Created from the vision and grassroots efforts of local artists who had the desire to collaborate in an inspiring and creative setting, BHA formerly established itself as a 501 c3 in 1993. Almost thirty years later, the Brew House Association is continuing its extensive history of building community and supporting artists.
BHA opened Space 101, as a regional exhibition and performance space. Space 101 became the home of Prospectus Annual Exhibits and the Featured Artists Series giving local artists such as Lindsay Landfried, Adam Chriscuolo, Zach Dorn, Murphy Cook, and Theo Keller a unique opportunity in Pittsburgh.
BHA began hosting the annual Black Sheep Puppet Festival that engaged thousands of participants from the Pittsburgh area. The Festival was a multi-dimensional performance that lasted over two weeks and included children workshops, film screenings, gallery exhibitions, and live performances. Space 101 was a unique space that contributed to the overall creative strength of the neighborhood and region.
BHA offers innovative programming that supported local artists and engaged the community. Collaborations with organizations such as the Homeschools Initiative provided supplemental art education to children. Additionally, the afterschool partnership with the Brashear Association gave residents of Brew House the opportunity to provide instruction to participants in their own studios. All of this innovation took place while BHA managed the building. Managing the large, historical building proved to be a challenge for the small organization.
BHA initiates the first cohort of the Distillery program. The Distillery program still gives emerging artists viable ways to connect with, and contribute to the local arts community by supporting their studio practice and providing career development opportunities. Participants met for studio visits, workshops, peer critiques, and discussions with guest curators, critics, and artists. They culminated with an exhibition in Space 101. Among the first participants were, emerging artists Matt DiClemente, Amy DiPlacido, Marytna Matusiak, Laurel Mitchell, and Jim Rugg. The Distillery program values the artistic process or practice as an experience not just results or outcomes of the practice.
Following a period of renovation through partnership with TREK development, The Brew House Association reopened its doors to feature the exhibition, Homecoming: Artists and Adaptation, in its newly renovated 2,700 sq. ft. gallery and to welcome in the eighth cohort of Distillery Emerging Artists-in-Residence.
BHA launches a new pilot program modeled after Distillery to support the vital role of curators in the arts ecosystem. Prospectus engaged with two curators early in their careers to support their professional development and the production of two exhibitions that without BHA might not have been realized. The inaugural season of Prospectus included back to back shows in early 2019: The Self, Realized: Queering the Art of Self Portraiture, curated by Hannah Turpin and This is Not Romantic, curated by Dana Bishop-Root.