Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA on 10/11/2018 by Can Pac Swire
Since music and fashion are both artistic means of self-expression, it’s no surprise that they often go hand in hand for creatives in the Pittsburgh area.
Pittsburgh creative house Chimera offers music production services and also offers clothing manufacturing through Grapevine Inc. Services from Grapevine Inc. include both screen printing and embroidery. They even offer graphic design services.
Pittsburgh recording artist Joziah Council has had merchandise produced by Grapevine Inc. Grapevine Inc. has also created trucker hats for Pittsburgh vintage and streetwear clothing company Heat Check.
If you want to wear some Pittsburgh flavor, the local clothing brand Steel City has many yinzer-style options. In 2018, Steel City became the official maker of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood merchandise. Steel City offers many designs related to local sports teams and businesses, including Pittsburgh Steelers-themed tees and Primati Bros. designs. This past summer, Steel City even created an officially licensed line of tees for Kennywood amusement park.
Steel City gives back as founders of the Pittsburgh Is Stronger Than Cancer foundation. Proceeds from Steel City’s “Pittsburgh Is Stronger Than Cancer” tees are donated to The Heyward House. This tee has been seen on former Pittsburgh Steeler Joe Haden.
Another local Pittsburgh-based creator is LuluZ Design. This woman-owned business ethically produces eco-conscious designs. LuluZ Design sells a variety of Pittsburgh-themed items including tees, mugs, and blankets. Designs use a lot of Pittsburgh slang including yinzer, n’at, Pixburgh, ah’ta, and worsh.
This small business primarily operates online, but sold pieces at a pop-up market for the first time on October 15, 2022, at the Strange Roots Fall Fest at the brewery Strange Roots Experimental Ales in Gibsonia, PA. This event included live music from Jimmy Mac and the Attack, The Felt Like, and the Tim Vitullo Band.
It’s not unusual for someone born in Pittsburgh to experiment with different art mediums including screenprinting. Renowned pop artist Andy Warhol was born in the neighborhood of Oakland in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Andy Warhol popularized screenprinting in the 1970’s.
Warhol’s opinion on his use of silkscreen printing was “The reason I’m painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do.” Warhol experimented with using his drawings and later photographs to silkscreen images from. Warhol created screen prints of many celebs, including musical artists such as Mick Jagger and Prince.
Like many current Pittsburgh artists, Warhol did not limit himself to one artistic medium. One of his major contributions to music was his work with the Velvet Underground. He both managed and produced the Velvet Underground. He also designed the iconic peel-able banana album cover for the album The Velvet Underground & Nico. In addition to this album, Andy Warhol created the cover art for 53 albums.
Warhol actually produced his art at The Factory in New York City, which moved between three different locations from 1963 to 1984. Andy Warhol disdained Pittsburgh. However, The Andy Warhol Museum is located in Pittsburgh and is considered “one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world.”
If you would like to experience what it is like silkscreen, you can stop by The Factory at the Andy Warhol Museum on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays during specific hours. They have the option to print on shirts, tote bags, bandanas, notebooks, or paper. The fee for this weekly event is included with museum admission, but there is an extra charge to purchase items to use in your silkscreen if you choose not to use paper.
Should Pittsburgh artists and art collectives stifle themselves by sticking to one art medium or should they move between the worlds of music, art, and fashion?