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Pittsburgh public art: murals and more. August 26, 2009

Posted by krbradford in Public art.

Lawrenceville (Penn Avenue) MuralDear Reader,

My boyfriend says I need to stop sounding so much like an encyclopedia and more like a human, so here’s my effort at doing that.

One of the things I love MOST about Pittsburgh is its public art… I keep saying things to my endlessly patient boyfriend about how I would love to go around photographing all the murals in Pittsburgh and publish a book with the photos, but with a photography skill level of zero, that isn’t really feasible. Now that I have this new venue, I’m excited to scope out, photograph, and share all the great public art in Pittsburgh. All told, I’m betting there’s well over 100 murals around Pittsburgh, maybe a lot more. So while I’m out and about, checking out Pittsburgh’s 205 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, I hope to place special focus on the public art in the areas I’m exploring.

The Two Andys

Since 2003, the Sprout Fund has sponsored 45 public art projects in communities all over the city, and my understanding is that there were more completed this summer that are ready to be unveiled. I cannot stress enough how amazing these Sprout Fund-sponsored murals are – they beautify and revive depressed neighborhoods, and they add brightness and levity to stable neighborhoods. You can see a map showing locations of murals completed from 2003 to 2006 by clicking here. Any time I happen across a mural I haven’t seen before, it always excites me. I’ve scattered pictures of a few of those murals throughout this post, but you can see a lot more photos, including before-and-after shots, by visiting the Sprout Fund Public Art website. And, I kid you not, as I was sitting here writing this post, an advertisement came on the radio announcing the Sprout Fund’s Annual Benefit South Side MuralParty at Bakery Square, chock full of food from delicious local restaurants, local beer and wine, great local music, and tons of other really awesome stuff that you can read about right here. It sounds really fun (flamenco dancing! local honey tasting! Dozen cupcakes! Penn Brewery!) and I really wish it didn’t cost 50 bucks a person, but truly, it goes to a good cause – the Sprout Fund not only sponsors public art, but lots of other great grassroots community projects.

Look out for my focus on Pittsburgh’s murals in my future posts – I intend to pay them special attention as I travel about, pondering Pittsburgh’s historic sites. And in case you’re wondering, my travels begin tomorrow, and they lead me to downtown Pittsburgh. Ciao!

With love,




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