Art to Scare You pop-up show turns secondhand objects into spooky art pieces | Visual Art | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Art to Scare You pop-up show turns secondhand objects into spooky art pieces

Art attracts for a variety of reasons, for its use of color, its subject matter, its texture. To honor the Halloween season, a local curiosity shop will appeal to fans of spooky art with a new show and sale.

Rough & Ready Rare Finds in Castle Shannon will host Art to Scare You, a pop-up exhibition featuring what’s described in a press release as the “unique and unusual work” of Pittsburgh artists Bob Jakub and Jeff Bertrand. Taking place on Sat., Oct. 23, the show will display a number of old paintings and found objects transformed into creepy or kooky works of art.

Jakub and Bertrand are patrons of Rough & Ready, and see the shop as the perfect place for the show, as they both integrate secondhand items in their practices, including repurposed paintings, antiques, and more.


“It’s like you bring it back to life,” says Bertrand, a self-taught artist, tattoo designer, and barber who moved to Pittsburgh from Nashville over the pandemic.

Owned by Justin Seewald, Rough & Ready is described as selling a “wide range of curiosities from industrial mid-century pop culture, vintage advertising, taxidermy, medical specimens and anatomical illustrations, toys, art, furniture, and more.”

Jakub, an airbrush artist by trade who runs bobby’s Box of Stuff, takes discarded paintings found at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets and adds his own weird touches to them, including images of Bigfoot or aliens.

Bertrand paints on old found objects, some of which verge on creepy, like old meat cleavers and Ouija boards.


A press release calls Bertrand’s work “comical and spooky in the same breath, as made clear by his newest artistic journey.” It describes his latest creations as “raw, often to the point of being eerie and evoking thoughts of both life and death."

Art to Scare You is being sponsored by Jump Cut Theater, a local arts organization that hosts film events around the city, primarily at the Parkway Theater in McKees Rocks. Jump Cut president and treasurer Susan Mazur says they wanted to get involved as a way to support more local artists, adding that Jakub had previously worked with them on other events, including a holiday-themed Cookies with Krampus fundraiser.

Jakub and Bertrand say that all works at the pop-up will be for sale, and will range in size from miniature portraits on matchbooks to large cut-outs. While they’re not sure how many pieces will be on display, they believe there will be more than enough to satisfy anyone with a taste for the weird.

“There will be so much to stimulate your eyeballs,” says Jakub.

Art to Scare You pop-up exhibition. 6-10 p.m. Sat., Oct. 23. Rough & Ready Rare Finds. 3859 Willow Ave., Castle Shannon. Free. Search "roughandreadyrarefinds" on Facebook

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