- A. J. Samuels
Pittsburgh is well known for its supportive arts community and is home to many important cultural and contemporary art venues such as the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, and the Frick Historical Centre. These ten galleries and arts centers provide a selection of the city’s best alternative, independent venues for contemporary art, with a strong focus on regional specialties and community engagement.
Wood Street Galleries
Wood Street Galleries is operated by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The gallery itself features new media art and holds a number of solo and thematic group shows throughout the year by established and up-and-coming new media talents. Among others, the gallery has previously exhibited work by the internationally renowned artist Nam June Paik. The unique space is also suited to presenting inspiring experimental performance works such as the Frameworks premiere performance by dance collective Gia T Presents, which took place in February 2014. Wood Street Galleries also contains the Trust’s shared office space program providing a home and tools for small arts organizations. The gallery and the trust provide an extensive program of high-quality cultural events in Pittsburgh.
Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 471 5605
Non-profit art gallery SPACE is located in what used to be a downtown video pornography store. This unique gallery’s mission is the realization of a working, integrated and open art ecosystem in Pittsburgh. The gallery holds a number of solo and thematic group shows throughout the year such as the Paper Politics exhibition which examined social and political themes through printmaking. SPACE values the creation of new forms of artistic expression and presents works across a variety of media including contemporary technologies alongside more traditional mediums of sculpture and photography. The gallery aims to broadcast selected artworks to the broadest possible audience showcasing works by established and emerging local and national artists. SPACE also hosts regular experimental projects, openings, artist talks, and events such the popular ‘share pickups’ where patrons can collect art ‘shares’.
SPACE, 812 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa, USA, +1 412 325 7723
Concept Art Gallery
Concept Art Gallery, owned by Sam Berkovitz, was established in 1972. The gallery represents and exhibits works by many of Pittsburgh’s most established artists alongside other nationally and internationally recognized creatives. Their collection includes contemporary graphics by well-known American and European artists, including Richard Diebenkorn, April Gornik, Jenny Holzer, Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, Glen Ligon, and many others. The gallery’s other focus is on contemporary realist paintings and historical industrial images of Pittsburgh, featuring works by Hetzel, Aaron Gorson, and Henry Koerner, and photographic works by Luke Swank, Selden Davis, and Ross Altwater. This collection is an important regional specialty for the gallery and is unique in Pittsburgh.
Concept Art Gallery, 1031 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 242 9200
Society for Contemporary Craft
Since 1971 the Society for Contemporary Crafts has offered cutting-edge exhibitions of craft media by international, national and regional artists. Established by Elizabeth Rockwell Raphael to broaden opportunities for craft artists, and to exhibit and sell their work, the Society’s focus is on multicultural diversity and non-mainstream art. The Society is one of America’s only non-profit institutions to focus completely on contemporary craft. Since their inception, they have organized over 140 thematic exhibitions and featured works by more than 1,400 artists including those from underrepresented groups such as Native American, Korean, and African-American artists. Alongside each exhibition, the Society runs interpretive programs, lectures, performances, and weekend events to engage visitors in the creative process of contemporary craft and design.
Silver Eye Center for Photography
Silver Eye Center for Photography was established in 1979 as two separate organizations: Blatent Image Gallery, a cooperative gallery which provided exhibition space to local fine art photographers, and The Silver Eye Photographic Workshop, which brought nationally renowned photographers to Pittsburgh to exhibit their work and to conduct workshops. The organizations merged in 1985, changing their name to Silver Eye Center for Photography in 1992. Unique to Pittsburgh area for their commitment to the understanding, appreciation, education, and promotion of photography, Silver Eye is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary photography and photo-based multimedia. Their exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and interactive gallery tours, among other events, celebrate photography both as an expressive art form and as a medium for visual communication.
The unique Gallerie Chiz is like no other in Pittsburgh. Curated by Ellen Chisdes Neuberg, their collection showcases quality work by regional and international artists including insider and outsider art by artists such as the established and widely collected Daniel Belardinelli, and Canadian artist Scott Griffin. The works on show encompass a wide range of styles and mediums including paintings, sculpture, photography, handmade books, furniture, clay, glass, wood, jewelry, and wearable art. Other represented artists of note are Alfonso DeWindt, Manuela Holban, Salvador DiQuinzio, Carlos Sanchez Vegas, Mary Solberg, Marjorie Shipe, Ronald Coleman, Karl Mullen, Susan Middleman, Elizabeth Fortunato, Doreen Baskin, Stephen Gleasner, and Liverpool’s Chiz Turnross. Chisdes Neuberg’s mission is to introduce quality visual art to the discerning public in a large range of affordable prices and to create a fun and non-intimidating experience.
Gallerie Chiz, 5831 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 441 6005
Future Tenant is not tied to one specific physical venue in Pittsburgh. The roaming gallery takes up work wherever there is an empty space, gathering groups of inspiring artists and providing a vibrant program of exhibitions by emerging and established local talent. Future Tenant provides a unique laboratory setting for artists, arts managers and audiences in which to explore the limits of creative expression, presentation, and interpretation of a variety of art forms. The gallery presents a wide range of raw, innovative art across visual, literary, and performance disciplines. Future Tenant aims to engage with audiences and artists alike, providing exhibition and professional development opportunities whilst cultivating a non-traditional artistic environment in which they can thrive.
Future Tenant, 819 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 325 7037
Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery
Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery was established in 1997 as Pittsburgh’s first art gallery dedicated to exhibiting contemporary studio glass. Their focus is on sculpture, goblets, glass jewelry, and mixed media by emerging and established glass artists both from the United States and abroad. The collection includes Robert Dane’s unusual and collectible tutti-frutti goblets, sophisticated jewelry by Karen Gilbert and Beth Williams, and colorful cast-glass pieces by renowned Australian glass artist Warren Langley. The annual Morgan Contemporary Glass winter show is a key event on the Pittsburgh arts calendar featuring works by artists who either work or teach at the famous Pittsburgh Glass Centre. This exhibition highlights the importance of cooperation and collaboration within the local arts and studio glass communities bringing together works by many of the region’s most established glass artists including Chris Clarke, Ron Desmett, and Jason Forck.
Situated in West End Village, James Gallery is just a short drive from downtown Pittsburgh. The gallery, known for fine art across all media, represents a number of accomplished regional and international artists such as Patricia Bellan-Gillen, Scott Amrhein, and James Nesbitt. Their network includes both emerging and established talents, and the well-curated exhibitions shine a light on art from the region and beyond. To complement its dynamic schedule of exhibits, James Gallery provides a space for education and entertainment, with lively events happening throughout the year, and a private sculpture garden, which conjoins two historic buildings, each with unique characteristics.
James Gallery, 413 S Main St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 922 9800
Box Heart Gallery
Box Heart Gallery is owned by Nicole Capozzi and Joshua Hogan. Inspired by a letter written by Ansel Adams in 1937, the pair based their gallery on the idea that, ‘Art is both love and understanding, the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of the self.’ In their endeavor to embody this statement, Box Heart have created a strong exhibition program of both experimental and blue-chip shows by a diverse group of artists across a variety of media from formal painting to conceptual construction. They also hold an annual Anniversary Exhibit featuring new works by their represented artists including Sonja Sweterlitsch and Seth Clark. Each show by Box Heart is carefully curated with a clear eye for contemporary artistic expression.
Box Heart Gallery, 4523 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, +1 412 687 8858
By Lauren England