The Office for Public Art (OPA) provides a variety of programs for artists and the general public.
Our public programs offer a wide range of experiences to learn about the history of public art, the public art process, and those active in the making of contemporary public art.
Our public programming includes:
OPA has organized and partnered with organizations such as the Green Building Alliance and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to host artist talks featuring renowned public artists Mel Chin, Jenny Holzer, Sheryl Oring, Jennifer Wen Ma, and others.
Lunch and Learns
OPA hosts a series of Lunch and Learns during the weekday at lunchtime to feature dynamic guest speakers such as artists, fabricators, architects, and cultural producers. These hour-long talks are organized to provide a space for arts professionals and producers to hear an in-depth perspective from public art practitioners, and to connect Pittsburgh’s arts professionals to a wider audience and resources.
Public Art Training for Artists
OPA hosts a variety of different educational trainings for artists who are interested in working in the public realm. Offerings include full-day intensive sessions, hands-on workshops, and visits to fabricators.
Each month, OPA offers a walking tour that takes participants to different parts of the region to explore public art and civic design. Tours have included visits to artist studios, parks, neighborhoods, and towns to see various styles of public art. Our walking tours have also taken place while riding bikes and in kayaks along our rivers.
The public is also encouraged to download our Art in Public Places walking tour guide. This resource offers self-guided walking tours in Downtown, the North Shore, and the North Side.
Other Scheduled Tours and Presentations
Please contact us if you are interested in working with OPA to create a private tour or presentation for your intended audience. In the past, we have worked with local conference organizers, schools, professional organizations, and other entities to create custom tours and presentations to introduce public art to various ages and audiences.
Public Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic
OPA has temporarily suspended in-person public programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New programs are being developed and presented both online and via analog processes.
In 2020, the Office for Public Art (OPA) piloted a new Instagram series with support from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Now entering its third season of production, OPA Live! (formerly After Dinner Conversations) features Pittsburgh-based cultural producers, including artists, writers, and curators, in dialogue with their peers in other locations nationally and internationally.
OPA Live! Extended
OPA Live! Extended is a new Office for Public Art (OPA) program. This three-part series is a spin-off of OPA Live!, a 30-minute Instagram series that features Pittsburgh-based cultural producers in conversations with their peers around the country and globe. Inspired by this format, OPA Live! Extended will provide more time for live in-depth conversations and interaction with the audience. This series will be held remotely, via Zoom.
Top to bottom, left to right:
(1) Steps We Take West End by artist Bradford Mumpower, photo courtesy Bike Pittsburgh; (2) Our Vibrant Future by artist Leslie Ansley, photo by OPA; (3) Rethink Perception container gallery at 2018 Three Rivers Arts Festival, photo by OPA