Holiday shoppers looking for unique, locally made gifts are getting an early present.
The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh Arts and Cultural Center is opening a second location at 329 E. Main St. in Carnegie. The 3,500-square-foot space will debut in November as a seasonal pop-up shop, selling items from area artists and crafters.
When the yuletide ends, the Carnegie site will become the organization’s full-time headquarters, with a grand opening planned for early spring. The Rollier’s Hardware building on McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon that currently houses The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh is now for sale, prompting the move.
But it will remain open throughout the holiday season: “It is very important to us that our patrons do not stop going to our current location during the holidays because they think we won’t be there,” says Kate McGrady, founder and CEO. “We are a not-for-profit who relies on our shop for income.”
McGrady has been supporting the Pittsburgh maker movement since 2006 when she opened Koolkat Designs, a small boutique in Mt. Lebanon featuring handcrafted jewelry, accessories and art. When the business outgrew its space on Washington Road, she approached the Satterfield family about creating a cultural center in their landmark Rollier’s barn, complete with an exhibit gallery and classrooms.
The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh opened to the public in August 2015.
The Carnegie location — which is actually three storefronts that previously housed the Black Lamb Consignments shop — will continue to sell an array of local artwork, but its primary focus will be on education.
“This shift is due to the need we have identified for high-quality art education in the South Hills area,” McGrady says. “We are currently working with adults and youth, but our plans are to expand our youth programming and to engage more disadvantaged and diverse groups. We believe Carnegie offers a great mix of people who can support us and be supported by us.”
Carnegie’s Main Street business district continues to flourish and McGrady is proud to become a part of its revival.
“We see ourselves as a conduit to bringing more people to this wonderful community,” she says. “By adding yet another vibrant and interesting art business to an already fantastic Main Street, we feel we can add our creative energy to the mix and become part of something very special.”