What Are We
ArtUp instigates insight by activating art. Undertaking on the ground initiatives, the organization builds global interchanges for the migration of ideas across political and cultural boundaries.
The strength of the organization lies in its gritty stamina, keen inventiveness, and agile ability to adapt to new spaces and situations. ArtUp works with open-minded collaborators, respected risk takers, and passionately believes in the exploratory process.
The organization avidly believes in exhibiting well established artists with less experienced ones; embracing mistakes as learning tools that lead to new discoveries. ArtUp is not afraid to push boundaries and strives to investigate new channels of artistic communication.
Based in both Pittsburgh, PA and Baltimore, MD, the goal is to develop a channel for reflective artistic communication. By working in tandem with community partnerships and artists, ArtUp’s goal is to build artistic models for systemic change.
In the Beginning: Artists Upstairs (now known as ArtUp) was first conceived as a multidisciplinary cooperative gallery and performance space to serve as a community experimental lab and studio. The Sprout Fund Seed Award made this possible in the fall of 2005. In July of '06 ArtUp could not renew the 2nd floor, 5000 square foot lease at the 911 Penn Avenue location because of a renovation project. Since the move, ArtUp has tapped into the organization's major strength: our community of artists, activists, volunteers, organizers and friends in the Cultural District and beyond—who support artist-driven projects.
From 2006-10: Thanks to the generosity and support of The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Cultural Trust and the Three Rivers Arts Festival, ArtUp was based out of the bottom floor of 937 Liberty Ave and curated up into the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor of 937, out and into the streets, including 927 Penn Ave, 709 Penn Ave, 820 Liberty Ave and Market Square. The sharing of space and support of our neighbors was essential to ArtUp's growth in these four years.
Virtual and Rooted, 2010-NOW: Through the Sites of Passage work, ArtUp has moved to a global platform that spirals in and out for each international exchange. Rooted in both Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the organization is grounded in the beliefs that:
- Humans should have access to art, regardless of age, social circumstances or discipline.
- There is value in seeking out new perspectives & alternative modes to inform the arts & society.
- As art and cultural workers, it is our privilege and civic duty to help build such opportunities.