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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.

Garfield Artist Hopes 'Gentle Gentrification' Invites Neighborhood Reinvestment

  Ceramic sculptor, printmaker and mosaic artist Laura Jean McLaughlin has welcomed patrons to her Penn Avenue studio for 14 years.

She was an early investor in Garfield, a newly re-imagined Pittsburgh neighborhood. But that wasn’t always the plan.

At the genesis of her career, McLaughlin was approached by the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, which since the 1970s, has worked to revitalize the community and improve its economy. They first showed McLaughlin the property she eventually bought.

For years, she passed abandoned buildings on her way to work. It was a tough neighborhood, she said, but “gentle gentrification” is changing all that.