Most Wanted Fine Art has been a staple of the Penn Avenue arts corridor since it first opened in 2007. Now the gallery popular for its group shows and monthly changeovers is taking its game to a new space on the Waterfront in West Homestead.
“The idea is that we’re going to be continuing the program that we’re doing here, but we’re going to try to change up how it’s presented,” says gallery owner Jason Sauer. “Here in Garfield, it’s pretty straightforward: you come in, there’s a stage and presentations are either on the stage or along the side. There, we have three giant rooms.”
Most Wanted’s new Waterfront location, at 143 W. Bridge Street next to the Gap, boasts more space than the gallery is used to filling — 5,500 square-feet in all, compared to the 800 square-feet at its original Penn Avenue location. Sauer says he was encouraged to expand when the Waterfront approached him about bringing an art gallery to the outdoor mall.
Most Wanted will keep the Waterfront space open through at least July, depending on the arrangement it reaches with its landlord. The gallery may have to move from one Waterfront location to another after its initial lease runs out, but Sauer says that he’s not worried about that right now.
“We’re trying to expand our audience base and let people know we’re on that side of town,” Sauer says. “A lot of people who are regulars here [at our Garfield location] have found their way to our Waterfront store. Pittsburgh has been very kind in following us to the new location.”
To program the new space, Sauer says he’s going to do things a little differently than at the Penn Avenue location. While Most Wanted typically turns over its exhibitions once a month, its Waterfront gallery will change out every two weeks, and artists will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Because of the amount of foot traffic there, new and fresh is probably what’s going to be our best answer. By July, I’m hoping to get around 200 artists through that space,” Sauer says. “That’s kind of how we built Most Wanted — on the back of a group show. We’re doing the same thing there. We’re providing space for everybody.”
The first large group show at the new space will be on Friday, May 16.
“We have artists in action there already,” Sauer says. “We have 12 resident artists and a couple are going to be there making art live. We’ll have a band or two there, and it’ll be the first time we’ve hosted bands.”