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Pillow Project debuts The Space Upstairs, new arts venue in Pittsburgh's East End

With the opening of The Pillow Project’s new digs, Construction Junction—the region’s only recycled building supply retailer—has found a creative use for its second-floor and Point Breeze has gained a new arts venue.

Dubbed The Space Upstairs, the venue serves as The Pillow Project’s performance and rehearsal facility, and hosts Second Saturdays, the city’s latest monthly art happening.

Integrating the green-mindedness and supplies of partner organization Construction Junction—such as aluminum siding, floorboards and kitchen countertops—Pillow Project artistic director Pearlann Porter created a flexible venue. “The space can be completely transformed based on needs—it’s so versatile. We made it into an art gallery lounge,” says Porter, who established the multi-media dance company in 2004. “Our goal is to have ongoing open gallery time—more hanging out than going out.”

With refinished hardwood floors, lounge areas, a new bar for receptions, and newly painted movable walls, the space can be reconfigured to accommodate video and film projections, art exhibitions, meetings, and rental events. “I always wanted to start a dance company. Something provoked me to do it one day,” adds Porter, 31, who fell in love with Pittsburgh after relocating from New Jersey. “I want to do something that makes art more approachable and appealing. It’s a walkable community space. Wilkinsburg and Homewood need it.”

Porter hopes to continue making improvements to the space, including adding black box capabilities. On the second Saturday of every month through September, The Space Upstairs features performances, refreshments donated by the East End Food Co-op, independent works by company and outside artists, and networking and cross-collaboration opportunities for artists.
Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Pearlann Porter, The Pillow Project

Image courtesy Dave Garson/Pillow Project

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