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A Look at Pittsburgh's Public Art

Richard Washek, Ben Grocholsky, Elise Gatti

Today we want to show you some of the richness and complexity of the public art scene in Pittsburgh. From graffiti and informal street art to commissioned sculptures and murals, public art can be seen in abundance throughout the city. Above is the mural Different Eyes by Richard Washek, Ben Grocholsky, and Elise Gatti. It represents Doughboy Square in Lawrenceville if it were to be seen through the eyes of a robot.

Than Htay Maung

Many of the works seen around the city take on a distinctively Pittsburgh theme, representing a sense of pride in our city that can be intense and striking. Above is what is called the Burma House in Pittsburgh's North Side. The mural was based on a dream that an exiled writer had about the city while living here under asylum, and it features some of the writer's work alongside the images.

Other works come from less complicated inspiration. Artists Laura Jean McLaughlin and Bob Ziller created the sculpture below, the Fabulousa Lochnessa Kaleidoscopa Mosaica. It features a birdhouse on the creature's tail and functional kaleidoscopes throughout the sculpture.

While some pieces seem to serve a purpose of pure whimsicality, like the "Lochnessa" above, other works function as a community outlet. The picture below is of an abandoned house on Whitney Avenue in Wilkinsburg. Its boarded up doors and windows on all sides have been transformed into wooden canvasses for multiple artists to interpret artistic ideas of members of the neighborhood. The street features several such houses, each with its own artwork on the boarded up doors and windows, as part of a collective called the Whitney Avenue Art Gallery. A creative way to brighten up abandoned houses!

Lazae LaSpina

Pittsburgh's rich and diverse culture comes out in its artwork, and these are just a few of many pieces and installations across the city that are wholly available to the public. For more information (and an interactive map!), check out http://www.pghmurals.com/ or their Twitter account at http://twitter.com/PghMurals

Penn Avenue Eyewear At MWFA

On August 2nd, a show opened at Most Wanted Fine Arts showcasing several pieces inspired by Penn Avenue Eyewear frames. We were so lucky to work with this group of talented artists! Here's the first batch of photos from the night. Check back on Friday for a look at some other pieces!


Meet Jocelyn, the lovely gallery attendant. Modeling a pair of the Shannon frames in Jade.



Some of the decorate wooden sunglasses. It was amazing all the different styles that were produced!



Our first piece is by D. S. Kinsel. Inspired by our wooden sunglasses! Darrell Kinsel is a self-taught, left handed Pittsburgh artist who shows promising talent. He works as an early childhood development specialist by day and as an artist by night. His sprezzatura, as he proclaims, is unmistakable in every way that he expresses himself, whether it be his artistic approach, eclectic fashion sense, or obsession with 2 dollar bills. He is influenced by Basquiat, Teenie Harris, Andy Warhol, and August Wilson. Learning about the lives of these iconic figures only empowered him, particularly when it came to expressing his own creativity in nontraditional ways. As he matured, those unconditional methods proved vital not only as a professional artist, but in his ability to engage and communicate with others.  You can find more work by Darrell here.



Next a powerful piece by Sam Thorp. Sam Thorp is classically trained in drawing and anatomy. Sam’s studio is located near Pittsburgh, and has numerous exhibitions, including shows at the Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery. Sam’s work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, and Detroit’s cPOP Gallery. Sam's artwork has been bought and collected across the United States, UK, France, Australia, and the Netherlands. For more of Sam's work, go here.



Next this amazing piece by Ande Marsh. An amazing use of color! Ande Marsh is a 23 year old graduate from Oakbridge Academy of Arts who briefly attended film school at Douglas Education Center. In 2010 Ande started working at Specter Studios, a costume and prop production company in Pittsburgh, PA. There her daily tasks include photo editing, sales, the occasional photo shoot, and website maintenance. She has even modeled the costumes. Ande assisted with producing the past 3 catalogs for Specter. Her art work is full of vector portaits, acrylic paintings, and sculptures. Ande's other work can be found here.



Laura Petrilla captured this amazing photograph. Laura Petrilla captures the essence of people on a daily basis as an editorial and commercial photographer. Her clients include NYLON Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, and Pittsburgh Magazine, just to name a few. Petrilla owns a photography studio located in the Boutique neighborhood of Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh, PA. There she captures her personal project, channeling classic 50’s style photography and transforming the modern day woman into a pin up girl. Her photographs are a flashback for the future. Laura challenges herself and thinks outside the box. Laura's photography website can be found here.


We were so inspired by every single artist. We look forward to sharing more with you on Friday!


Here's part 2 of our collaboration with Most Wanted Fine Art. We were so overwhelmed by the talented artists, it's truly hard to pick a favorite piece!


