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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Elizabeth Myers Castonguay, Accomplished Pittsburgh Artist

April 4, 2011

When I first opened my law practice, I looked for a place to lease office space.  Wanting to think outside of the box and reimagine what a law office might look like, I decided to consider sharing space with a non-lawyer, someone in the arts field (of course cognizant of confidentiality, information access issues).  I was introduced to Elizabeth Myers Castonguay, an accomplished Pittsburgh artist.   Read more about Elizabeth here.

Ultimately, I did not decide to lease her space.  Instead, for the past year, in order to control fixed costs, I have been renting space out on a per meeting basis from Kim Collins (my website designer) in her cool graphic design studio on the Southside.  I also have a functional home office (yes, it has a door to keep out small children).  I want to take the time now though to spotlight Elizabeth, her art, and my visit to her studio.

Why Spotlight Elizabeth for Business Owners? 

1.    REIMAGINE. How one can think outside the box for basic business decisions such as leasing an office space.  How can you can be an innovator in your field, what can you do that your competitors are not doing?  What can you do to decrease your fixed costs, particularly in light of all the virtual working that we do?

2.    NEW PITTSBURGH.  Elizabeth, her studio, and her work, to me, embody the new direction in which this Tri-state area can go.  A “New Pittsburgh”/Tri-State Area (While I now live in Pittsburgh, I was raised in a steel mill town in Weirton, West Virginia which is only 40 miles from here; although Weirton is in another state, I am as interested in community development there as I am here).  Harmonizing the old with the new.  Embracing our industrial past and forging ahead to a future inspired by innovation, education, technology, and healthcare.   In the video clip, Elizabeth touches on this notion when she describes her hands artwork collection. She also speaks of the reverence we should have for those who do work with their hands, for they are the engine of our economy.

Take a look at this photo on the right.  It is a view from Elizabeth’s studio window.  In the same shot, one can see the remains of what once was a working plant near the Allegheny River, as well as the shiny tips of the PPG skyscraper in the distance. 

Elizabeth’s gallery is located in the historic Riverwalk Corporate Centre, formerly known as the Terminal Building, 333 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh’s Southside.  The Terminal Building was designed in 1898 and completed in 1906.  More than 75 businesses and non-profit organizations have created new offices in this renovated space since 2000. Read more about the history of the Terminal Building here.

The Terminal Building

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 9:02 pm

    Though Elizabeth’s company does not deal with the law, I think your personal experience highlights an important idea for any small business owner to consider. Non-traditional office space or even per-meeting office space, as you use, is a growing trend in today’s small business environment. Many clients are open to patronizing traditional service providers in non-traditional spaces. As everyone tries to do less with more during these challenging economic times, I appreciate hearing your perspective on alternative office space and hearing about a Tri-State area artist. Please keep the v-blogs coming!

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