Are You Ready for Spring, Too?

Upcoming Art Events and Uplifting Pittsburgh Art News

Birds in the WinterAfter the last few lackluster winters of minimal snowfall and fairly mild temps, at least by Pittsburgh standards, and punctuated by the occasional polar vortex to keep things interesting, we finally got measurable snow and more seasonal temperatures. At least Spring really isn’t that far away.

So, while having a cozy cup of tea and looking for some events I might apply to for my own art practice this year, I found a surprising amount of art events and workshops happening now that just might help with your cabin fever!

And if you are looking for something a bit different to do for date night or Valentine’s Day, workshops and exhibitions are a welcome change of pace. So many arts groups are offering them at this time of year, and the choices are wide ranging, from ceramics, drawing, painting, culinary arts, photography, and much, much more.

To top it off, enjoying the arts in any capacity has been proven to improve creativity in thinking, cognitive function, release of negative emotions, elevate mood and it can simply be something fun to do for all ages and helps ward off those winter blues. Art can transform a space and touch your soul.

So, stay playful and don’t worry about “having talent” or being perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist anyway. I learned that the hard way. Art is for everybody. Do it for you. Creativity exists in all of us, so let it out and revel in the joy of play and discovery!

Article By Joann Renner


Upcoming Art Events

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh

The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh is the oldest visual arts organization in the US, operating since 1910 and has about 600 members from the Pittsburgh region. Some notable members whom you might be familiar with are Mary Cassatt, Philip Perlstein and Andy Warhol. They hold numerous juried exhibitions throughout the year for their members and have an educational outreach program for kids in Allegheny County called the Visual Arts Career Orientation Program (VACOP). The students get to work one-on-one with professional artists to learn skills and develop projects.

Their exhibitions are always of high quality, and they have a few coming up with some intriguing themes:

  1. CCS + AAP Fiber Art Exhibition, January 12-February 23, 2024

Opening Reception: January 12, 5pm-7pm with a sensory friendly hour 4pm-5pm

CCS + AAP Fiber Art Exhibition

Photo credit: CCS + AAP Facebook page

  1. Art & Algorithms: Pittsburgh Artists Respond to AI, January 16-March 7, 2024

Opening Reception: January 31, 5pm-7pm

Art & Algorithms

Photo credit: CCS + AAP Facebook page

  1. Shared Concerns @ The Verostko Center, January 25 – April 5, 2024Opening Reception: January 25, 5pm–8pm

    Shared Concerns

Photo credits: CCS + AAP Facebook page

The Brew House Arts

Located at 711 South 21st St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side Flats), the non-profit arts organization is housed in a fully renovated building that was originally the Duquesne Brewing Company in 1900, at the height of the steel and glass industrial era.

Brew House Arts provides artist residencies (where an artist applies and is selected for an intensive living/work period on-site to develop their skills and create a body of work), a curatorial residency ( like artist residencies only it’s for beginning curators to learn how to curate exhibitions), fine art exhibition space, space rentals for events such as wedding receptions, loft apartment rentals, studio space rentals and much more.

They have a fascinating exhibition that just started called “Blank Tape”, which runs January 18 – March 9, 2024 and is curated by Lena Hansen as part of the curatorial residency program. The theme addresses issues of surveillance in our everyday lives and includes photography, animation, and installation art.

Brew House Arts Outside

Brew House Arts Event

Brew House Arts Inside

Photo Credit for all 3 photos: Brew House Arts website

Steel Goat Marketplace

The Steel Goat is a unique shopping experience located in the Penn Hills suburb of Pittsburgh at 200 Jefferson Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15235. They feature an eclectic mix of 100+ curated artists, artisans and vendors, event space rentals, classes and workshops, and gardening workshops as well.

One of the workshops happening soon is the Create Your Personal Mandala workshop on January 27th at 1 pm. Sounds like a relaxing way to have some creative time and banish those winter blues!

Sweetwater Center for the Arts

I’ve mentioned The Sweetwater Center for the Arts before, but I thought that their current exhibition, “Meticulous” , might be of interest. It is focused on contemporary printmaking, featuring regional and national artists working in etching, lithography, woodblock, screenprinting, among other techniques. The center is located at 200 Broad St., Sewickley, PA 15143.

The exhibition dates are January 26 – March 1, 2024 and the opening reception is Friday, January 26, 2024 at 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

They also have numerous workshops to fill those long winter days and who knows? You just might find a new creative outlet that resonates with you. The classes are suited for a wide range of ages from early childhood to adult and a few examples are ceramics, painting, drawing, mindfulness, mixed media, culinary arts, metalsmithing, just to name a few.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts Photo credit: Sweetwater Center for the Arts website

707 Penn Gallery

Located at 707 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15222, the fine art gallery is accessible from Penn Avenue at street level, and is across from the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in the downtown Cultural District. Their focus is on high quality exhibitions featuring regional Pittsburgh artists, and they are a member of the TrustArts organization. It’s a beautiful, small gallery much like you would find in NYC.

The upcoming exhibition is Zach Brown: Death of a Lunar Cult, which runs Oct. 6 – Feb. 4, 2024, a solo show featuring paintings by Zach Brown. He examines “the different epochs and shifts from lunar to solar worship throughout history. When making these works, Brown was deeply inspired by a variety of ancient Greek mystery schools and early Gnostic writings.”-exhibitions webpage on I have a deep interest in mythology, so I do plan on checking this out as well!

Other Arts News

The Greenwood Plan

The Greenwood Plan is a non-profit organization whose mission includes being an incubator for Black-owned businesses and start-ups called Emerald City, and now includes space for Black artists, performers, and arts groups to thrive. They recently purchased the Pitt building downtown on Smithfield St., using it as co-working space and event space for the community. Plans are to have the street level storefronts filled with businesses very soon. Amenities include concierge service, printing services, private offices, shared spaces, mail service, conference rooms, and just about everything a business needs to establish itself.

It’s so encouraging to hear that a focused organization is successfully using an existing downtown building to bring positive change to a marginalized community while many businesses are giving up and leaving downtown. Part of their mission is to be a model for similar enterprises in other parts of the Pittsburgh region.

So if you know of anyone in the Black community looking for space to start their business or creative career, this is an excellent option for them to consider.

Ketchup City Creative

I have covered Ketchup City Creative in a previous post, but they have some news that I would like to update.

KCC has achieved non-profit status and is now operated by ArtspirationPGH, “a non-profit with the mission to be a catalyst for community, creativity and connection in Sharpsburg, Etna and Millvale, PA through the arts.”

They are still offering classes, lectures, exhibitions, space rentals, etc. at the same location at 612 Main St., Sharpsburg, PA 15215. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to keep up-to-date.

Their other big news is that they are forming a women’s artist collective called Confluence, to help promote, “support, encourage and uplift” Pittsburgh female artists and their work, and provide networking and social opportunities. This is something that the Pittsburgh art community definitely needs. If you know of someone who might be interested in the collective, feel free to share the contact information. KCC is hoping to get a general head count before the first meetup.

KCC also participates in Sharpsburg’s First Friday event, with the next one on Feb. 2nd. There will be food trucks, indoor events and local businesses of all kinds will be open. And don’t forget to check out the Free Little Gallery across the street!

Ketchup City Creative

Photo credit: Ketchup City Creative website and Instagram post @ketchupcitycreative

My next post will be about Displaying Art in the home and office with practical tips for caring for your collection (even if it’s a collection of one), and of course some more events.

Check out their websites, follow them on Instagram and Facebook and visit when you can. The support is always genuinely appreciated.

Stay safe and stay joyful!

Joann Renner Signature

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