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Shuttered factories, abandoned warehouses and boarded up store fronts are being re-purposed as galleries and performance spaces by people with passion and vision. Art From the Ground Up was created to provide a showcase for some of the most innovative members of Pittsburgh’s emerging arts community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7706f0000Art From the Ground Up is hosted by Bob Studebaker and is a monthly series highlighting small grass roots arts organizations and individual artists that take non-traditional approaches to the creation, presentation, and even the definition of art.Know an organization Bob should check out? Email him with your suggestions.

At Biddle’s Escape In Wilkinsburg, Artists Find An 'Intimate and Welcoming' Venue

Courtesy photo

On a recent Friday evening, acoustic music was presented at Biddle’s Escape, a coffee shop in Wilkinsburg. Singer and songwriter Barbara Klein appreciates that the venue is “intimate and welcoming.”

Owner Joe Davis says, "We’re always looking for creative ways to showcase artists.”

Coffee houses often provide an interesting component of Pittsburgh’s arts scene, and Biddle’s Escape hosts multiple spoken-word events, discussion groups, serves as a showcase for local visual artists and presents a wide variety of musical artists. Among the musical performers is an all-ages group which plays ukuleles.

“If you can imagine an 80-year-old lady playing and singing 'Iron Man' ... it’s just astounding,” Davis said.