February—the shortest month yet packed with hot events. From warm whiskey and Pittsburgh’s longest red carpet to a one night stand in the city’s hottest new hotel (we won’t tell).
1. Fun-A-Day Art Show at TechShop: February 6 & 7
If you’re like us, you probably incorporate a daily ritual into your life: meditation, juicing or diary writing perhaps. But what about daily art? One homespun project has found the perfect cure for cabin fever—and a meaningful way to build community—through the simple, powerful act of making things. How’s it work? Each year during the month of January, local makers bond together via a creative challenge dubbed Fun-A-Day. That means participants choose one art project to work on every day for the entire month. This year, 60-plus industrious Pittsburghers heeded the call. You can see all of the creative results—from plush dolls and 3D printed objects, to poetry and tattoos—at Fun-A-Day’s culminating exhibition. A staunch grassroots ethos underscores the group’s inclusive welcoming mission: Fun-A-Day is always free, all-ages and un-juried. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the communal project has showcased tens of thousands of works by hundreds of artists in 20 cities around the globe. You can even follow along with this year’s Fun-A-Day artists online. Don’t miss the free opening reception on Sat., Feb. 6th from 6 to 9 p.m.
2. Alternative Souper Bowl at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: February 7
Make time to rock out for a great cause before the big kickoff. Dubbed the Alternative Souper Bowl, WYEP’s signature twist on the football-centric traditions of the day is an all-ages event celebrating independent music and the spirit of giving back. The free afternoon of live music (noon to 3:00) at Carnegie Library’s main branch features performances by renowned percussionist and Rusted Root co-founder Jim Donovan, alt-country band City Dwelling Nature Seekers and indie rock quartet Lofi Delphi. Be sure to bring non-perishable food items and household products to donate. For its 16th annual installment, WYEP is joining forces with these local musical luminaries to help tackle hunger, with a donation drive benefitting HEARTH, a North Hills-based shelter that provides services to families experiencing homelessness and fleeing domestic violence.
3. Wigle Whiskey’s Spicy Soiree and Ginger Whiskey Weekend: February 12, 13 & 14
There’s a new culinary sensation in town and you’re invited to its unveiling. If you’ve got a thirst for whiskey and a love of ginger, don’t miss the release of Wigle‘s much-anticipated Afterglow Ginger Whiskey—that means 900 bottles of sweet, spicy Pennsylvania exoticism. The festivities double as a terrific date with that someone special, with three days of ginger-themed fun spanning Valentine’s Day weekend. Get a first sip on Friday, Feb. 12th when the distillery teams up with Brooklyn Brewery to host Spicy Soirée, featuring exclusive Ginger Whiskey samples, spiced beers and tasty tacos from Smoke. Head to the free, family-friendly Ginger Whiskey Weekend Feb. 13 & 14 for ample samplings, Valentine’s Day card-making, DJs, ginger-inspired pizza from Proper and whiskey truffles from Mon Amiee Chocolat. Concocted locally from PA baby ginger grown at Chatham’s Eden Hall campus and The Frick Pittsburgh’s greenhouse—along with a custom blend of pot-distilled multigrain whiskey—Afterglow is brightly spicy, lightly sweet and gently warming. Read: the ideal antidote to frigid February nights.
4. FEAST and LOVE at Carnegie Museum of Art: February 12 & 18
Museums are not just for art anyone. Thanks to an innovative new series spearheaded by Carnegie Museum of Art, visitors can now perfect their sun salute, curate their own private disco, dine with rock star chefs and more—all while surrounded by world-class art.
First, FEAST the night away on Feb. 12th when CMOA kicks off its adventurous new dinner series pairing art and food. Inspired by the current exhibit, The Propeller Group: The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music—which explores South Vietnam’s fantastical funerary traditions—the inaugural FEAST welcomes award-winning New Orleans chef Michael Gulotta who will concoct an epic menu fusing Vietnamese and Crescent City cuisine. The decadent dinner includes cocktails, hors d’oeurves, a family-style meal, and wine/beer pairings. Stay for the cool after-party to celebrate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year with Tết traditions, Vietnamese street fare (pass the Ban Xeo crepes!), music by Pandemic and Raya Brass Band, and performances by Gong Lung (Steel Dragon) Kung Fu and Lion and Dragon Dance. (note: patrons can purchase separate tickets to the after-party).
Next, reserve the third Thursday of every month to get social at CMOA. On Feb.18th, be bathed in LOVE and beats when local nightlife gurus Hot Mass and Pittsburgh Track Authority team up to conjure the vibe of an after-hours disco inside a 12th-century French cathedral. Head into the galleries to be serenaded by PSO chamber musicians, and nosh on bites in the new late-night café. NEXTpittsburgh is a proud media sponsor.
5. Michael Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice for My Father at The Warhol Museum: February 13
You know him as the brains behind the internationally loved Chinese culinary phenomenon Mr. Chow. Now get to know another creative side of the renowned restaurateur. Michael Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice for My Father marks the first-of-its-kind exhibition for the prolific actor, designer and entrepreneur, who was born in Shanghai in 1939. The show’s title takes inspiration from Chow’s father Zhou Xinfang, one of China’s most prominent actors and a grand master of the Beijing Opera, who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. Museum-goers will be among the first in the U.S. to see Chow’s debut solo exhibition, which includes vintage photographs of the artist’s father, new paintings, portraits by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ed Ruscha and screenings of Fei Mu’s 1937 film, Murder in the Oratory. Be sure to also check out The Warhol Store’s windows to see Exposures: Private Spaces / Public Personas, which features Jamie Earnest’s new large-scale paintings of the private residencies of both Warhol and Chow.