Get Ready for the Spring Art Season, Must-See Events, and More Good News!

Spring has arrived here in Pittsburgh. The daffodils and construction cones are in full bloom. Have you seen any robins yet? I did on a warm sunny day, then it snowed the next day. Yeah, that’s our crazy weather here.

So before diving into some artsy stuff, I want to start off with some good news on the late Timothy Kelley situation that I mentioned in the last post. A family member has agreed to be the estate’s administrator and all of the legalities have been sorted out. His artistic legacy has been preserved for his son. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up and helped this family through such a sudden tragedy. The family is beyond grateful for the support of the Pittsburgh arts community and the community at large.

By Joann Renner - 3/18/2024

Art Related Events to Start Off Springtime

When it comes to art events in Pittsburgh, you have a wide variety to choose from. There’s no shortage of events, exhibitions, and festivals. It runs the full gamut of small, intimate pop-ups and art/community markets, to large scale museum exhibitions and festivals with everything else in-between. So find those comfy walking shoes and make some plans to enjoy the hunt for new artwork to elevate your space, and have fun too!

Art All Night 2024

This very popular art event is the big kickoff to the spring and summer art festival season. It used to be held in the heat of summer, but thankfully it changed to April. It’s family-friendly with a section set aside for artworks not suitable for family viewing. There are creative activities for kids of all ages too.

This year it will be held at the Crucible Building located at 3011 Smallman St. in the Strip District, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (beside the 31st St. Bridge), Pittsburgh. The dates are April 27 at 4pm until 2pm on April 28, 2024.

The building itself is a completely renovated industrial structure that was part of the Crucible Steel Company which had a full-scale steel mill in Midland, PA (Beaver County). It is now leased for offices with full contemporary amenities. From what I saw on their website, they did a beautiful job of incorporating the old and new while preserving the integrity of the historical building. As an architecture and history buff, I can’t wait to see it myself!

The festival itself is unique. There’s no cost to participate and no cost to visit. It is uncensored, meaning artists do not have to go through a judging process to have their work accepted. All work is welcome. Anyone can participate-kids, students, beginners, advanced professionals, it doesn’t matter. There are visual arts like painting and drawing, 3D works like sculpture, pottery, fiber arts, installations, performance artists many of whom perform as they walk through the crowds, music and anything else someone might bring. Check their website for updates on the visiting or on the submission process if you know someone who might like to exhibit their creation, and I encourage them to do so.

There is also live painting. Artists sign up to paint on-site so that people can watch and learn about the painting process. Then the works are auctioned off to support the festival for next year. It’s an excellent way to purchase artworks and help the cause of making art accessible to everyone.

Photo credit for both: The Crucible Building website

2023 Art All Night

Photo credit: Joann Renner

“Spring is in the Art” Jannick Wildberg Art Exhibition at Jeffrey Smith Salon Gallery

IG: @jannickwildberg, @jeffreysmithjewelry

If you are looking for quieter surroundings to celebrate Spring with, then check out this solo exhibition for Jannick Wildberg. She is a French painter now living in Pittsburgh who specializes in absolutely amazing portraits and nature subjects. She considers nature and flowers as worthy of being portraits in their own right. Pittsburgh is indeed extremely fortunate to have her high quality work and her dedication to uplifting the region’s artists.

If her name sounds familiar, Jannick was one of the artists helping bring awareness to the late Tim Kelley’s estate situation.

The Opening Reception is March 24, 2024, from 5-7pm at Jeffrey Smith Salon, 5806 Bryant Street Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (Highland Park). The show runs from March 24-May 25th. This is one not to be missed!

Photo credit: Jannick Wildberg’s IG page

And by the way, Mr. Smith is an accomplished jewelry designer, artist, curator, and hair stylist as well.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art: Art in Bloom Exhibition

Nothing says Spring like flowers do.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is featuring an exhibition that is absolutely perfect for this time of year called Art in Bloom. It is scheduled for March 21-24, 2024, and includes sculptural floral arrangements created by regional floral designers. Each work is inspired by an artwork in the museum’s collection. I apologize for the short notice on this one, as I just found out about it. It is well-worth a day trip from Pittsburgh to Greensburg in Westmoreland County to see this unusual collaboration between floral design and fine art.

No worries if you can’t make it to this exhibition. They have a well-respected collection of American Art that is a must-see, classes, lectures and events. Check out their website for all of their offerings.

Photo credit: Westmoreland Museum of Art website

The Labyrinth at Nemacolin Resort by Dorit Brauer

Dorit Brauer is a Pittsburgh-based artist specializing in holistic medicine, meditation, and so much more including classes in Ancestral Strength and Sound Baths using Tibetan singing bowls. She built a stone labyrinth at the Meditation Garden at Nemacolin Resort in the Laurel Highlands during her artist residency there. Visitors are encouraged to use it as a method for reflection, meditation and reducing stress while walking through the labyrinth.

