a performer on stilts gives a high five to a young child at a previous art in the alley event

Six Can’t-Miss Spots at the Fall Gallery Crawl

Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Written by: Jamie Crow

College students are back on their campuses, the Autumnal Equinox has officially passed, and the annual resurgence of pumpkin spiced everything has commenced — all of which means that it’s officially fall.

One other event, though, marks the start of the season in a way that brings everyone together to celebrate local art: The Fall Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District presented by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan. This Friday, September 27, the Cultural District will be filled with live music, art installations, and artisan markets.

There will be something for everyone this Friday, but we’ve put together a list of some of the must-see stops. Keep your eyes open as you travel from place to place, though — you’re likely to find some hidden gems throughout the evening.

a woman paints on a large canvas hanging on a wall


Art in the Alley | Tito Way, Exchange Way, and Garrison Way | 5:30 - 10:00

Three alleys in the Cultural District will be filled with live music and art installations, many of which encourage audience participation. If you’re looking to leave your mark on the city, check out the Community Canvas in Exchange Way. Artist Alison Zapata has designed three murals, all of which will be painted by Crawl-goers Friday evening. If you’re more interested in having a keepsake from the Crawl, head over to Tito Way to get a personalized caricature from artist Shawnelle Dodds, who has been a caricature artist for 23 years.

VisitPITTSBURGH, alongside the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, is continuing their 90 Painted Chairs program this Friday by having local artists decorate chairs. The 90 chairs (representative of Pittsburgh’s 90 neighborhoods) are meant to show that Pittsburgh is a welcoming city and that the city has great hospitality — shown by offering someone a chair. Early next year, the chairs will be auctioned off at an event.

Spectacle Create and Capture will be working with water and light to create a shimmering shadowscape, called Watering Hole, in Tito Way. From afar, the piece may look like a mirage, but as you get closer, you’ll see some moving patterns that are reflected on the wall. The whole experience is meant to act as a gathering space for Crawl-goers (hence the name Watering Hole).

members of the ibeji drum circle sit with their drums


Looking for live music? The Ibeji Drum Ensemble will be in Exchange Way throughout the evening, helping audiences learn about the traditions of West Africa and maintaining a cultural awareness through “edu-tainment” (education and entertainment). The ensemble will perform at 6:00., 7:30, and 9:00. You can also head over to Garrison Way to hear Andrea Polli perform with DJ Femi from 5:30 to 7:30 and with DJ SMI from 7:30 to 10:00.

a photo of a sun setting over a large body of water


Boat Trip | Wood Street Galleries | 5:30 - 10:00

While its name may be misleading, in that visitors aren’t physically boarding a boat for a trip, the installation at Wood Street Galleries will take audiences to a place with a harrowing story to tell.

Boat Trip uses artists projects, installations, and videos as a way of investigating the Arctic Circle and its rapid disappearance. With art from Jacob Kirkegaard, Finnbogi Petursson, Jean-Piere Aubin, Matt Beiderman, HC Gilje, Esther Kokmeijer, and Michael Dax Iacovone, Boat Trip is sure to give audiences further insight into the crisis at the Arctic Circle and beyond.

a photo of the trust oasis installation, including the los trompos spinning tops


Trust Oasis featuring Los Trompos by Esrawe + Cadena | Trust Oasis | 5:30 - 10:00

We all know the Cultural District has some great public art spaces (Agnes R. Katz Plaza, anyone?) but the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is always looking to add more to the list. Trust Oasis is a pop-up experience that does just that, by making Downtown more vibrant and infusing art into everyday living through temporary installations.

The current installation is called Los Trompos, designed by Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena of the team Esrawe + Cadena. Los Trompos, which translates to “the spinning tops” in Spanish, features larger-than-life tops in a variety of colors which are created, in part, with fabric woven together by Mexican artisans. Visitors can spin the tops and interact with the design, effectively collaborating with the artists, which Esrawe and Cadena say makes the installation complete.

a piece of art from the mutant media exhibition


Mutant Media | SPACE Gallery | 5:30 - 10:00

Curated by Joshua Rievel and Jesse Hulcher, Mutant Media showcases American artists working in the DIY aesthetic. Featuring work in the form of zines, posters, trading cards, and more, this exhibition explores these types of work and how they combine (or mutate) media, iconography, and advertising into one piece. DJ Dave Zak will also be featured at the installation during the Crawl.

shoppers browsing at a previous world market


World Market | Trust Arts Education Center | 5:30 - 9:30

For anyone interested in taking a piece of art home with them, a visit to the World Market is essential. Presented in partnership with All for All, the World Market will showcase one-of-a-kind art from more than twenty local artisans who represent diverse immigrant communities and the African Diaspora.

The World Market will also feature music from Global Beats, who presents a fusion of musical elements from around the globe.

a poster for the movie the last dragon


Film Screening of The Last Dragon with Live Score by DJ Soy Sos | Trust Arts Education Center | 10:00 - 12:00 (Crawl After Dark)

Cap off your evening at the Crawl with a film screening of this 1980s cult classic. Directed by Michael Schultz and produced by Berry Gordy, the movie follows the life of a young martial artist in Harlem. To make the screening even more dynamic, the film will be scored live by DJ Soy Sos.

Still looking for more to explore? Check out the full list of events.

  • gallery crawl
  • free events
  • fall
  • Cultural District