January Gallery Crawl Must-See List

Published On January 17, 2015 | By Leah Kennedy | The Arts
Gallery Crawl Cool Shot

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Located in the heart of the city, The Pittsburgh Cultural District is known for its frequent and abundant involvement within the arts community. Four times a year, the organization hosts a free, quarterly exhibit downtown, fondly recognized as the Pittsburgh Gallery Crawl. This year’s first edition of the Crawl is now officially underway, and locals are encouraged to embrace our city’s community of wide ranged, local creators and talent.

An always promising experience, the Gallery Crawl delivers a multitude of artwork for guests to be inspired by, allowing visitors to indulge in creative passions, or take on a new venture by participating in activities or workshops. And if you’d rather just admire beauty from afar, you’ll have multiple chances to feast your eyes on the many exhibits and installations, all displaying a versatile selection of highly contrasting, eye catching, and thought-provoking pieces.

From 5:30 to 10PM on Jan. 23, shows will be stationed throughout the Strip District and Cultural District, featuring an expansive collection of artwork curated by your favorite local artists.  In addition, this year’s daytime events are completely free, including yoga classes, dance lessons, installation art, and live music. There are countless exhibits to choose from, so we put together a list of exhibits, shows and galleries to check out below:

Absence of Self

A favorite among many, the Wood Street Gallery exhibits provide uniquely inspiring perspectives to each guest. One of our suggested picks includes their Absence of Self exhibit, which is meant to portray artworks meditating art’s reflective ability and the absence of immediate self in various disciplines. The exhibit includes installations, video projections and ‘flicker’ objects, such as the Seeing With Eyes Closed display pictured below, to the left. Designed by Ivana Franke, the LED simulation is programmed to flicker between 12 and 50 hertz. Visitors are encouraged to sit in front of the display with their eyes closed for a little over three minutes. With the unpredictability of visual responses to light stimuli, participation in the art installation raises the question of subjectivity and authorship, as participants are said to have ‘conscious quasi-hallucinatory images’ (or visuals behind closed eyes) during the experiment. In essence, the “work” happens in our body and depends on our experience, as well the boundary between public and intimate space.

Soul Sessions

Enjoy a flavorful, eclectic blend of live soul, funk, and R&B music taking place at the Trust Arts Education Center. Performances include R&B artist and multifaceted entertainer, Aaron “AB” Abernathy, and his band, Nat Turner; beginning at 6:30PM, DJ Nate Da Phat Barber will be running the decks to open up the night!

Urban Pathways Gallery feat. Sounds of Steel

The Urban Pathways 6-12 Gallery on Penn Ave will feature a family oriented environment with artwork from its attending students, accompanied by the tempting opportunity to relive a favorite childhood pastime: Hula-hooping sessions will be open all night long for those that are brave enough to give it a whirl. Students will also be giving art tours throughout the gallery, accompanied by the Sounds of Steel band, who will be entertaining guests with their dreamy, uplifting steel drum rhythms.

Shortfilm and Flicks

Harris Theater will be hosting Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ collection of Allegheny County-produced short films. The short form cinema will be running on a loop throughout the evening, with tons of other talented Pittsburgh artists accompanying these shows. One film recommended for viewing: Polyester… Presented in Odorama!, a John Waters original, accompanies with it a scratch ‘n sniff card to transport you into the realm of “a suburban housewife tormented by an adulterous husband, perverted offspring and bad smells.” Heighten your senses and align yourself with the characters’ emotional connections to particular smells each time you’re instructed to take a whiff from the card.

Another thing to keep in mind: Attendees can support Car Free Friday by biking, carpooling, walking, or taking the bus to the event. Free bike parking is available on the street and in pop-up tents, courtesy of BikePGH.

Busy Gallery during Gallery Crawl

Photo Cred: PGH Cultural Trust

Circus After Dark

Introduced as a new concept last month, Crawl After Dark chronicles the transformation of the Cultural District since its inception, providing numerous options for entertainment, including: comedy, dance, live music, clubs, dining, theater, and more. This edition’s Crawl features “Circus After Dark,” where guests will have the opportunity to enjoy music, sideshow acts, and free refreshments, while mingling with the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical cast of Pippin at the Trust Arts Education Center. Admission requires joining PCT’s membership for $50.  You can join online or at the door.

Ruckus Improv

Another Crawl After Dark option, Ruckus Improv will be lighting up the late night crowd at 9PM with their hilarious, infectious stage presence at Future Tenant. This group of “gifted and fearless” Pitt students will bring you to tears with their over-the-top, improvisational comedy show for a $10 cover. “People don’t always think of performance as art, especially something as silly and free form as improv, but it totally is! Hopefully our presence at the Crawl will give people a laugh and also revamp their interpretation of art,” Ruckus comedian, Arianne Kraiman, said.

No matter which direction you venture in, you’re sure to be enlightened and impressed. For a full list of participating acts, venues, exhibits, and more, click here. See you at the Crawl!

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