Master urban artists share style-writing, typography, traditional sign-painting techniques, and painting with aerosol to teach design principles and encourage greater appreciation for the work and culture of graffiti artists.
Graffiti & Style-Writing Workshop
Urban Art programs at Rivers of Steel draw inspiration from the underground culture of local graffiti writers, urban explorers and gorilla artists who animated the Carrie Blast Furnaces and similar post-industrial sites across southwestern Pennsylvania, following the collapse of steel production in the 1980’s. Driven by a reverence for the region’s industrial roots and a strong sense of local identity, these street artists recognized unique opportunities for creative self-expression and cultural production amidst the abandoned factories.
Through public tours and workshops Rivers of Steel highlights the large collection of local, national and international graffiti murals installed throughout the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Urban Art Programs also include community-based activities that advocate for legal graffiti walls and promote the value of sanctioned aerosol art as a creative place making strategy.
Urban Arts Coordinator Shane Pilster
Hours & Admission*
This event occurs on June 14, August 16, and September 20, 2019 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
*Tours are limited to 25 participants. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance as we cannot guarantee tickets will be available for walk ups.
Location & Directions
The Carrie Blast Furnaces are located in Swissvale and Rankin, PA in the Monongahela River Valley. The entrance to the Carrie Furnaces is located at Carrie Furnace Boulevard, Rankin, PA 15104.
What to Know Before You Go
As a former industrial site, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure an enjoyable visit.
- What to wear: The majority of each tour is outside; please dress for the weather. Additionally, the ground is uneven – sensible shoes are a must. Sneakers or boots are recommended. Open-toed shoes and high heels are prohibited.
- Restrooms & concessions: The rawness of the site is certainly part of its charm. However, that rawness also limits the creature comforts many of us are accustomed to, like running water. Portable bathrooms and wash stations are available. Food amenities are generally not (with some exceptions, such as food trucks at festivals.)
- Photography: Photography is permitted. For safety reasons, videography and drones are prohibited.
- Accessibility: Handicapped parking is available, but the grounds covered during tours are not wheelchair accessible.
- Liability: By purchasing admission tickets, all visitors are required to sign a liability waiver and consent to be photographed (PDF).
- Admission: Site access is limited to guided tours, workshops and events. Unless otherwise noted, all admissions are ticketed.
- Duration: Allow three hours for this tour and workshop.
- Children: While kids of all ages are welcome, the content is recommended for children for ages 12+.
Thank you for following these guidelines. We wish you to have the best visit possible, and appreciate your patience as we continue to improve the visitor experience.