This is something I have yet to go and see but I plan to this year. Getting outside and connecting with nature and ourselves has a significant healing effect on our mental and physical health.

Art is an essential tool for well-being and this is one way in which anyone, young and old alike, can participate and benefit from.

The Frick Pittsburgh Museums and Gardens: Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt

Exhibition Dates: April 6 - July 14, 2024

If you are new to Pittsburgh, you may not be familiar with the Frick Pittsburgh located at 7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208 in the East End.

It is another must-see for newcomers and longtime residents as well. The main museum is Clayton, the Gilded Age Victorian mansion that was home to the Henry Clay Frick family before they relocated to NYC. Mr. Frick was an associate of Andrew Carnegie while they were building the steel industry here in Pittsburgh. I won’t go into the full story but it does make for fascinating reading for us history buffs.

The mansion was gifted to the city by his widow, and it is preserved as a glimpse into the life of a wealthy family c.1892. It consists of a carriage and car museum, the art museum and gardens with the home kept as it was when the family lived there. There is a café and space rentals are available. Check out their website for lots more information on all of their offerings including classes, tours, and exhibitions.

The Fricks were avid art collectors of their time, and the upcoming exhibition, “Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt-Forging the Frick Collections in Pittsburgh and New York” highlights 36 works by these Old Masters and more such as Degas, Whistler and Titian. You can register for tickets online. I would recommend doing this in advance because they expecting a high turnout for the entire exhibition. There will also be presentations, discussions with the curators, a virtual event, free admission days, and concerts throughout the show dates.

A related event, The Frick Fête is a Gilded Age themed party to be held on June 22, 2024. More info. Is available on the website.

And while you are there, visit the gardens too. Frick Park is huge and surrounds the original property in Point Breeze. It’s perfect for walking, hiking, biking, walking the dog and simply getting some fresh air with a good stretch of the legs.

I love contemporary art with all of its vitality, diversity, and innovation, but I am also an art historian, antiques lover, and architecture nerd at heart. The mansion itself has undergone recent preservation work, and it is absolutely ready to show off these masterpieces. I can hardly wait to visit this!

Frick Park and Fern Hollow Bridge

The recently rebuilt Fern Hollow Bridge, is part of Forbes Ave. and which goes through the park, has artwork of its own. The city’s Office for Public Art and Pittsburgh artists John Peña and Carin Mincemoyer worked together with community input to incorporate art on the upper part of the bridge and an art installation below it

Peña created a history of water in the area titled “400 Million Years of Water”, which uses signs on the railings to provide historical geographic information and images about the ancient Pittsburgh River, aka the Ancestral Monongahela to present-day Fern Hollow Creek. He also created water-related images on the concrete barriers of the pedestrian walkways of the bridge.

Carin Mincemoyer created an installation on the Tranquil Trail, a popular trail below the bridge for cycling and walking titled “Trail Meander”. She built sculptural, natural shaped seats to encourage visitors to rest and connect with nature.

Art Installation by Carin Mincemoyer Art Installation by John Peña

Photo credit for both: Sean Carroll &

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Spring Flower Show

One way we can reawaken our senses for Spring is to visit the annual Spring Flower Show at the Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park, Oakland (Pittsburgh). This show at a stunning Victorian landmark is always a visual treat that is also a Spring must-see and one of the most popular events in Pittsburgh.

It runs from March 16 to April 14, 2024, and tickets are available on their website.

There are also rotating kaleidoscopes, floral sculptures, topiaries (natural sculptures made of living shrubs), an animatronic butterfly, and lots more. Nature uses brilliant bursts of color and bold shapes to create its own art to celebrate the season with us.

Going on at the same time is Tropical Forest Hawai‘i, showcasing the widely diverse flora and unique culture of Hawaii, one of Nature’s masterpieces.

Make a day of it and take it all in, maybe even finding some inspiration to elevate your garden space into your very own natural work of art! Remember that you don’t have to have a huge yard to create a garden space. Containers work perfectly fine for small spaces and apartments. Some local garden centers have classes and Phipps has a wide range of gardening and plant care classes, workshops, summer camps, and even a plant sale to help you create a natural work of art.

Photo credit: Phipps Conservatory website

The event and festival season is just getting started, helping us to shake off those winter blues. Follow this blog for so much more coming up in the next few months that you don’t want to miss! And don’t forget, summer camp signups are in full swing so I will be covering some of those options for the next post. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for art-related subjects you might like to see here, please feel free to contact [email protected].

Happy Spring!!

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