Every Monday for three weeks following our fundraiser/space unveiling on July 8, we’ll reveal one of September’s three performance spaces online. You can see all the spaces so far on our “SPACES” page.
: PERFORMANCE SPACE #1 Townhouse (East Liberty)
: CURATORS Alexandra Oliver (Pittsburgh) & Carolina Falcão (Brazil)
Townhouse is a pop-up furniture store co-founded by Michael McAllister and Andrea Hnath, both “returners” who had spent time in New York before returning to their native Pittsburgh. Occupying a retail space slated for demolition, it is temporary. It is also liminal and flexible—typical of a particular style of East Liberty revitalization—and more a symptom of its progress rather than a final outcome. All this has a powerful impact on its aesthetic character: since any major cosmetic renovation would eventually be lost, McAllister and Hnath invested just enough to bring its aesthetic up to their standards: white paint covers the walls, ceiling and floor but raw, concrete surfaces remain uneven, and the high coffered ceilings still bear traces of their age. This distinguishes it both from the high gloss of the new retail spaces on Broad Street nearby, as well as from the “original” merchants across the street, whose signs and storefronts are marked by older styles and materials and who continue to serve long-term residents. Given Townhouse’s in-between, liminal character, it will be a fascinating, multifaceted space to stage an encounter between the different kinds of Pittsburghers, who experience the radical and rapid changes in East Liberty in uneven and diverse ways.
For more on Townhouse as a project, read this interview with Michael and Andrea on NakYouOut.