Word Mouth: Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville + Strip District Neighborhoods

Coffee shops, a spacious art studio, a sourdough pizza spot and more in the runway to downtown proper

Pittsburgh’s Point State Park sits at the top corner of a triangle that houses the city’s downtown. Two rivers, the Allegheny and the Monongahela, serve as the two downward borders. On the Allegheny’s edge, you’ll find the Strip District and Lawrenceville neighborhoods. They’re separated by a steep hill and a handful of intersections, but the former neighborhood’s thoroughfares flow into the latter. Bustling on the …

Elise Birnbaum’s OATMEAL Offers Nature-Inspired Sculptural Vessels

The studio practice began in Japan and has grown substantially in Pittsburgh

For OATMEAL owner Elise Birnbaum, crafting ceramics means replicating forms; perhaps the sculptural elements of a pruned cloud tree or the soft curves of a human body. When she first opened the shop, her bulbous and tiered vessels elicited questions about their function, but now Birnbaum faces rabid demand to keep her shop stocked—a testament to her work’s originality and appeal. “I was not traditionally trained …

Studio Visit: Artist Michael Lotenero

Inside his Pittsburgh studio, the artist details the processes behind his "circular" portfolio

Faces find you in artist Michael Lotenero‘s Pittsburgh studio. They mark your arrival, watch you from the walls, peer from behind stacks of nature-inspired abstraction. In addition to the artwork, we were lucky to be greeted by Lotenero’s face when we visited, as he took us through unmarked drawers full of collage-like experiments. In his practice, Lotenero embraces the recognizability found in his otherwise abstract …