PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Held quarterly throughout the year, the night of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Art Gallery Crawl is one of the best times to visit downtown Pittsburgh. People young and old come out to see locally created art, whether it’s painting, photography, sculpture, video, mixed media, or sometimes even performance art or robotics, and all in varying styles. Here’s a quick look of what you can expect from someone who never misses a crawl!
Art Gallery Crawl
Date: Friday, July 15, 2011 (& quarterly throughout the year)
Time: 5:30 pm – 9 pm
Location: Various locations in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District
Photo Gallery: Scenes From An Art Gallery Crawl
Variety of Exhibits
One of the best things about the Crawl is the variety: there are so many exhibits that if you don’t like the art on display at one gallery, just walk 25 feet and you can find something more to your liking.
The gallery crawls don’t just offer enjoyment for the eyes. Live music — often performed within the galleries, and also al fresco at the Agnes Katz Plaza (at 7th St. and Penn Ave) offers a treat for the ears as well! DJs at different galleries round out the music being played.
Besides the art and music, the crawl offers the chance to meet new people and to do a little people watching. Speaking of watching people, you’ll find everyone from the artist and the bohemian to the pedestrian, and the strictly business mixing with the student body. Even the tourist gets involved on one of these active nights. On Friday, April 29th—the most recent Gallery Crawl—this blogger spotted groups of tourists and convention-goers from Asia, from western Europe, and from Scandinavia, and also met a friendly couple from Mexico City. Art and music know no borders.
Luckily for your feet, the Cultural District’s downtown Gallery Crawl does know borders: Liberty Ave. and Penn Ave., more or less, and from Theater Square up past Katz Plaza to the David Lawrence Convention Center. The Cultural Trust often has postcard-like maps available at an information table on Liberty Ave., displaying participating locations for the evening’s crawl. You’ll find that it’s all very walkable.
Park in one of the local garages offering special evening rates, and avoid all of that late-enforced metered parking. Who has the quarters? If you have an iPhone, download the free ParkPGH app, which neatly gives real-time information on which downtown garages have parking available. On an Android phone, point your phone’s browser to http://m.parkpgh.org for the same information. Using any computer, http://parkpgh.org has more information about this helpful parking utility, and different ways to access the information.
A Host Of Participating Galleries
Once you’re downtown, within minutes you can hit any of the two dozen locations that typically participate in the gallery crawl, like the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, at 980 Liberty Ave., and Bricolage, at 937 Liberty Ave., to SPACE (812 Liberty Ave.), ToonSeum (945 Liberty), and Wood Street Galleries—housed above the Wood Street T Station. And don’t forget 707 Penn Gallery, 709 Penn Gallery, and Future Tenant (819 Penn Ave.). Click here for the full listing from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Food & Drink
Since the crawl goes from 5:30 p.m. til 9 p.m., there’s always time enough to have a bite to eat or something to drink. If you get thirsty, step into the Backstage Bar (655 Penn Ave.); for dinner, try Tonic (971 Liberty Ave.). Both venues usually participate in the Crawl, with live musicians, specially-displayed artwork, or both. Or walk a block or two to one of the many other restaurants downtown, like August Henry’s, Bella Sera, Eleven, Olive Or Twist, Seviche, Six Penn Kitchen, Sonoma Grille, and many more.
On the other hand, why walk farther than 808 Liberty Ave., where Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts offers delicious food and drink prepared by its students and sold at exceptionally low cost? The Institute also displays beautiful sculptures for the Crawl created from tallow and sugar—definitely not something most of us see everyday.
For a fun, energetic, yet relaxed vibe, it’s hard to beat the quarterly Gallery Crawl downtown. Maybe we’ll see you there!