Pablo Picasso once said that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Thomas Merton, meanwhile, remarked that “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” And then there’s Groucho Marx, who observed that “Art is art, isn’t it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” In short, art means many things to many different people, but there are certain constants that remain the same nonetheless. Art is democracy at its finest, for instance, a medium that anyone is free to pursue. It is both a unifier and an equalizer. It has the ability to unite us and make us stronger. And once year, it brings Pittsburgh together as a community during Art All Night in Lawrenceville.
“We are now in our seventeenth year,” Abby Vanim, a member of the Art All Night press team, explains of the annual event, which takes place on Saturday, April 26th, and Sunday, April 27, 2014. “When the event began, it was just a hundred local artists who wanted to participate in a community-based art event. Last year, we had over 1,200 submissions from artists of all levels and ages. Children’s activities were introduced and became a huge hit when parents found out they could bring their kids to participate in hands-on activities. Other activities and performances, like Cartooning All Night and On-Site Painting were added to the event, and last year we began a live auction for the works created as part of the On-Site Painting collaborations. When we saw how popular these additions were, we included them in the growing roster of things that return to Art All Night each year. New ideas also come from our volunteer Planning Committee, and that desire to experiment keeps Art All Night exciting year after year.”