Winter Gallery Roundup from LOCAL’s Visual Arts Editor L.E. McCullough


“A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.”   — playwright Dario Fo, Nobel Lecture, 1997


THERE IS NO dearth of Pittsburgh artists creating art relevant to our urgent Pandemic Now. And no shortage of galleries exhibiting them, as we enter 2021 (Year of the Ox starting mid-February).

But the New Normal of in-person visual arts viewing will be one of dedicated time slots, required masking, a limited number of physically-distanced attendees. For every occasion below, check in advance what the protocols of the moment may be.

And, since the LOCALpittsburgh Gallery Roundup exists in a digital realm, check back here for frequent updates on new exhibits!

Radiant Hall-Homewood Studio (painter Jameelah Platt)

LAST MONTH saw a new artist-in-residence program open at 2145 Centre Avenue — Nafasi on Centre — a live-work-exhibit space providing professional development mentorship for six artists per term. More info:, (412)765-1820.

This month, Radiant Hall Studios opens a new artist workspace at 734 Thompson Ave. in McKees Rocks; there’s a virtual tour here, an online application here, an amazing array of current/former Radiant Hall artists here.

BoxHeart Turns 20 is both a statement of Irrefutable Historical Fact and the title of a Jan. 20-Feb. 19 exhibit marking the auspicious day in 2001 when artists Nicole Capozzi and Joshua Hogan transformed a defunct Bloomfield gallery space containing one rug and one fluorescent light into a vibrant showplace for contemporary art. The two-decade retrospective features artwork by Karen Antonelli, Mary Becker, Tony Cavalline, Seth Clark, Joshua Hogan, Irina Koukhanova, Brianna Martray, Deirdre Murphy, Andrew Ooi, Daria Sandburg, Tiffany Simmons, Renee Tay and more. 4523 Liberty Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 687-8858.

You’ll find information and an application here for a 6-month Art Business Coaching Program running March-August, 2021, offered by Casey Droege Cultural Productions and Monmade — 5 artist-entrepreneurs working in 2D materials will learn how to participate in larger commercial opportunities. Sessions include: preparing a portfolio of works and inventory system; understanding cost and pricing; polishing web presence and collateral marketing materials; creating archival, sustainable and durable final products. The application deadline is Feb. 10, 2021.

Photography may not reveal the deepest recesses of our inner world, but what it shows of our outer day-to-day universe can be poignant, terrifying, splendid, and mostly indescribable via written or spoken language. From Jan. 19-Apr. 24 Silver Eye Center For Photography presents its “Fellowship 20 Honorable Mentions” — photographers Alex Christopher Williams, Zora J Murff, Louie Palu, Michael Darough and Phillip Cheung presenting subjects as diverse as Eva Longoria, Afghani villagers, Arctic junkyards, Turkish swimming pools, 3D-printed buildings, Sierra Nevada train bends, Ferguson, Missouri and more. 4808 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 431-1810.

Clockwise from top left: “Untitled” (Zora J Murff); “Ferguson” (Michael Darough); “Untitled” (Alex Christopher Williams); “Roundabout, Khor Fakkan, Sharjah” (Philip Cheung); “Asbestos” (Louie Palu)

** Exhibits **

BoxHeart Gallery. Jan. 20-Feb.19: BoxHeart Turns 20; Mar. 3-Apr. 2: A Map and A Key (painter Tony Cavelline and ceramicist Travis Winters). 4523 Liberty Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 687-8858.

Bunker Projects. Current residency:  Sidney Mullis (sculpture) and Justin Emmanuel Dumas (mixed media). 5106 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh.

Carlow University Art Gallery. To Jan. 29: The Anthropology of Motherhood: Culture of Care presents 14 artists’ visual representations of caregiving, parenting, nurturing and the ethics of care via painting, photography, music, poetry, sculpture, video, risography. University Commons, 2nd floor, 3333 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 578-6000.