This piece is by Jason Sauer - it's painted on metal!! Jason Sauer is a “Pittsburgh 40 Under 40″ winner, gallery owner, and demolition derby champion, who uses painting to address an old idea: the nature of American identity. He has been highly active in Pittsburgh since 2004, opening Most Wanted Fine Art and helping build an arts community while beautify its city streets. Jason is a 6-year army vet who received 2 medals during his service. You can see more of his work here.


This is an amazing mask by Steph Sciullo. Steph Sciullo is a self-taught artist who creates challenging and highly original 3-dimensional mixed media works that art often grotesque and beautiful. She shows in various art galleries and sells her work over the Internet and at horror conventions across the country. You can buy her work here.


Check out these amazing glasses by Macabre Noir. Macabre Noir is a gothic cabaret performer and artist breathing life into odd mixed media artworks and curiously morbid fine art dolls including a specially designed series of Saints, Sirens, and Goddesses. You can find Macabre Noir's website here.


This painting on wood by Kai Devenitch is spectacular. Kai Devenitch is a graphic designer by day and a sketchbook fiend by night. Continuously trying to expand his artistic horizons, he crafts everything from still lives to cartoon strips, paintings and animations. As a digital artist, Kai has created posters, t-shirts, logos, and illustrations for such clients as Bayer HealthCare, Alexander’s Athletic Club, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also stays active in the Pittsburgh art community by volunteering and participating in various regional art festivals and competitions. Kai's awesome website is here.


Eanna “Boots” Holton is the business manager for Specter Studios. She moved to Pittsburgh in 2009 from Kansas City with her son, Finnigan. She quickly moved her way through Specter Studios from production associate to production manager and eventually business manager, with her dedication and upbeat attitude. She often models for Specter in their catalogs. Find out more about Eanna here.


Lauren Toohey had said she was going to paint an owl from the start - it's amazing how it turned out! Lauren Toohey studied art at Thiel College and participated in the Jr. affiliate graphic design program at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She is showing her art locally and modeling for drawing groups and educational facilities. Her recent collection of exotic birds was spawned by fond childhood memories that continue to inspire her to spread her wings and create with color. Her beautiful website is here.


This painting by Dante is amazing - those are PAE sunglasses floating over the city! Dante Lombardi was born in Pittsburgh and gathers inspiration from his local neighborhood, Garfield. The former street artist uses spray paint, acrylics, and markers on canvas to capture the feel of city murals and the vibrant urban vibe of graffiti culture.


Rich Jackley is a Pittsburgh native raised in the Penn Hills area. In 2010 he graduated from Edinboro University with a BFA in graphic design. Since then, he is working as a freelance designer and has created everything from logos, identity systems, invitations, and party posters. Rich first started working in the film industry in transportation, eventually moving to the art department. Now he is art director on feature films made by Bear Fruit Films, including Devils Night, which is opening in 2014, and Little Savages, filming in 2013. To learn more about Bear Fruit Films, go here.


We're loving these photographs by Nina Gibbs! Nina Gibbs is a film producer, event planner, and photographer. Born and raised in rural coastal North Carolina, Gibbs is a small town girl with big city dreams. She runs the Pittsburgh based art gallery Most Wanted Fine Art with her husband Jason Sauer. Gibbs shows you a glimpse at her personal American dream: family, travel, and art, through a series of texture heavy photographs. Each photo is a love letter to Americana- fun, free spirited, and badass. For the past 5 years, Nina has produced the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project, a film competition that challenges filmmakers to make a 4-7 minute, with a laundry list of items that must be included, in 48 hours. To learn more about Nina, go here.


Thanks to everyone involved with this amazing project! To learn more about the art or artists feel free to contact us or Most Wanted Fine Art!

Framed: Eyeglasses and Art

As our relationship with Most Wanted Fine Art continues, we are very excited to announce that starting today, August 2nd, we will be sponsoring 14 artists in MWFA's latest exhibit. The month long exhibit titled "Framed: Eyeglass and Art". Each of the fourteen artists will be incorporating a pair of our glasses into their design.

We believe that eyewear is an extension of the wearer. Your glasses reflect your style and personality - much in the way an artists' work expresses their motivation. By bridging the gap between style and art we hope to create a discussion about our lives behind the glasses.

Jean Cocteau said, "Style is a simple way of saying complicated things." Not all of us can draw or paint. Instead we speak with our style.


Featured Artists include Jason Sauer, Eanna Holton, Steph Sciullo, Dante Lombardi, Macabre Noir, Bella Sin, Kai Devenitch, Kahmeela Adams, Rich Jackley, Laura Petrilla, Ande Marsh, Darrell Kinsel, Sam Thorp, and Nina Gibbs. Stay tuned througout the month of August to see the work and learn more about these talented artists!


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