Pittsburgh Drawings

In September of 2019, I began a series of sketches of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Some are quick impressions of familiar places. Others are closely-observed investigations of places I have overlooked. As I document life in this diverse city, I aim to show glimpses of the human condition. I think these works also reflect a city that is firmly holding onto the past as it slowly moves forward.

Tom Sarver, copyright 2020

Knoxville on the border of Mt. Oliver Borough. 14″ x 11″, March 9, 2020.

 

Tom Sarver, copyright 2020

Light rail, The T, making its way down Broadway Avenue, Beechview. It was a cold, windy day. I could smell the Mexican food cooking at nearby restaurants. 17″ x 14″, March 3, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Sketching from the balcony of Arcade Shops, a Downtown Pittsburgh mall and food court. A collage of inside/outside imagery. February 28, 2020.

 

Tom Sarver, copyright 2020

Bantha Tea Bar, Penn Avenue, Bloomfield – Garfield. This gritty, but rapidly gentrifying, neighborhood holds monthly Unblurred gallery crawls.  9.5″ x 12″ November 22, 2019.

 

Tom Sarver, copyright 2020

South Side, looking down S. 15th Street towards East Carson Street from the pedestrian train crossing at the base of the South Side Slopes. I lived in this neighborhood for several years. I love the mix of old church architecture, refurbished storefronts and new structures. 5.75″ x 8.5″, January 7th, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Entrance to Highland Park. 10″ x 8.5″, September 12, 2019.

 

Tom Sarver, copyright 2020

Located in Central Lawrenceville, Allegheny Cemetery is a sprawling park-like complex with ponds, fountains and tree-lined paths. As I sketched this pond, a couple pulled up and ate a box of doughnuts in their car. 14″ x 11″, October 26, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver, Copyright 2020

The Squirrel Hill Cafe, better known as the Squirrel Cage, Squirrel Hill South. 8.5″ x 5.75″, February 10th, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Squirrel Hill North, Forbes Avenue. 5.5″ x 8.5″, September 11, 2019

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Highland Park. During the winter months, the zoo holds regular Saturday penguin parades. Crowds of visitors line up along zoo pathways, eager to catch a glimpse of the waddling creatures. 5.5″ x 6″, February 15, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Waiting to get my hair cut at The Humble Barber, Brighton Heights. 5.5″ x 6″, Fall 2019.

 

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Murray Avenue, Greenfield. 8.5″ x 5.75″, February 6th, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

View from Points of View Park, Grandview Avenue, Mount Washington. I was looking down the Ohio River towards Brunot’s Island. 17″ x 14″, January 15, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Pirates baseball at PNC Park, North Shore. 4″ x 6″, September 17, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Homewood South. One of the most beautiful libraries of the Carnegie network, the Homewood branch. 10″ x 7″, December 10, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Trinity Cathedral in Downtown Pittsburgh. The Episcopal, Gothic-style church was completed in 1872. The site holds the oldest marked graves west of the Atlantic Seaboard. 14.5″ x 23.5″, September 24, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Middle Hill District, view looking out the window of the new Carnegie Library. 9″ x 12″, February 22nd, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Central Oakland. The plants and antique structures of the conservatory are amazing, but on this trip, I tried to capture some of the human activity. 5.5″ x 6″, February 9, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Part 2 of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. 5.5″ x 6″, February 9, 2020.

 

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Upper Hill District. View from reservoir at Robert E. Williams Memorial Park looking west. 5.5″ x 8.5″, March 4, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

The row houses have been thinned out a bit in the California-Kirkbride neighborhood of the North Side. 5.5″ x 8.5″, March 18, 2020.

 

 

 

Tom Sarver Art

East Ohio Street, East Allegheny. 24″ x 19″, April 8, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Point Breeze. The Clayton Mansion, once the majestic home of the Henry Clay Frick family, is now part of The Frick Museum and Gardens. 11″ x 14″, October 12, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Located on the western edge of the city bordering McKees Rocks, Windgap is a quiet area of overgrown fields and light industry mixed with areas of older homes. I often take a shortcut past this area of towering power lines. 12.5″ x 9″, February 17, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Woods Run Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood. 8.5″ x 5.75″, January 16, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

PPG Aquarium at Pittsburgh Zoo, Highland Park. 5.5″ x 6″, February 15, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Motorcycle cruising down Butler Street, Lower Lawrenceville. Featuring former Pittsburgh Wash House & Public Baths building (1903). 17″ x 14″, February 6, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020.

