cultural Productions
caseydroege.com | Pittsburgh
Beyond museum institutions and nonprofit art organizations, local creatives and artists also support the creative economy in the region. Casey Droege Cultural Productions (CDCP) is an artist-run, woman-owned, disability-owned business highly active in the Pittsburgh artist community. CDCP’s many accomplishments include operating gallery spaces in Downtown Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg, initiating and sustaining a Community Supported Art subscription box (CSA PGH) for many years, and launching Small Mall, a concept store in Upper Lawrenceville.
CDCP bridges artists with Pittsburghs through SIX x ATE, a casual artist talk event featuring six artists and a meal from a cuisinier, and PGH Photo Fair, an annual fair that hosts international dealers and their photo projects in the Carnegie Museum of Art (this year it will be virtual).
contemporarycraft.org | 5645 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 | Upper Lawrenceville Neighborhood
Contemporary Craft is often described by those who know it as a hidden gem in Pittsburgh. Through innovative exhibitions, hands-on workshops, community outreach programs, and an exceptional store, Contemporary Craft engages Pittsburghers in creative experiences. It strives to bring thought-provoking and inspiring contemporary art in craft materials like metal, wood, ceramics, glass, fiber, found materials, and more by renowned international, nation, and regional artists.
Its philosophy of making art accessible to all is reflected in the organization’s free admission policy and the diversity of artists and exhibition themes it features. If you are looking for a unique gift or love to shop for one-of-a-kind art objects that you can use daily, you’ll fall in love with their store!
Pittsburgh Glass Center
www.pittsburghglasscenter.org | 5472 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 | Garfield Neighborhood
Have you seen glass blowing in action before? Pittsburgh is fortunate to have Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC), a nonprofit education center and expert in glass art. It is a space where anyone can take classes in glass art, explore the contemporary glass gallery, shop for local glass artists’ work, and be mesmerized by the live hot glass demonstrations.
In addition to actively engaging youth and emerging artists through glass, PGC invites world-renowned glass artists to Pittsburgh to host high-quality exhibitions and exceptional masterclasses. If you have never seen glass blowing, join one of the free Hot Jam sessions on the first Friday of each month for live hot glass demonstrations!
Office of Public Art
Opapgh.org | Public Art Across the Pittsburgh Region
Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art (OPA) has been behind the scenes beautifying the city with civically engaged public art, artist resources, and public programming. It envisions a Pittsburgh where artists are fully engaged to shape the public realm and catalyze community-led change collaboratively.
Before the pandemic, OPA offered a walking tour each month that took participants to different parts of the region to explore public art and civic design. Even though in-person public programming like the guided walking tour is currently temporarily on hold, art lovers can still download OPA’s Art in Public Places and Neighborhood Self-Guided Walking Tour Guides to explore the artistic side of Pittsburgh.
Silver Eye Center for Photography
silvereye.org | 4808 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 | Bloomfield Neighborhood
Photos allow us to capture and savor a moment in life. Photographers go beyond that and tell stories, history, and artistic vision through their work. Silver Eye Center for Photography is known for supporting emerging, mid-career, and under-recognized artists. It promotes the power of contemporary photography through original exhibitions, historical and contemporary photographs, unique educational programming, and a space for artists and photography lovers to learn, create, and connect.
Silver Eye is free and open to the public, but you can also explore Silver Eye from anywhere and anytime. Check out Bloomberg Connects, a free digital guide to access and engage with all of Silver Eye’s current and past exhibitions, series of virtual workshops, and programming.
UnSmoke Systems Artspace
unsmokeartspace.com | 1137 Braddock Avenue. Braddock, PA 15104 | Braddock
Braddock is a community that has gone through a lot of change over the years. UnSmoke Systems Artspace is one such change in Braddock. Being a project of Braddock Redux, UnSmoke shares the same belief in mobilizing teens, young adults, and like-minded people of all ages for the overall betterment of the Braddock area. UnSmoke is housed in a repurposed Catholic school building with the auditorium refashioned into a gallery and event venue and the classrooms converted into artist studio spaces.
Inspired by Braddock’s industrial character and historical importance, UnSmoke generates positive and intrepid ideas about the reuse of urban space, highlights artists, and hosts innovative events and programming. UnSmoke Systems contends that Braddock is fertile ground for creativity. Visit UnSmoke to experience the unique art scene in Braddock.
Other visual art places of note:
- Brew House Association
- Irma Freeman Center for Imagination
- Thoughtrobbers Gallery
- Union Project
- ZYNKA Gallery
Support these wonderful visual art spaces, nonprofit arts organizations, and local artists to keep Pittsburgh creative and artistic! Next up in the #Pittsburghproud blog series, we’ll share about the performing art spaces in Pittsburgh.
This post is a part of our #PittsburghProud blog series, where we highlight local organizations, businesses, and hidden gems that make Pittsburgh a vibrant and beautiful place. We are a Pittsburgh Internet Service Provider who loves and supports the community. You can read about how to plan the perfect Pittsburgh holiday party and how to up your gardening game with local garden centers on our blog too.
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