Pitt students helped to prep the park for the Shadyside Open Air Gallery. Photo courtesy Jason Fait.

Instagram photos are coming off the screen and onto the walls of a parklet on Walnut Street in Shadyside.

The Shadyside Open Air Photography Gallery, a pop-up gallery that will be up for 12 months, will liven up a small bench-lined park that connects Walnut Street to surface parking lots. It’s a creation of Captured Pittsburgh supported by the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce.

Instagram photos will be hung on weatherproof metal panels along the walls on either side of the parklet which recently got a makeover thanks to Pitt students as part of Make a Difference Day.

“We wanted an outdoor venue that could be enjoyed by all using a unique method that would protect a photograph from the elements,” says Jason Fait of Captured Pittsburgh. “I think everyone will be happy with the way this space is transformed.”

New photos for the year-long project will be selected from Instagram each month (#capturedpgh). Eight photos will be chosen by the 15th each month by a selection committee made up of community members and Captured Pittsburgh.

shadyside open air gallery sample
Allyse Mancak’s Instagram photo (@airofdreams) chosen for the first display.
Allyse Mancak’s Instagram photo (@airofdreams) chosen for the first display.

“This is a great experience and I am so honored to be a part of this group of artists,” says Allyse Mancak (@airofdreams), one of the first selected artists. “I never thought I would have my pictures displayed anywhere. Being able to grow as an artist has made me want to learn as much as I can about photography.”

Some months will have themes, such as weddings in February, pets in April and cars in July to coincide with popular Shadyside events such as the Vintage Grand Prix.

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.