Pittsburgh’s public art scene thrives with vibrant murals, captivating sculptures and a diverse range of creative expression. Now eight new artworks are being added throughout our city’s parks through the Art in Parks program.
Audrey Wells, communications & engagement coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh, says the goal is to foster growth and empowerment among local artists who create artworks that authentically depict the diverse communities and lived realities of Pittsburgh.
“Their artworks will serve as a testament to their creativity and expertise for years to come, and we are so grateful for their work,” says Wells.
The program commissioned artists from around the country and the Pittsburgh area to create art installations in Frick, Schenley, Emerald View, Riverview and Highland parks.
Ginger Brooks Takahashi: “Drip, Seep, Run,” a sculptural work exploring “the historical presence and memory of the natural water systems of Schenley Park.”
Location: Next to the Hollow Run Trail, the installation can be seen from the Lower Panther Hollow Trail, where a stone marker points to the work.
Suphitsara Buttra-Coleman: “Birds of Schenley Park,” a mosaic-style creation that pays tribute to the avian population while shedding light on the ecological challenges that endanger their existence.
Location: Next to the Schenley Oval Sportsplex
Tristan Surtees, Charles Blanc and Steve Gurysh: “Pictures of the Future,” a multifaceted public artwork that reimagines and integrates Riverview Park’s elements, landscape and history through a series of interconnected artworks.
Matthew Geller: “In Fields of Friends” introduces an architectural folly that evokes a sense of playful amusement park rides, leisurely park bench gatherings and relaxed afternoons. This captivating installation becomes both a landmark and a communal space, offering scenic views of Riverview Hill within Frick Park.
Location: Adjacent to the trails just past Blue Slide Park.
The Urban Conga design studio: “Together” was created as a communal platform where people can come together to listen, learn and grow, embracing the history, present and future of the park and its surroundings.
Location: Near the pool and lake
Also coming this year: Marlana Adele Vassar’s statue, currently unnamed, pays tribute to the park’s diverse history and demographics. The design combines art nouveau, mythology and natural elements inspired by the park’s existing sculptures.
Location: Expected to be installed next to the Bigelow Grove Shelter.
Emerald View Park
Oreen Cohen and Alison Zapata (OOA Designs): “Grit, Grow, Flow,” pays homage to local figures in Emerald View Park. The duo’s three-part abstract steel sculpture, inspired by the poem, “Bread and Roses,” symbolizes the resilience of women and the transformative growth of postindustrial environments.
Location: Near the intersection of Grandview Avenue and P.J. McArdle Roadway.
Ali Ruffner: “A Monument to Pittsburgh Youth” is a collaborative project made with students from Brashear High School that explores the concept of monuments and public art in today’s world. The artwork incorporates castings of students’ hands and ceramic tiles adorned with street art-inspired signatures in the park’s trails.
Location: Adjacent to the Grandview Park playground
In addition to the eight new artworks created for the Art in Parks program, the city enlisted five local storytellers to enhance the narratives woven by these public art installations.
The Art in Parks initiative began in 2019 with a $1.5 million RADical ImPAct grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District. A significant portion of the grant was used to establish the Hartwood Acres Park Sculpture Garden, while $500,000 was allocated for creating artwork in the city’s parks.