Shadyside Arts Festival supports small business

Capri Scarcelli | A&E Editor | Art by Local Lola takes stunning time period pieces to a faceless state.

Capri Scarcelli | A&E Editor

Sept. 1, 2022

Annually showcasing an array of craftsmanship, creativity and beauty, “Shadyside… The Art Festival” got to celebrate 25 years of strolling through the outdoor galleries of Walnut Street — all in support of small businesses.

Local and out-of-town artists alike lined the street in their respective tents last weekend, Aug. 27-28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., to share what they’ve created. From natural sugar scrubs to homemade jewelry to portraits of Venice, there was something for everyone, as passersby could window shop grand oil paintings or buy small prints to show their support.

Catherine Bene from Carina Dolci Cosmetics & Apothecary always wanted to be an artist. Trying out lipsticks and lotions from her grandma’s collection since she was young, Bene was set on making a makeup company that “formulat[ed] ingredients that are good for the skin.”

“When I found out I had a whole bunch of food allergies, and I couldn’t find a company that had both healthy ingredients and allergen-free, I created my products to help other people and share the love of Jesus,” Bene said.

According to Bene, Carina Dolci, which means “pretty, nice, kind sweets in Italian,” formulates “everything on the science and pH of skin.” Her products are gluten-free and grain-free with no dairy or soy.

Neatly color-coded and labeled were rows of lip balms, moisturizers, hand creams and perfumes, which corresponded ingredients with their symbolic meanings; such as lavender for calm or citrus for energy. Bene had a selection of Harry Potter-themed lotions as well, asking each customer what Hogwarts House they were in.

This was Bene’s first time at Shadyside’s Art Festival, as she usually can be found in Rocky River, Ohio or in pop-up festivals in Florida. Since her sister is a 2003 Duquesne University alumnus, she felt inspired to set up shop at a Pittsburgh festival for a “fun sort of nostalgia.”

Bene’s all-natural self-care spa can be found on, or @carinadolci.

With an egg-celent depiction of cross-contextualized art and surrealism, Claudia Rivera, creator of Art by Loca Lola, features a painting series called “The Egghead Series” that aims to make each faceless image relatable to all audiences.

“Whether it be a wedding, or food [imagery], or a particular time period, anything that makes you feel a certain way and you can relate to it because there’s no face on them,” Rivera said. “And this is definitely a growing, popular series of mine at every event I’ve taken them to.”

A proclaimed eclectic artist, Rivera said she is most inspired by pop culture and the natural world. Typically gravitating toward acrylic paint, Rivera said that this form of art is easy to manipulate to bring about the vividness she strives for in her art. “That’s my madness to it,” she laughed.

Another growing series of hers is the “Octopus Series” which conveys plastic pollution and ocean conservation support. Rivera said she does this to speak out on these issues and depict them in her art.

As a New Jersey-based artist, this was Rivera’s first time in Pittsburgh, and she was thankful to share her art to new faces.

Rivera’s work can be viewed and purchased @artbylocalola.

Ryan Curran, a carpenter and artist who works with stained glass, wood-work, copper and more, combines his love for art and music in honor of his parents.

“My father is a musician and my mother is an artist, so the combination of the two I kind of grew up in both worlds, and that is how I express it in my own artwork,” Curran said. “I do try to have something for everyone though and do my work in different themes, but my main theme is music in art.”

Evolving throughout the years, Curran said his first musical piece was created from the stained-glass piano keys. Throughout the years, he began to make these models larger and larger, adding in different materials to make it more elaborate than before.

“It’s always changing, and that’s what I like about the work that I do. It keeps evolving and it keeps it interesting,” Curran said. “My favorite thing I’ve done recently is [incorporate] copper. It’s got good energy to it, it brings good energy to the art work and it was the finishing touch that really made a difference.”

Curran said he was “happy to be there,” arriving in Pittsburgh twice a year in the spring and fall to showcase his work.

Interested buyers can scroll through his creations on his social media, @ryancurranart.

For a complete list of vendors and their art, go to