From wonderful museums and music to theater and film, Pittsburgh has many wonderful ways to explore the arts while you are in town. I recommend the:
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts & Media, 1047 Shady Ave.: This is a local arts center that has a large campus featuring exhibitions, film screenings, theater and art classes. The classes include film, photography, drawing, painting, weaving, screen printing, ceramics and sculpture, creative writing, jewelry making, mixed media, stained glass, etching and more. I enjoyed visiting the current exhibitions and store.
Frick Pittsburgh: Here you can visit the Frick Art museum, a lovely museum featuring the permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions. I saw a wonderful exhibition of impressionist paintings from the collection of Mellon. In addition, you can tour Clayton, the historic home of the Frick family, visit the Frick Museum Store, the working Greenhouse plus the Car and Carriage Museum where you can see beautiful carriages and cars dating back to the turn of the 20th century. 7227 Reynold’s St.
The Cafe at the Frick: I enjoyed a lovely lunch on the terrace. It is a perfect spot for lunch or afternoon tea on Saturday and Sunday.
Mattress Factory Museum: Located in the Central Northside since 1977, this contemporary art museum has room-sized contemporary art installations created by artists in residence throughout a 4-story warehouse at 500 Sampsonia Way. One of my favorite artists is James Turrell who works with light. I enjoyed seeing his permanent installations on the second floor. The other exhibitions were interesting as was the Dennis Maher installation, Second Home, at their annex at 516 Sampsonia Way.
After your visit, walk through Pittsburgh’s Central North Side, famous for its Mexican War Streets, an enclave of beautifully restored 18th-century row houses that date from the time of the Mexican-American War.
The Andy Warhol Museum: This seven-story museum is dedicated to the life of Warhol from his childhood in Pittsburgh as the son of working-class immigrants to his advertising career in NYC and then as an influential figure in pop art and underground culture in the 196ps and 1970s. You will see many of his works including the paintings of Marilyn Monroe and his famous Campbell’s soup cans. There is a small cafe on the first floor to enjoy during your visit. I really enjoyed my visit to the museum as I didn’t know much about his early life. 117 Sandusky St.
Carnegie Museum of Art: Located in the same building as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, I highly recommend visiting this art museum where you can see some great works by such artists as Edward Hopper, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Degas and Renoir. I was very impressed with the collection. The modern collection was under renovation and will reopen soon. There is also photography, decorative arts and architectural elements to see. Getting great reviews is the elegant design and excellent food at the Café Carnegie, a partnership between Texas-based food-service firm Culinaire and Sonja Finn, executive chef of Dinette. 4400 Forbes Ave.
Contemporary Craft: Located in the Strip District at 2100 Smallman St., this is a fun art space that offers free exhibitions and studio workshops in media including jewelry, ceramics, wood, book arts/paper, fiber, metal, mixed media collage and weaving plus community outreach programs and a store featuring contemporary craft.
The Pittsburgh Symphony has been a treasure in Pittsburgh since 1896. They perform in the 2,675‑seat Heinz Hall, which was constructed at the Loew’s Penn Theater in 1927. They have a season from September through June each year that features, classical music, Broadway favorites, pops concerts, family concerts and a speakers series.
Opera lovers should check out the schedule of the Pittsburgh Opera. They feature both classic and contemporary productions along with a Film Series. They perform at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts at 237 7th St., downtown.
In addition to the Pittsburgh Opera, The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts is home to PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh, Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents for concerts, comedy and lectures, and First Night Pittsburgh for concerts, ballet, dance and more. It is also the stage for resident companies including Pittsburgh CLO for musicals and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
The Row House Cinema at 4115 Butler St. in Lawrenceville is a venue for films including classics, comedies and documentaries. There is an annual tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
If you know a member or belong to a reciprocal club of the Duquesne Club, try to visit the club at 325 Sixth Ave. downtown. This is an historic private club from 1873 that has a beautiful art collection and a classic, stunning decor.
Lovers of street art will love the Strip District. Check out the murals along Penn Ave. and the side streets from 16th St. to 31st St. The highlight is the “Strip Mural” on the side of the Hermanowski Building by Carley Parrish and Shannon Pultz at 1907 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh Glass Center: This is a local gallery, glass studio, and public-access school dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting studio glass art. It is located at 5472 Penn Avenue in the Garfield neighborhood. I am anxious to visit it on my next trip.
Throughout the year you can attend many events throughout the city from films, concerts in over 60 music venues, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, Summer with the Symphony at Heinz Hall, many theater performances, art gallery walks and shows, comedy and dance performances, summer fairs and fests plus wine and food festivals. The Strip District Neighborhood Flea, at 26th and Smallman, is held the second Sundays from May through October.
August Wilson Center for African American Culture: Playwright August Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. In honor of Wilson, the AWC is an African American Cultural Center featuring three art galleries, live performance space, meeting area and unique educational opportunities. There are music performances, theater, and lectures along with visual art exhibitions. 980 Liberty Ave., downtown. His home, at 1727 Bedford Ave., is being renovated and will be open to the public in the future.