patrons walking down Liberty Avenue during a Gallery Crawl

Gallery Crawl: Seven Spots to Hit for the Summer Crawl

Thu, Jul 5, 2018

Written by: Lily Rybarczyk

Marquee lights, laughter filling the streets, the perfect evening temperature. There’s nothing quite like a bustling night in the Cultural District, and the summer Gallery Crawl is the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the Downtown atmosphere. Evenings in the summer feel longer (the sun sets at 8:53 on Friday), so we’ve crafted a schedule to make the most of all the Gallery Crawl has to offer.

Garrison Canal, an overhead light installation, illuminates Garrison Place

5:30 pm: Garrison Canal

Kick off your gallery crawl with a party under the lights! Join the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership as we celebrate the installation of Garrison Canal. The piece by artist Andrea Polli has quickly become a favorite piece in the Cultural District, with the shimmering lights transforming the Garrison Place alley into an imaginary underwater experience. The Canal is the perfect place to meet your friends after the work week, grab a drink and listen to live music before heading out to to explore the rest of the Crawl.

6:00 pm: Evening Art Walk

Do you love the District, but sometimes find yourself wondering what exactly you’re looking at? Are you an art aficionado who wants to know more about the stories behind your favorite public art pieces? Join the experts at Walk the Burgh for a leisurely tour around the District! Walk the Burgh is well-versed in the rich history of the Cultural District, as well as little-known facts, anecdotes and stories about the 14 blocks we call home. This tour is ideal for visitors, transplants and born-and-raised Pittsburghers alike. Tours begin at 1049 Penn Ave. (hint: it’s also a great way to get a birds eye view of the Gallery Crawl and plan the rest of your night)

An artist assembles his exhibit as part of Identity Play

7:00 pm: Identity Play

Curated by Kristen Letts Kovak at SPACE Gallery (812 Liberty Avenue), Identity Play explores the role of whimsy in the earnest search for self. The artists in this exhibition use the strategies of childhood to explore the complexities of adulthood. The bright colors, large scale works and models are immediately captivating to the eye, drawing viewers deeper into the intricacies of the exhibition. Through a giant matching game Memory (Memoria/Memory), a model of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown, and the return of word balloons, the artists comment on the mania of collection, race, ethnicity and emotion.

An Opening Reception will be held in conjunction with the Gallery Crawl where you can celebrate the works and mingle with the curator and artists.

a promotional image for Azucar showing a woman's legs in mid dance move

7:45 pm Global Beats by Carla Leininger and Azucar

Katz Plaza makes a lovely lunch spot for the Downtown office workers during the week, but Friday night it transforms into a dance floor with Global Beats and Azucar playing alternating sets. Global Beats’ lounge and dance music from around the world complements the salsa, merengue and cha cha cha of Azucar, blending into an international ambiance right in Downtown Pittsburgh.

There’s plenty of space to let the rhythm move you, so grab a partner and cut a rug… err… plaza pavers. We’re sure your best moves will have all eyes on you (and we don’t mean just the famed eyeball benches). If you’ve warmed up your moves and aren’t quite ready to head home after the crawl, make sure to check out Salsa Fridays (late night happy hour is 9-11 and dancing starts at 10:30).

8:15 pm: Chef Nick Saxon, Mixologist Mike Marts, and a Local Artist

Step into Braddock’s (107 6th St.) for a break and a bite to gear up for the rest of your night. Chef Nick Saxon and mixologist Mike Marts are true artists, crafting culinary masterpieces that you can try for yourself. You can double down on your artistic intake with works by featured local artist Ben Faigen and a live musical performance.

9:00 pm: Bombyx collective aerial shows

After wrapping up at Braddock’s, head across 6th St. to Verve 360 (142 6th St.) for another artistic treat. The aerial silks dance company bombyx collective returns to the Gallery Crawl after recent performances at the New Hazlett Theater, CMOA Midway and Thrival Innovation. Their gravity-defying skills and expressive form are sure to leave you breathless.

a composite image of the three DJs performing at Crawl After Dark

10:00 pm: Crawl After Dark Union Edition

Want to give your friends major FOMO? Instead of calling it a night and crawling into bed, head to 807 Liberty for an after party. Crawl After Dark UNION Edition brings three of the best DJs in Pittsburgh to the Peirce Studio… at the same time. Big Phill, Blakk Steel and DJ Mambo will hit the stage at 10pm, turning the black box theater into a one-night-only dance club.

Head to for a full list of events. Share your Crawl with #CrawlPGH.

  • art
  • free
  • Cultural District
  • summer
  • gallery crawl