In 2011, in an empty store front on Penn Avenue in Garfield, artists Meliora and Jason Angst opened Artisan, a tattoo shop and art gallery. Artisan has since grown into a community of artists whose renowned abilities are considered “sophisticatedly stylish.” Plans were in place to open a café and a hostel hosting global artists and to continue using the renovated, vintage-inspired first floor to showcase local and global artists. However, these dreams were deflated upon receiving news that their building needed to comply with city code, which would require ADA-accessible bathrooms, a 3-story fire escape, and other small projects. Artisan, along with other businesses, suffered because of the recent Penn Avenue re-construction project and this news made their future that much more bleak.
Enter their indiegogo campaign, KeepArtisanAlive.com. Mellora explains:
“Our story is one of passion and of pursuit of beauty in the face of obstacles. Artisan’s community is dedicated to creating beauty – on the body, in the building, and in the city of Pittsburgh. We have done well so far, but the difficulty has been in maintaining the momentum.”
Awesome Pittsburgh’s $1000 grant will be added to funds from their recent campaign to help Artisan complete the required rehabbing of 5001 Penn Avenue.
Longtime Awesome Pittsburgh trustee Leah Helou was impressed with Artisan’s dedication, persistence, and potential:
“We liked Artisan’s project not just because of what they have already done for the community, but also because of their potential to do so much more. And they want to do more. They are a unique group of people with fantastic ideas and a wealth of talent. Artisan has struggled a bit recently and this grant signifies a moment for us, as community members, to show that we value Artisan and its contributions.”