Doug, Chuck and Bob Satterfield spent many of their formative years in the big red barn building on McFarland Road, back when it housed their family’s business, Rollier’s Hardware. While Rollier’s moved to Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon more than 20 years ago, the Satterfields still own the big building, and have a vested interest in what business occupies the space.

So when Koolkat Designs jewelry store owner Kate McGrady approached them about expanding her business and turning the big barn into an art and cultural center, the Satterfields were intrigued by the idea, she says.

“Their family bought it and owned it and they wanted something good here,” says McGrady.

The owner, Kate McGready, and creative director, Kate, at ArtSmiths.
The owner, Kate McGrady, and creative director, Kate Wagle Hitmar, at ArtSmiths.

Today Artsmiths of Pittsburgh opened its doors in the now big green barn building after almost two years of planning and extensive renovations. The impressive new space provides 10,000 square feet to continue the Koolkat Designs tradition of showcasing Pittsburgh artists–and now more.

Artsmiths, which is next to Atria’s in Mt. Lebanon just off Banksville Rd., features a spacious and bright first-floor showroom along with Koolkat Cafe, featuring food from the highly regarded Enrico’s in the Strip District. There will soon be a performance space for live events as well. The lower level of the building, remade with cool gray walls and modern lighting, will hold an exhibition gallery (once the plumbing section of Rollier’s) and teaching space, as well as a room for furniture and large art, and a studio space for Doug Satterfield, who works in ceramic pottery.

For anyone who remembers the old Rollier’s, the new Artsmiths is quite a transformation.

During nearly a decade on Washington Road, Koolkat grew its stable of artists from 22 to over 200, from jewelry makers to ceramicists, to painters and graphic artists. McGrady says she and creative director Kate Wagle Hitmar realized they simply needed more space in order to keep the concept going.

“I want to expand representation for local artists in the Pittsburgh region,” says McGrady.” There are many organizations in the city but the suburbs need to offer more.”

pillows at Artsmiths

“People were anxious to get their work in her space on Washington Road,” says Bob Satterfield. “There were a lot of artists who couldn’t get in because she didn’t have the room.” Now there’s plenty of it housing a wide variety of art, jewelry, handcrafted clothes, cards and much more.

Bob has been at the building helping with renovations every day for the past five weeks, McGrady says, and all the Satterfields were incredibly supportive in getting the partnership up and running.

Bob Satterfield, who dabbles in watercolor painting, said he hopes the café will allow ArtSmiths to become a destination. “Friends can come here and meet for a cup of coffee and stay to see the artwork,” he suggests.

Artsmiths is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit Artsmiths online or call 412-341-2299.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.