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Pop Filter Hot Pick: Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District

Forget window shopping, it's time to go culture crawling.

Your one stop shop for all that is new throughout the Downtown Cultural District is the quarterly Gallery Crawl, a free and festive evening of provocative art exhibitions, live bands, DJs, dance, theater, film, pop-up shopping, local dining, and more.

Step off at 5:30 p.m. at any of the 36 participating venues this Friday, April 26th for a locally grown showcase of contemporary art--from events, exhibitions and hands-on activities, to premieres, performances and after-parties.
What's popping Downtown this Spring?

The Spring '13 edition of the Crawl features free programming at 36 arts venues throughout the Cultural District between 5:30 and 9p.m. Look for the bright green Gallery Crawl sidewalk signs identifying participating locations, and start crawling!

One must-see Crawl stop is Memento Mori, the new exhibition at Wood Street Galleries. Featuring works by artist Gregory Barsamian, Memento Mori runs through June 16th. Crawlers will step into a strobe lit room, where Barsamian's sculpture spins rapidly on an armature featuring images based on recordings of his dreams. Low-tech and accessible, Barsamian's immersive work oscillates between conscious and unconscious worlds and between artist and perceiver. Featured mixed media works that combine steel, wood, bronze, acrylic medium, paper, strobe, and motors.

Next head to nearby SPACE to explore Mean Girls, a multi-disciplinary project that examines the epidemic of bullying among girls in America. Curated by Jill Larson, the traveling exhibition has served as a springboard for increasing awareness, encouraging dialogue and promoting positive social change in the region.

At 610 Wood Street, celebrate the Urban League’s 100th anniversary in Pittsburgh with artist Leslie Ansley, who had created vibrant paintings and murals marking the organization's milestone.
Be sure to stop at Tito Way to view a set of compelling billboards--four “obituary pieces" reminding viewers that life can be short and its end unpredictable.

Shaw Galleries will feature Brave New World: Maps of the 19th-century, an exhibition exploring world cartography through period maps and engravings, while the Harris Theater will screen regionally made short films by Kristen Lauth-Shaeffer, Jared McLaughlin, Brad Oskowski and Jonathan Gribbin.
Swing by the Trust Arts Education Center to enjoy a wearable art fashion show, musical performances, visual art exhibitions and hip hop by CAPA, Brashear and Westinhouse high school students as part of the Pittsburgh Public Schools All-City Music Showcase.

Pop in to the new Arcade Comedy Theater for some laughs courtesy of Pittsburgh’s best sketch, improvisational and alternative comedy producers.
At 937 Liberty Avenue, get a sneak peak of two local arts projects inspired by the CSA model, including a homegrown performance artists cultivated for the New Hazlett Theater. Meet the six visual artists who are creating works to be packaged up and turned into 50 shares for the public as part of CSAPGH.
At Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, view August Wilson X, a display of photographs, artifacts and props from a decade of performing August Wilson's Century Play Cycle. Monologues from the 10 plays will also be performed. Next, drop in for a cartooning lesson at the one-of-a-kind Toonseum, located at 947 Liberty Avenue.

There is a lot going on at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, where crawlers will see SOLO Exhibits, featuring fiber art, printmaking, painting and sculpture by Leslie Ansley, Jo-Anne Bates and Tina Brewer; Mario Epany's Glamazonia, a showcase of 30 images of black women celebrating the beauty and diversity of the Diaspora--from contemporary full-color photography to vintage black-and-white images; and Pittsburgh: Reclaim, Renew, Remix, an exhibition honoring and preserving black culture in Southwestern Pennsylvania via images, film and oral history.

Spring is a time of renewal and if you are in need of rebooting, head to Bend Yoga to enjoy a guided meditation and poetry reading.
Don't miss Cast of Characters at 709 Penn Gallery. Curated by Cindy Lisica and Vicky Clark, the intriguing exhibition documents fictional figures who tell stories, reveal insights and help viewers make sense of the world and our place in it. Next door at 707 Penn Gallery, Marc Burgess' new media installation Adult Arcade features a variety of organically textured paintings, large geometric sculptures, robotic lasers and disorienting soundscapes.

Stop to smell the magnolias at 7th St. and Penn Avenue, where sculptor and installation artist Tony Tasset will talk about how he created the public work of art called Magnolias for Pittsburgh. Craft your own origami magnolias with the Office of Public Art.
Enjoy live music by JD Eicher & the Goodnights and make buttons with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh at Katz Plaza, located at 7th Street and Penn Avenue.
At Braddock’s American Brasserie--known for their signature pierogies--Chef de Cuisine, Brian Volmrich will demonstrates how to create a this favorite Burgh fare. Attendees will make their own pierogie creations. Over at the PNC Legacy Project, enjoy an interactive exhibit that showcases Pittsburgh’s transformation and features oral histories from Dan Bylsma, Arnold Palmer, Art Rooney, Joe Grushecky, and George Benson.
Still standing after the Crawl?

Shop until you drop at Night Market IV, which will set up shop in the parking lot located at corner of 8th Street and Penn Avenue. Produced by The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Night Market IV will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.

Expected to be the largest Night Market to date, the pop-up shop will feature an impressive selection of Pittsburgh-based independent food, fine art and craft vendors, as well as local food trucks and small-batch producers. During Night Market IV, DJ Soy Sos will spin a variety of American pop, soul, funk, Latin and reggae music, while The Pillow Project will present improvisational freejazz movement performances amidst the crowds.

Following your Friday night culture jamming and pop-up shopping, head to Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue to get your Cha Cha Cha on at Salsa Friday. The free festivities feature DJ Jeff Shirey of Salsa Pittsburgh from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

All Gallery Crawl locations will be marked with a Cultural District Stop sidewalk sign.

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