Photo by Joey Kennedy.

Downtown Cultural District
April 22
5:30 — 11

The best place to spring into art and shop en plain air this month is in the Cultural District.

Justified by Love, Jennifer Angus, 2015.
Justified by Love, Jennifer Angus, 2015.

Celebrate the warmer temps and bluer skies–and kick off a new season of contemporary art–at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s
signature quarterly showcase which spans dozens of downtown venues and locations.

Running from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday night–and all entirely free–the latest installment of The Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District will teem with immersive, cutting-edge visual art, live music and performances, film screenings, DJs, hands-on activities, independent shopping and dining, and more.

Ivana Adaime Makac, Le Banquet, 2008-2016.
Ivana Adaime Makac, Le Banquet, 2008-2016.

One stop not to miss is Wood Street Galleries, to celebrate the rather timely opening of a group exhibition exploring all things . . . creepy-crawly. Curated by Ali Momeni, All Around Us: Installations and Experiences Inspired by Bugs, explores the awe-inspiring powers of bugs and the complex relationships between insects and humans, as well as biology, free will and mathematical models found in nature.

The Wood St. opening will also feature several provocative performances, including Garnet Hertz’s Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot–an experimental system that translates the movements of a living insect into the locomotion of a three-wheeled robot–and a live streaming of male Habronattus jumping spiders on an architectural stage. At 9 p.m., artists Robin Meier and Andre Gwerder will present the U.S. premiere of Synchronicity (Thailand), an experimental music and video project that synchronizes the flashes of live fireflies with computer controlled LEDs.

Micheal Iacovone, Arctic Circle.
Micheal Iacovone, Arctic Circle.

Nearby at SPACE, be sure to check out Degrees of Separation, which features a variety of multimedia works by five national artists and four Pittsburgh talents. Curated by Kristen Letts Kovak, the group exhibit explores themes of spiritual, mental and physical distance.

Head over to 709 Penn Gallery for the opening of Dancing In The End Zone is a Sine Qua Non for In-External Spaces, a solo exhibition showcasing new work by Houston-based interdisciplinary artist Nathaniel Donnett. Featuring work examining the sociopolitical conditions and cultural expressions of African Americans, the exhibition is part of the ongoing By Any Means project.

Friday’s Crawl will also feature live music by The Flow Band, Nick DeCasare Trio, Joe Bad Project, Riley Alexander, Sounds of Steel, Tony Campbell, Howie Alexander and others.

Courtesy Andy Warhol Museum.
Courtesy Andy Warhol Museum.

Want to make your mark with art?  Head to the tent at 8th St. and Penn Ave. to participate in the “My Legacy Shadow Project,” a live projection and installation activity launched by The Andy Warhol Museum, Clear Story Creative and MARC USA. Show your shadow and share your legacy as you add your own portrait to the ongoing project, and learn more about Chinese artist Michael Chow.

Stay late and shop local at the Night Market, located at the corner of Penn Ave. and 8th St. Open from 5:30 to 11 p.m. the outdoor pop-up shop brims with food, art, libations, music, jewelry, apparel, photography, accessories and home decor from top local vendors and purveyors.

The Gallery Crawl and Night Market are free and open to the public. Just look for the bright green Gallery Crawl sidewalk signs identifying participating venues and locations. Special ticketed CrawlAfterDark events will take place at select participating venues starting at 9:30 p.m.

Download a Gallery Crawl brochure and view a Night Market schedule.

Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in April feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.