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Downtown Pittsburgh gallery crawl adds new music stage, drag show

The Summer Gallery Crawl is routinely the largest of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s quarterly art crawls. And this year’s edition has a couple of new attractions.

The event Fri., July 22, includes visual art, live music, comedy and more at about 15 Downtown venues. Art offerings include everything from “Supply and Demand,” a new immersive show by light-and-sound artist Ian Brill, to a final look at “__alachian [ah-LATCH-en],” a group show exploring the many cultures and identities that make up Appalachia beyond the stereotypes.

"Travelling Show" features work by Renee Piechocki
Seth Culp-Ressler
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
"Travelling Show" features work by Renee Piechocki

This year’s summer Crawl is the first to incorporate the Trust’s new outdoor venue, Backyard at 8th & Penn. Friday, the stage will host a special edition of the live-music showcase Soul Stage, featuring DJ Arie Cole and performances by Anyah Nancy, Cam Chambers and Mani Bahia & The Mob.

Also new is Crawl After Dark: Drag Edition with Dixie Surewood and Friends. It’s a late-night, 18-and-older drag version of the Crawl’s traditional evening-closing celebration, featuring Surewood and fellow drag queens Tamara Knight, Leia Way LeStat, Phoenix Fatale, Dynasty and Annasteezia. “We’re going to dance. We’re going to laugh. It's going to be a big old party until midnight,” said Surewood.

The Crawl also includes pop-up improv performances at Arcade Comedy Theater, street performances by Liberty Magic house magicians and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market in Market Square.

Visual-art offerings include A Night of Art at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center; “Little Girl Urn,” a solo show by Shori Sims, at 707 Penn Gallery; “Traveling Show,” a multi-media show of works by Renee Piechocki, at 820 Liberty Ave.; “Radiant Works: Out of the Studio,” a pop-up group show from artists at Radiant Hall studios, at the Trust Arts Education Center; and “A Sign of the Times,” by Deeper Than Grits Studios, at the Backstage Bar in Greer Cabaret Theater.

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“__alachian [ah-LATCH-en],” at SPACE, is the Juried Visual Arts Exhibition from this year’s Three Rivers Arts Festival. Curator Tereneh Idia said the point of the show was not only to confirm Pittsburgh as part of Appalachia but to broaden the idea of who lives in that geographic region that stretches from the Deep South into upstate New York.

Idia’s grandfather was a coal miner in Western Pennsylvania, but because she is Black, she said, she grew up not thinking of herself as Appalachian. But cities are part of Appalachia, and people of many colors and identities live in the small towns and rural areas most people think of as Appalachia.

“Pittsburgh is so much more interesting when you talk about all of us. Appalachia is so much more interesting when you talk about all of us,” she said.

She noted that the People’s Choice award for the show went to Selva Priya for her painting “Appalachian Girl,” a portrait of an Indian girl.

“I really love that that’s what happened, because that was really the whole point of the show, to celebrate all of us, and so to have that be a visual representation of Appalachia, and it be a southeast Asian descent girl just made me really happy.”

"_alachian" runs through July 31.

The Summer Gallery Crawl takes place on the same evening as the 2022 Fleet Feet Liberty Mile footrace. The race will require temporary closures of Liberty and Penn avenues, but a Trust spokesperson said the group does not anticipate a major impact on the Crawl.

For information on the Crawl, including parking alternatives, visit the event website.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: