Art All Night is arguably the quintessence of grass roots artistic expression. The annual, innovative event brings a multitude of independent artists together for a free, uncensored art show that's fully operational for 22 hours from 4pm on Saturday, April 23, until 2pm on Sunday, April 24.
When I first heard about Art All Night, I confess I was wary. A free art show without censorship seemed way too ambitious to live up to the hype. After attending the event for the first time last year, I now confess it's one of my favorite Pittsburgh events. Believe me when I say the event exceeds the hype surrounding it and is an event that you truly have to experience to believe.
Now in its 19th year, Art All Night is a must-attend Pittsburgh event. One of the few fully uncensored art shows, Art All Night showcases an expansive variety of art. From traditional pieces to art created in front of your eyes at the event and interactive pieces, Art All Night pays homage to the past, present, and future of artistic expression. Not to be limited to visual art, the show also features top-notch performing arts throughout the event.
Not only is the art impressive, the venue also adds to the artistic, grassroots atmosphere. Held in an old factory in 2015, the 2016 event will take place at Arsenal Terminal between 39th St. and Foster St. Arsenal Terminal, also called Scott Electric, is a gigantic warehouse situated steps away from Lawrenceville's famous Butler St.
Even the weekend's production is unique. The event is fully produced by an all-volunteer committee and continues to grow each year. The Saturday morning of the event, an army of volunteers spend the hours before the event's start time arranging the uncensored art in a unique location in Lawrenceville, a Pittsburgh neighborhood located just three miles from Downtown.
With the event fully operational for 22 hours, visitors may wonder when to arrive. For families, the best time to attend is either Saturday between 4pm – 8pm or Sunday between 10am – 2pm, as there will be a variety of children's activities. It's important to remember that because the show is uncensored, younger children may require more supervision and guidance.
If you want to get the full Art All Night experience, you'll want to go late on Saturday night, when the event is most active with the most visitors, bands, and performing arts groups. Later into the evening, or earlier in Saturday morning, the vibe gets considerably more colorful.
For a serene look at the art, visitors should go on Sunday morning, when the event is at its quietest but still active.
Make a weekend out of your visit to Art All Night! Lawrenceville has a very unique vibe to it and you have to experience it to truly get a taste for its colorful flavor. From eating at a gourmet hot dog restaurant to visiting a shop with all things zombie, the adventure to Lawrenceville doesn't end with Art All Night. Explore the artsy, local shops along Butler St. and Penn Ave, try your retro bowling skills at the famous Arsenal Bowl, or explore the beautifully history Allegheny Cemetery (it's so picturesque you won't even feel creepy for exploring the cemetery).
Don't worry about feeling tired during your night venture into Art All Night, Lawrenceville is home to some of the best coffee shops in Pittsburgh, including the acclaimed Espresso a Mano and one of the newer bar/coffee shop fusions, The Abbey, located in a former funeral home.