The Pittsburgh Office of Public Art has been publishing guides to public art in downtown and Oakland for several years.
Last year, interest in guided art walks increased, and now those are being offered as well. This Saturday, a free, hour-long walk will focus on the South Side.
“What makes them different than the self-guided experience, despite the fact that you’re with people, is that they only focus on two to three works and whenever possible we try have an expert in that art work join the tour," said OPA Director Renee Piechocki. "What we really love is when artists who made these works are able to be on the tour.”
The South Side art walk with focus on Tim Kaulen’s The Workers sculpture and James O’Toole’s Steelworkers Monument, and both artists will be part of the tour.
Since the guided tours are still a relatively new offering, Piechocki said the OPA is experimenting with different options, such as encouraging people to bring along their dogs.
“I think we were partly inspired by the location of Tim’s sculpture," she said. "It’s located right near the new dog park right along the Mon, we thought well if we’re meeting here, we might as well see if people want to bring their pets as well.”
While the guided tours provide more of a focus on individual pieces, Piechocki said everyone is welcome to do self-guided tours of areas such as downtown and Oakland. Guides are available on their website.
“One of the things that has come to the surface a lot from these tours from the participants, they tell us it is a way for them to explore different communities or different neighborhoods that they don’t usually visit,” Piechocki said. “Or if they do visit them, it’s a way to see those places through a new lens.”
The South Side Art in Public Places guided walk takes place rain or shine Saturday starting at noon. Friendly, on-leash dogs are welcome. The cost is $7 in advance or $10 on site.