A Pittsburgh-themed art car will hit the road this spring with a goal of bringing free all-ages arts and crafts to all of the city’s 90 neighborhoods.
Amy Scafuri and Anthony Donia will share time in the driver’s seat of the 2015 Subaru Outback teeming with colored pencils, markers, paints and much more.
The idea came about during Christmastime when when Scafuri, of Shaler, was scratching off lottery tickets and dreaming of a road trip. Instead of getting bummed out about the long winter and the measly $20 lottery winnings, she realized she could take a road trip in her own neighborhood.
“I can use what I have and have a fun journey — right here in my hometown,” she said. “I’m taking my souped up Subaru on the road through the evocative neighborhoods of Pittsburgh bringing arts and crafts to the community.”
For years, Scafuri has worked as a community art teacher, amassing a trove of craft materials. Then, last year, she and her family participated in an art car workshop where they designed an art tarp — yes, this is basically just a cloak turning a regular car into an art! car! — to adorn her Subaru. Realizing she could combine those two experiences, she worked all winter to assemble her collection of art supplies and pack them up in her car’s trunk.
The road trip of pop-up workshops will begin with a stop at in the North Side Randyland on April 2, where participants can design peace signs. Scafuri describes the technicolor Randyland as “the happiest place in Pittsburgh.”
Future appearances include a journal-making workshop in partnership with Girls Write Pittsburgh at Millvale Community Library on April 28 and a stop at the Millvale Food Truck Park on May 20.
More stops are being confirmed as Scafuri plans the route for the summer, so stay tuned to her Art About Pgh Facebook and Instagram for future plans. And if you want to host the art car, you can do that, too.
“The concept is if they can provide parking space — or a parking chair — then I will be there,” she said.
Activities will include journal making, mosaics, nature prints, spin art and festival flags. Creators can take their art projects home with them, and some works will be displayed at local cafes, including Cole Cafe in Glenshaw.
“I’m trying to spread love through the community — not just make art but have it on display in the community,” she said.
A close-up of the art tarp.Courtesy of Amy Scafuri
Scafuri will accept donations to help fund her collection of art supplies, and she’ll work at birthday parties or special events to collect additional funds for her work. But it’s really about the big picture for her.
“For the most part, this journey is just about connecting people through arts,” she said.
In addition to her art goals for the community, it’s a way for the Pittsburgher of several decades to explore the city anew along with her daughters, Nola, 5; Jess, 14; and Jamie, 23.
The road trip will run through the spring and summer, culminating in a grand finale on New Year’s Eve during First Night Downtown when the car will parade through the streets as part of an annual activity led by Braddock-based artist Cheryl Capezzuti who spearheaded the art car workshop Scafuri attended.
There are a few other art cars around town, including most notably, Jason Sauer’s work through Most Wanted Fine Art.
Four other cars were a part of Capezzuti’s art car workshop, and they’ll all parade through the Cultural District for New Year’s.
“We’ll be parading down the streets bringing in a New Year and I get to look back and say, ‘What a great year,’” Scafuri said. “That will our grand finale.”