A gritty corner of Downtown Pittsburgh. Smithfield Street and the Boulevard of The Allies. 8.5″ x 5.5″, February 29, 2020.

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Noblestown Road Shop n’ Save, Westwood. As I sketched, I noticed a woman eating a Taco Bell lunch in a nearby vehicle. 8.5″ x 5.5″, January 8, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

I stopped at Ka-Fair Coffee in Morningside for breakfast and sketched the view out the front window. Some repairs were happening on a nearby building. 5.5″ x 6″, January 23, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

A secluded spot at the beginning of social distancing. Nine Mile Run Trailhead in Swisshelm Park. The watershed has undergone major remediation since Pittsburgh’s industrial era. The impressive bridge structure is I-376 just outside of the eastern end of the Squirrel Hill tunnels. 12″ x 9″, March 17, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

As I ate breakfast, people around me were nervously talking about the pandemic. Kelly O’s Diner, Strip District. 5.5″ x 6″, March 11, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Some city stairs coming down the South Side Slopes. 8.5″ x 5.5″, March 8, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Lots of tall, old, wood-framed houses adjacent to a majestic Classical church in Polish Hill. 5.5″ x 8.5″, March 5, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Schenley Plaza, Central Oakland. 5.5″ x 6″, September 25, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

A small Beto O’Rourke rally organized by University of Pittsburgh students at Schenley Plaza. 5.5″ x 6″, September 25, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020.

Crawford-Roberts neighborhood of the Hill District. August Wilson House, the childhood home of the Pittsburgh playwright. The 1727 Bedford Avenue site is being transformed into a center for arts and community programs. 12″ x 9″, March 13, 2020.

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

The last Farmer’s Market day of 2019, Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh. 5.5″ x 6″, October 24, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

People gathering at the public tables at Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, during the last Farmer’s Market day of 2019. 5.5″ x 6″, October 24, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

A construction site along Butler Street, Lower Lawrenceville. 5.75″ x 8.5″, February 12, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Pennsylvania Macaroni, Penn Avenue, Strip District. 5.5″ x 8.5″ September 10, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Forbes Avenue, North Oakland. 14″ x 11″, February 26, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Bedford Hope Center located in Bedford Dwellings, a public housing project in the Hill District. The center provides social services to the community. 12″ x 9″, March 16, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020.

Birch tree in Friendship. 5.5″ x 6″, February 18, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Warrington Avenue, Allentown. 5.5″ x 8.5″ October 9th, 2019

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Children’s Museum, Allegheny Center. 10″ x 8″, September 9, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

The Walnut Street shopping district of Shadyside. Walnut and Copeland Street intersection. 14″ x 11″, October 31, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Brookline Boulevard, Brookline. This is one of my regular stops (Pitaland and Las Palmas). 24″ x 19″, December 26, 2019.

 

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

A quick sketch of Bluff, otherwise known as Uptown. 8.5 x 5.5, February 20, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

A snowy day in Esplen. 9″ x 12″, February 7. 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

East Carson Street South Side Flats / Jack’s Bar. 14″ x 11″ January 10, 2020.

 

 

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Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield. 10″ x 8″, September 8th, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Penn & Highland, East Liberty. 11″ x 14″ November 27, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

View of Downtown Pittsburgh from the West End Overlook, Elliott. 8″ x 10″, September 6th, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Perry North. Observatory Hill in Riverview Park. 11″ x 14″, January 2nd, 2020.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

North Shore. The Andy Warhol Bridge crossing the Monongahela River. 4″ x 6″, September 4th, 2019.

 

 

Tom Sarver copyright 2020

Home Sweet Home, 14″ x 17″, January 22, 2020.