Social Media Exhibiting Pittsburgh’s Art Scene

Author: Angela Nolan

In my work at the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (AAP), I have contributed to this organization's unique perspective on the cultural life of the city, seeing the life of its art and artists through both literal and metaphorical lenses. Working under Executive Director Madeline Gent, I was assigned to not only help out in the Lawrenceville office, which doubles as its own gallery, but I was also tasked with helping Content Creation and Programming Associate, Isaac Pleta in filming the video series Isaac Returns to Art in Pittsburgh, a project he started as an intern here about two years ago. The videos are posted to Instagram every week and see Isaac visiting a myriad of art exhibits around the city including the Carnegie International and John Kane: The Life and Art of an American Workman, as well as pop-up exhibits of local Pittsburgh artists such as Tom Sarver and Brent Nakamoto.  

I spent many Fridays accompanying Isaac to a variety of galleries in Pittsburgh. We ventured Downtown, to the Mexican War Streets in the North Shore, visited the Frick and the Heinz History Center, and even developed episodes at our own gallery in Lawrenceville for the show we opened in late November. When I was not traveling with Isaac, I was working on the press release and publishing schedule for the podcast Isaac is developing for AAP, titled From This To That, which is set to become public in January. Outside of working with Isaac, I have undertaken research to help rebrand and relaunch AAP’s TikTok, with the first few videos being my independent projects. Creating content for Instagram, the podcast, and TikTok took up the majority of my time this semester, but I was also asked to help out with a gallery opening and smaller events being held at the gallery sporadically. 

Although social media was not something in my wheelhouse prior to this experience, this was new visual knowledge I was pleased to develop. I quickly fell into the role and became comfortable with being uncomfortable and learning with every step. In my time at AAP, I have learned how to film and edit videos for Instagram and TikTok, come up with questions for podcast guests, write artist bios and press releases, aid in hosting guests at an “off the wall” art sale at the Lawrenceville gallery, and much more. I have met many new people and learned the ins and outs of Pittsburgh’s art scene, a world I had not been introduced to previously. I must credit this to the access I was given to these new locales, thanks to my role as a content creator, sent into the arena armed with a camera and questions.

Angela Nolan, Museum Studies Intern at the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Fall 2022

Constellations Group