Art, music mark Gallery Crawl’s returns to Pittsburgh Cultural District

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s annual winter Gallery Crawl returns Jan. 28 to the Cultural District, with more than 20 free events from 5:30-10 p.m.

The 14 crawl stops include Trust galleries and other outdoor and indoor locations and public art places.

“We have some very exciting events planned as we welcome people Downtown for the first stand-alone Gallery Crawl since the start of the pandemic,” said Sarah Gilmer, the Trust’s program manager of strategic partnerships and community engagement. “Everything that will be happening is a one-time thing.

“Who knows when these folks will be back in the Cultural District? That’s part of what makes this multi-venue showcase so special,” she said.

Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District will feature exhibitions in four permanent galleries, along with two pop-ups. Events also will take place in the Trust Arts Education Center at 805 Liberty Ave. and Greer Cabaret Theater at 655 Penn Ave.

The Education Center will host a pop-up artist market featuring Nafasi on Centre and The Ohringer Artists in Residence on the fourth floor. The University of Pittsburgh’s WPTS Radio musical will host a musical showcase at the Pierce Studio, with Byron Nash at 6 p.m.and SpeciàlK at 7 p.m.

The center’s lobby will be the site of “Hear me out … NFT Cocktail Bar,” a pop-up to showcase the new wave of art collecting, trading and creation. Visitors can enjoy a creative drink, learn about NFTs and see them on display while also having the opportunity to own one or add to a collection.

Return engagement

A night of soul comes to Greer Cabaret Theater, with an artist lineup curated by BLKNVMBR (Black November), a marketing, support and promotional organization for Black R&B and R&B-adjacent artistry in Pittsburgh. “BLKNVMBR: A Renaissance Showcase” will feature Mani Bahia & The Mob, Jrouz3 and Arie Cole from 5:30-9 p.m.

The crawl’s sole ticketed event follows at the theater from 10-11:30 p.m. Crawl After Dark will showcase the music of rapper Benji., a Pittsburgh native now based in Atlanta.

Born Ian Benjamin Welch, Benji. grew up in Homewood with musical influences ranging from 1950s and ’60s soul to modern R&B, rap and rock. Now a member of the Atlanta rap collective, Spillage Village, he dropped his debut album, “Smile! You’re Alive,” in September.

“I like to remain openly optimistic in my music and as positive as possible, but also get to the nitty-gritty of it, the dirt, everything else that encompasses life as well,” he said.

At the Greer Theater, the 28-year-old musician will be joined by his friend, Jourdan Martin, who performs as Slim Tha DJ.

“It will be an extensive deep dive into my music so far, and we’ll try to give a taste of a new project I’m working on right now,” he said.

“It’s always a joy to me to be able to come back home and perform and keep my ties, and Crawl After Dark is one of those events for me,” Benji. said. “It’s always fun to have the opportunity to play in front of the hometown crowd and to keep tabs on everybody and pour something back into the city that gave me so much opp to do what I love to do.”

Tickets for the 18-and-older show are $10, available on the Trust website.

Exhibitions in the featured galleries and pop-ups include:

Wood Street Galleries

“New Work,” by Matthew Schreiber, with three immersive exhibits: “Double Gemini,” a laser sculpture; “Summoner,” a video installation, and “Gift Shop,” a dark space. Available for viewing until March 13.

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Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Image from Matthew Schreiber’s “New Work,” showing in the Wood Street Gallery in Downtown Pittsburgh through March 13.

SPACE

“FRILLS: Glories, Excess, and Getting Weird,” work by several artists that “subverts common notions of extravagance by playing with the boundaries between frill and the plainness of everyday life.” Each artist takes materials from their personal experience and domestic surroundings and transforms them through embellishment and decoration, revealing how frills are a necessary for greater appreciation and rediscovery of the forms, memories and objects that surround us. Available for viewing until Feb. 27.

707 Gallery

“For Tonight It’s Everything,” visual arts by Wren. Available for viewing until Jan. 30.

937 Gallery

“The Border is a Weapon,” with new artwork from the United States/Mexico border region, curated by Laredo, Texas, artist and educator Gil Rocha and presented by Other Border Wall Project. This exhibition includes sculpture, printmaking, video and performance by artists Maritza Bautista, Angel Cabrales, Juan de Dios Mora, Daniela Madrigal and Jose Villalobos. The exhibition opening will take place 6-9 p.m. during the Gallery Crawl, with comments from the curator and artists and a performance by Villalobos at 8 p.m. Available for viewing until April 10.

Trust Arts Education Center

“InVisible,” from the Coloured Section Black Artists’ Collective, curated under the direction of Natiq Jalil and artists Zeal Eva and Amun Ray, with works in various media by 12 artists highlighting their personal battles with mental health and exploring vices, remedies, mental health practices, therapy, medications, coping mechanisms and triggers. Available for viewing until Feb. 13.

Trust Oasis\8th Street Parking Lot

“Intrude,” by Australian artist Amanda Parer, with inflatable rabbit sculptures that “juxtapose the rabbit’s fairytale-like innocence with the great destruction and imbalance they are causing in Australia.” Pieces mix visual humor with a more serious environmental message. The crawl will be the last opportunity to view “Intrude.“

Information on additional offerings is listed on the Trust website. Participating Cultural District partners include August Wilson African American Cultural Center, Arcade Comedy, Con Alma, love Pittsburgh and Urban Pathways 6-12 Charter School.

Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District is presented in accordance with the Trust’s health and safety policies. For Trust galleries and venues, guests are required to be fully vaccinated, provide proof of vaccination before entering and wear a mask indoors. Guests under age 12 are not required to be vaccinated, but must present a negative covid-19 test, wear a mask and be accompanied by an adult who meets the venue’s health and safety requirements.

For more information, visit trustarts.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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