The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PCA) sits at Fifth and Shady Avenue and has provided the city of Pittsburgh a special venue for artists to learn, create and produce their works of art for decades. It was formally opened to the public on March 17, 1945 and was called the “Arts and Craft Center.” In 1945 the center held its first musical program by the Musician’s Club. In November of 1945 the first Christmas Bazaar was held and continues today as the Holiday Sale. The first Artist of the Year show occurred in January of 1949 and honored painter Balcombe Greene.
Today the PCA remains a place that is dedicated to art and providing a place that regularly promotes artistic development in visual arts, fine and creative arts as well as crafts. It provides equipment and facilities for artists to create their work. The PCA also provides the local community with a variety of artistic instructional programs. Art is also promoted at the PCA through art exhibitions, demonstrations and sales of artwork.
Today the PCA consists of two former mansions, a former carriage house as well as a pavilion and gas kiln building. The bright yellow Marshall Building is home to the PCA’s art exhibits, offices, weaving studio and performance space of Calliope. Calliope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and presentation of traditional folk music. The former Marshall mansion is an impressive formal 17th-Century Carolean-inspired building.
Behind the Marshall building is located the former carriage house. It is now Marshall Annex and houses adult drawing classes, workshops and more.
Up the street is located the beautiful Scaife Building. It was a mansion built in 1904 and was donated to the city of Pittsburgh in 1946. It now houses the PCA’s registration office and 10 studios that are used for a variety of media.
On the left of the Scaife building is the Mr. and Mrs. Ira H. Gordon Pavilion and Gas Kiln building. It holds a large gas kiln used for making pottery pieces created by the PCA members and students. It is also used for performances and other events.
The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts provides beautiful multipurpose facilities, staff and membership that are an important force in the art community of Pittsburgh.
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