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North Hills Monthly

Art All Night: No Fees, No Jury, No Censorship

Mar 30, 2019 10:49AM ● By Hilary Daninhirsch

The straightforward-sounding Art All Night means exactly what it says: an art show that lasts all night—22 hours, to be exact.

The 22nd annual Art All Night event, generally held the last Saturday and Sunday in April, was conceived as a way to showcase the work of local artists. Its tag line is No Fees, No Jury, No Censorship. Each of those components is equally important, explained Marisa Golden, a volunteer member of the planning committee.

“Everything about this show is free; it is only about the art. It is completely volunteer-run. It was founded with the idea that art should be accessible, and the only way to make that possible was to make it free,” she said.

In addition, the art is neither censored nor judged. Anyone of any age and of any artistic ability can enter an original piece to be displayed. Golden said that they’ve seen everything from paintings to photography, to lamps to lighting structures, to glasswork to woodwork, to sculptures to pottery and much, much more.

The word ‘art’ is also undefined, intentionally. “If you feel that it is art, we feel that it is art,” said Golden. “That is the whole purpose of the show—to expose anybody and everybody to art and to give anybody and everybody the opportunity to showcase their art for free, without jury or censorship.”

Anyone interested in having their art displayed can either preregister on the event’s website or simply show up on the first morning of the show and submit art pieces. The majority of artists are local to Pittsburgh.

Although some of the pieces on display may be more provocative than others, Golden said that the event is definitely family-friendly, with kid-related activities scheduled for certain times during each day. These include tie-dye rock making, zine/book making, paper marbling, face painting, silk screening and a photo scavenger hunt.

The artists also have the ability to list their pieces for sale should they so choose, though the transaction is strictly between the artist and the buyer.

The event will have food donated by local businesses and live entertainment—you may even see a live mermaid this year, as well as interactive elements such as a life-sized game, and art made from sports equipment. Golden said that there will also be a live painting event happening in which two artists collaborate on a single canvas during the show.

Art All Night has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a storefront on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, with 100 art pieces and maybe 200 attendees. Last year, there were approximately 800 art pieces and 20,000 attendees.

For many years the event stayed in Lawrenceville, usually at an empty warehouse. Its popularity over the past 20 years, coupled with the trendiness of the Lawrenceville neighborhood, now mandates that the event be held in a space that is, at minimum, 50,000 sq. ft. Last year, for the first time, the size of the event and the lack of available space meant a move to the South Side.

The exponential growth of the event, while a positive sign for art appreciation, has posed its own problem. Every so often, Art All Night outgrows the space that it used the year before, or the space becomes unavailable for use for the following year’s event. 

“This is a relatively common occurrence,” said Golden, who is currently searching for a venue but is confident that one will be secured in time for the show, which she likens to an art gallery opening.

Art All Night will open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 and close at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28. For the most updated information, visit https://www.artallnight.org/wp/ or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.