The Ball-Nogues Studio rendering of the Amsterdam Island Antipode coming to Market Square this summer. Image courtesy of PDP.

Let’s say — bear with us here — that you’re standing in Market Square and you start to dig through the center of the earth to exit the other side. Where would you emerge?

On New Amsterdam, a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Now you know. But you won’t have to dig to get there. As part of the Market Square public art program, Ball-Nogues Studio will create “a to-scale model of the island in the middle of Market Square, where visitors can climb and explore,” according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership which held its annual meeting yesterday.

It was one of many announcements made at the meeting on the 35th floor of the US Steel Building, to a sold-out crowd of hundreds. The Amsterdam Island Antipode was one of three art projects discussed.

Another was the Garrison Canal, part of the larger alleyway enhancement project, that will light Garrison Place between Exchange Way and Liberty Avenue. Artist Andrea Polli whose Energy Flow can be seen on the Rachel Carson Bridge through April 8, will help to turn this part of Garrison Place into “an underwater future world of big data” using elements from her bridge installation.

And on Strawberry Way, Pittsburgh artist Julie Mallis has been commissioned for the next mural installation in the alley which will begin in June. (Note: Last year’s sidewalk art and café tables and chairs in this location were a big hit.)

Saturday Night Music Series

With the success of last year’s Saturday Night Market, the PDP will “build the market into a 25 week-long, free, live music series” in partnership with WYEP-FM, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Boom Concepts, Liveburgh Studio and Mr. Smalls Funhouse. The series will kick off on May 12 with Raelyn Nelson, granddaughter of Willie Nelson.

Local maker initiative

In response to a request from the URA, the PDP is looking to buy and renovate the sad looking property at 604 Liberty Avenue for a curated retail showroom and local maker space.

Also in the works, the PDP is planning an experiential storefront along Smithfield Street in Mellon Square for local makers.

Read about more new initiatives and plans from the PDP, along with stats about decreased crime and survey results, in their online annual report.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.