Warhol museum celebrates 20th anniversary

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Photo by Paul Rocheleau
The Andy Warhol Museum, front facade, 1994

By Kristin Douty

Andy Warhol fans, unite- the Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., celebrates its 20th birthday with several big events this May.

On May 17th, the celebration kicks off with the black tie 20th Anniversary Gala at the museum at 6 p.m. for pre-ordered ticket holders.

Gala attendees will have an exclusive preview of the newly reinstalled permanent collection on all seven floors of the Warhol Museum, as well as a special preview of the new exhibition, “Halson and Warhol: Silver and Suede.”

Following the preview, attendees can enjoy dinner and finish the night with live entertainment provided by the popular NYC-based DJ duo, AndrewAndrew.

Gala festivities continue through 12 a.m., May 18th, when the Warhol Museum opens its doors to the public for Community Day – free of charge. AndrewAndrew will continue to perform until 2 a.m.

Community Day runs continuously from 12 a.m. until 5 p.m., featuring free public programs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., sponsored by the Benter Foundation.

Participants can learn Warhol’s studio techniques in the free arts program or attend a public talk and book signing by Bob Colacello, author of “Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close-Up.”

Community Day attendees will also be able to visit the new “Halson and Warhol: Silver and Suede” exhibition on the second floor gallery free of charge. According to its website, “Silver and Suede” examines the interconnected artworks and lives of Halston and Warhol during their years living in Manhattan as icons in the art and fashion industries.

Deputy Director Patrick Moore anticipates an excellent turnout for the events, especially for the public programs hosted by the Education Department on Community Day.

“The Education Department will teach visitors how to do silkscreen printings, which is how Andy made his paintings,” Moore said. “People love to take home the artwork they create at the museum.”

The Warhol’s 20th anniversary not only commemorates the accomplishments and life of artist Andy Warhol, but also the positive impact of the museum on the surrounding Northside neighborhoods.

“The Northside has been transforming for decades, and the Warhol Museum serves as a tourist attraction for out-of-town visitors and Pittsburgh residents, which was always part of the museum’s mission,” Moore said.

To bring more attention to Northside, the museum plans to move its café into the main lobby, where food and art are more accessible to local residents – a project that Moore believes will benefit the surrounding neighborhood.

In the next twenty years, Moore wants the museum “to continue to reach out to people in Pittsburgh, and nationally.” The Warhol Museum plans to create an annex in New York City, but the headquarters of the museum will always be in Pittsburgh.

For more information on the 20th Anniversary events, visit the Warhol Museum’s website by clicking here.

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