Best Visual Artists In Pittsburgh

April 14, 2014 6:00 AM

(Photo Credit: Web Intern Chelsey Sample/KDKA)

chung art Best Visual Artists In Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: KDKA

The visual arts are art forms that are primarily visual in nature, such as drawings, sculpture, painting, printmaking or video. Pittsburgh certainly is one of the nation’s epicenters of culture, and it’s no surprise that some of our greatest minds have come right from the Steel City itself. Read on for details about these fabulous artists, where you can obtain or see their work and more.

Jesse Best

Awarded 2013’s 15 Minutes Award at the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Design, Art & Technology Awards and Regional Art Exhibition, Jesse Best, for lack of a better term, is one of the best. Feeling jaded toward the uber-affected, often ostentatious modern art that divides the super intelligent from the layman, Best searched for a way to make his art accessible and appealing to that of the unrefined eye. Arming himself with simple tools, such as spray paint, resin and wood, Best creates beautiful 2-D imagery that is in part haunting and magical, and, most importantly, entices everyone who views it. Visit this unique artist’s website for gallery info and the latest on his most current pieces.

Tavia La Follette

A multi-media artist originally from Brooklyn, New York, this Pittsburgh transplant also knows a thing or two about performance and political art. She also is the director and founder of ArtUp, a non-profit gallery/performance space for artists and companies that are focused on exploring the inner workings of theater, visual arts and media. ArtUp lives in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. La Follette’s work has been featured in such outlets as Rolling Stone Magazine, The Economist and the New York Times. Most recently, she has exhibited work at the Mattress Factory and the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Mary Culbertson Stark

Mary Culbertson Stark creates beautiful imagery that takes utterly banal, everyday items and breathes new perspective into them. Her paintings and charcoal works can be found at GalleriE Chiz in Shadyside, and Lakemont Farms in Pittsburgh. She’s also currently working on a chapbook with illustrations and a charcoal collection. For more information on this remarkable artist, or for gallery exhibitions and pricing, visit her website or

Related: Hot Local Eco-Artists

Harrison Apple

Harrison Apple graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where he promptly began his work in LGBTQ public history. His project, entitled Vogue Pittsburgh Preservation, is an exhibition project collecting oral histories and video for the vogue/ballroom and drag pageant circuits of Pittsburgh. The collection functions as a community history archive. In addition, his charming collection of photographs from the scene of the 6110 Penn-Excavation, depicting the social history of the after-hours crowd, were on display in the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kim Beck

Using images of architecture and landscape, Kim Beck works in a range of media – think charcoal drawings, cutout sculptures and prints that highlight peripheral and suburban spaces. She has exhibited all over Pittsburgh, including in the Mattress Factory, The Children’s Museum and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Ms. Beck also teaches at Carnegie Mellon University. For more information on her unique talent, gallery exhibitions or pricing, visit her website.

Related: Local Artist Spotlight: Jim Rugg

Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at

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