Open Hours: Thurs 7-9pm, Sat 1-4pm, or by appointment
Right now, just me (Jennifer Quinio)
How are programs funded?
The gallery is a performance space as well. People can rent it for poetry readings, film showings, plays…anything, really. Most of the funding comes from the rental fee for these events. But the fees that people pay to rent the space are low. I also wanted to have a space that was affordable. For art, the gallery receives a 25% commission, with the artist receiving 75%. The rest of the funding comes from my pocket.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Me. Luckily I have many people that support what I do and they are willing to lend a hand when I need it.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year:
The exhibits last on a month to month basis, for the most part. There are around 10 to 12 exhibitions per year. They open on the first Friday of the month. The gallery is located within a recently formed (circa 1998), and continuously growing, arts district within the city of Pittsburgh. The Penn Avenue Arts Initiative was created as a way to revitalize the Penn Avenue Corridor through the arts.The PAAI has an art walk every month called “Unblurred” that happens on the first Friday.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Poetry readings, band performances, dramatic performances, film screenings, comedy troupes have performed, lectures, community meetings.
How is your programming determined?
The artists must be local, or have some tie to Pittsburgh. As far as use of the space goes: if the gallery isn’t booked already it can be used for almost any kind of event…
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
I work with the artist as far as curatorial duties go. I offer my advice, but I let them have most of the control. Some go for a traditional exhibit. Some transform the space to make it their own and it becomes an exhibition experience for the viewer.
What’s working? What’s not working?
I’d like to say everything is working (but if it was working perfectly, I’d be getting a paycheck and I’d have health insurance through the gallery). That aside, I don’t want to raise rates. It still needs to be affordable for artists and patrons! I never went to school to learn how to run a gallery, or be a business owner. I went to school to be an artist and a teacher. I had a job making $6.45 an hour as a gallery attendant. I had a choice to stay at that job or take a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a part of a new arts district. That part is what worked and still is!
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
The gallery has been part of it’s community, Garfield, for 11 years. It’s held classes for kids living in the community, and opens it doors for anyone in the community willing to look at and learn about art for free. By having so many different kinds of events, the gallery brings in unique and diverse audiences that have never been to Garfield. This gives them a reason to return to the community again and again. I want to keep introducing the public to new and upcoming artists (any new artist or non-artist, young or old)
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
I didn’t think the gallery would be able to last as long as it has. With the support of the community, the artists, and the audiences, I’m excited to see what kind of art and events will happen in the space during the next 11 years.
James McAnally is the executive editor and co-founder of Temporary Art Review. A graduate of Washington University, James McAnally is a founder, Co-Director, and Curator of The Luminary Center for the Arts, a nonprofit artist resourcing organization based in St. Louis. In his personal practice, he works as part of the artistic collaborative US English.