Gallery crawls always make for an awesome night. They’re an easy way to support local artists and connect with the community. Best of all, they’re an on ramp for people outside of the art scene or creative community to engage with this world.

And this weekend, Pittsburgh has plenty of reasons to get out and take in the sights and sounds of an arts community in full swing. Friday night the Cultural Trust is hosting their spring Gallery Crawl throughout Downtown. Then, on Saturday, Art All Night Community Art Show takes over Lawrenceville.

Adding to the excitement of spring in the air and art showcases across the city is the opening of a truly unique gallery space, LIGHT: A Luminous Project.

A city beautification project

On Friday April 24, LIGHT pops up at 5122 Penn Avenue in Garfield. This mixed medium, luminous gallery is the work of Creative Director, Martin Potoczny. Stemming from ideas and experiences that have swirled for some time, Potoczny recently had the opportunity to open the doors to a space where, what he refers to as a “city beautification project,” could live.

“It was the right opportunity, at the right time,” Potoczny explained. As the section of Penn Avenue through Garfield was preparing to reopen, Potoczny saw an opportunity to put an overflow of ideas and inspiration to work in a community that was ailing, after having suffered through an expansive road construction project that stifled local businesses. When a friend approached Potoczny with the keys for the space in hand, Potoczny sprang into action transforming the space from a day care into a gallery in a matter of days.

Now, as you can see for yourself Friday, the space is home to Potoczny’s private collection of neon works. As he puts it, the pieces are “Things I’ve collected along the way…things that inspire me…and things I’ve created.”

Just the beginning

But as Potoczny points out, the space goes way beyond the pieces being displayed. And nothing is for sale. As a matter of fact, the neon works will only be on display for a limited time. Although Potoczny will remain in the location for 12 weeks, following this weekend’s gallery experience the space will transform into an “incubator for art conversations, socializing and pop-up events within this great neighborhood of Garfield.”

As for exactly what types of programming will fill the space, Potoczny hesitates to say. “Let’s just say you’ll want to stay tuned,” he remarked. Some possibilities include art lectures, live music, food tastings, socializing, happy hours and community-based programming. More information will be available via Twitter and Instagram. That’s also where programming suggestions will be taken.

But, turning our attention back to this Friday, the venue will play host to a luminous experience that Potoczny hopes will “bring light to a community.” There will be a D.J. on hand, as well as a live musical performance, to go with a food truck and drinks. Doors open at 9.30pm. RSVP by emailing

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
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