Top 8 Creative Places in Pittsburgh
When you think of places to get the creative juices flowing in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh might not be the first place to come to mind. But Pittsburgh has much more to offer than yinzers and bridges. It’s filled with rich culture and history that has impacted and inspired its creatives.
Here are the Top 8 most creative places in Pittsburgh to make sure you visit!
We’ll start off with the obvious one. Carnegie Museum of Art is known as one of the first museums of contemporary art in the United States. Although there are 4 different museums under the Carnegie Museums umbrella, we’ll be discussing the creativity of the namesake museum. Built in 1895 by Pittsburgh-based industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the museum creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. They champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform.
Their collection of over 34,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. Through their renderings, models, programmings, exhibitions and publications, they frequently explore the social issues and the roles that art and artists play in confronting them. With their unique history and resources they have made strides to become a leader in defining the role of art museums for the 21st century. Their collection of visual arts ranging from paintings, film and digital imagery makes the Carnegie Museum of Art one of the most dynamic and most importantly, creative art institutions in America.
Located at 117 Sandusky Street, the Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks, creations and archival materials. They are one of the most extensive single-artist museums in all of North America. The Warhol is also a member of the four Carnegie Muesums, and was created as a collaborative project between Carnegie Institute, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Dia Art Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. The Warhol was redesigned by architect Richard Gluckman and features seven floors of gallery and exhibition space as well as an underground level that houses The Factory education studio and the conservation lab; all bursting with innovative and creative energy.
The Andy Warhol Museum will be a global destination for scholarship and learning about Warhol’s life, art, and relevance to contemporary culture. With expanded access to the collection and engaging experiences, the museum will be a sustainable model for inclusivity and a platform for creative expression.
The Mattress Factory is self-described as “A museum laboratory where you can immerse yourself in the creative vision of artists from around the world”.
The Mattress Factory has pioneered the development of alternative art forms through site-specific installations, performance art, and video. The museum is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in their site-specific and contemporary art, and is infamous for pushing the boundaries of both the artist and the viewer. The museum was founded in 1977, by artists, for artists working in residence to site-specific installations. Their installations range from visuals projected onto the walls of a room, with only a bench in the middle for you to sit on, to rooms filled to the brim with tea cups, tea pots, and tea spoons, and very little space for you to walk around. Since its start the museum has presented and commissioned new installations and performance works by over 750 artists. The museum supports established and emerging artists through a residency program that provides leadership, guidance, resources and opportunities to create artwork that is unconventional, challenging and thought-provoking.
Widely regarded as one of Americas most colorful public art landmarks, Randyland is next on our list. In 1995, Randy Gilson purchased a few rundown buildings in Pittsburgh’s North Side and started turning it into this incredible art center. Although he himself proclaims that he knows nothing about art, painting or gardening, Randy has created a colorful and visually stimulating site that not only houses the pieces he and others have created, but is also a piece of art in itself.
He used his knack recycling goods in innovative ways; An ecclectic, hyper-colorful symbol of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure. From creative murals on the walls to pink lawn flamingos, the three-story installation is visible from the streets that surround it, and has even inspired neighboring homes to add a little imagination to their walls; which Randy supports wholeheartedly! Randy even describes his passion project as, “People projects by people create a peoplehood!” So make sure to stop by and experience Randy’s creativity and imagination for yourself!
After his illustrative career as lead singer in Johnny Angel and the Halos during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Johnny Angel had amassed an extensive collection of colorful memorabilia. He knew he wanted to share the treasures and memories he had with the residents of Pittsburgh, so in 2016 he opened Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff. The walls that house this assortment of music stuffs are lined with themed jackets from performances, playbills from shows, signed records from bands, and so much more that tells the colorful and creative tale of Johnny’s life. So much, in fact, that the building is divided into two sections. The first half is the museum, housing the memorabilia gathered from over the decades but the second half is filled with instruments, music products, and more merchandise to buy. The restrooms are even decorated from top to bottom with all kinds of art and stickers; all favorites from Johnny’s collection! Although they’re not marked so you’ll have to ask Johnny where they’re at. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to ask him what his favorite pieces are, he’ll be glad to tell you! And you might get to see some stuff that the public eye might not catch.
This might be the most unconventional place on our list, but nonetheless Color Park is a staple in Pittsburgh’s artistic community. This creative landmark has only been officially open since 2017, but the space was being designed and painted long before that. Baron Batch, a local graffiti artist, had been tagging the spot with his work for years prior to its establishment, but his art was being reported for vandalism. Finally he had enough and sparked a discussion about the definition of what