CDCP Project Space. To Jan. 10: Extra Fiber featuring fiber/mixed media artists Nicole Czapinski and Alex Ebstein. 317 S. Trenton Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 552-3600.

Christine Frechard Gallery. To Feb. 14: Charismatic featuring Dylan Critchfield-Sales and Larry Neal. 5126 Butler St. Pittsburgh. (412) 407-9319.

Lohr Gallery. To Jan. 23: Travelogue. Expressionist printmaker Tom Norulak exhibits prints, woodcuts and watercolors from decades of travels. 725 Wood St. Wilkinsburg. (412) 727-7855.

Pittsburgh Glass Center. To Jan. 24: The United. New perspectives on immigration via glass, photography, mixed media by 12 artists with cultural backgrounds spanning Syria, China, Belgium, Brazil, Thailand, Israel, Ireland, Russia, Mexico and the U.S. 5472 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 365-2145.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts. Mar. 19-Apr. 24: Trigger Warning. 15 artists explore America’s epidemic of gun violence. 200 Broad St. Sewickley. (412) 741-4405.

Silver Eye Center For Photography. Jan. 19-Apr. 24: Erik Hagen’s Erik Hagen: Team Member uses staged photography and poetic text to explores his personal experience working in a large chain grocery store. ALSO, five photographers featured in Honorably Mentioned: Selected Portfolios from Fellowship 20. 4808 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 431-1810.

Thoughtrobbers Gallery. Jan. 9, 6-10 p.m: Ladonna Macon, Hidden Emotions. A masquerade art event. 438 S. Main St. Pittsburgh. (702) 854-0507.

Zynka Gallery. Jan. 9-Feb. 20: Ashley Cecil, Violence in Eden. 904 Main St. Sharpsburg. (412) 952-7370.

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Cecil, “Take Shelter” (Zynka Gallery); Sandra Bacchi, “Untitled” (Carlow University Art Gallery); Mary Becker, “Pandemic Playdate” (BoxHeart Gallery); Larry Neil, “My Son: (Christine Frechard Gallery)

Andy Warhol Museum. Mar. 5-Aug. 30: Fantasy America. Nona Faustine, Kambui Olujimi, Pacifico Silano, Naama Tsabar and Chloe Wise revisit Andy Warhol’s 1985 photobook America with new works addressing today’s social upheavals. 117 Sandusky St. Pittsburgh. (412) 237-8300.

Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh. (412) 622-3131.

•  To Jan. 3, 2021: Counterpressures.10 Pittsburgh–area artists grappling with the current ecological present and its uncertain future.

•  To Jan. 11: The Art of Neapolitan Presepio. More than 100 superbly modeled human, animal and angelic figures Nativity scenes crafted between 1700 and 1830. 

•  To Jan. 18: An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain. The first comprehensive survey of the politically charged work of photographer An-My Lê.

•  To Feb. 14: Diane Severin Nguyen: Tyrant Star. A 16-minute video work tracing the star-crossed melancholy of two separated lovers memorialized by a beloved pop tune, Vietnamese folk poems and the sensual and toxic urban periphery of modern Ho Chi Minh City.

•  To Mar. 14: Locally Sourced. New work by some of the region’s most talented artists and makers of functional goods and furnishings.

•  To Mar. 14: Trevor Paglen: Opposing Geometries. An exploration of artificial intelligence and surveillance systems.

•  To Mar. 28: States of Becoming. Drawings, models and photographs from the Heinz Architectural Center.

The Frick Art Museum. To Jan. 24: Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces. Dutch contemporary artist Bouke de Vries interprets an 18th-century tablescape with a sprawling assemblage of porcelain fragments resembling a nuclear wasteland. To Feb. 7: The Frick Reflects: Looking Back, Moving Forward. An exhibit marking the The Frick Pittsburgh’s 50th anniversary with a critical look at permanent collection and the museum’s institutional origin story. 7222 Reynolds St. Pittsburgh (412) 371-0600.

Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces (Frick Art Museum)