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  • Writer's pictureMichael Simms

Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Street Art in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is home to major museums, art galleries and a wide variety of monuments and public sculptures, but the empty walls beside busy streets often tempt residents to create their own art.


THE PAST: Although the site of the old Carrie Furnace has recently been cleared to make room for the development of a technology center, for four decades the abandoned iron-making facility in Homestead was used as a humongous gallery by local residents who turned it into a surrealistic landscape.

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THE PRESENT: If you walk down Butler Street in Lawrenceville you’ll experience many works of art from small window displays to giant murals.

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THE GUSTATORY: A mural by Sandy Kessler Kaminski welcomes visitors to the Strip District, the epicurean center of Pittsburgh.

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THE AMOROUS: The famous bridges of Paris have inspired Pittsburgh couples to show their never-ending love by placing a lock with their names attached on the Schenley bridge.

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THE FUTURE: Cell-Phone Disco is a display in a downtown alley where if you happen to receive a call, a panel of lights will dance to the waves of your phone transmission.

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THE RIVERS: The 3 Rivers Heritage Trail offers breathtaking views of the city and the rivers. Kim Bleck has created an 800+ foot mural beside the Allegheny River.

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TUNNELS AND BRIDGES: Driving through the Northside, you might pass under the Federal Street railroad bridge and see this mural by artist Casey Droege who wanted to honor the concept of entry.

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THE CELEBRATORY: With Yesterday’s Tomorrow, artist Brian Holderman celebrates Pittsburgh commuters with vivid color and design. 

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THE COMMERCIAL: Kelly O’s Diner is situated in what appears to be the Grand Canyon, with a bold sign pointing guests to the restaurant.

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THE PLAYFUL: Under the 62nd Street bridge, a three-dimensional mural of arrows makes a humorous comment on the region’s long-standing role as a transportation hub.  

 

© 2023 Michael Simms

These photographs were collected by an anonymous resident of the Pittsburgh region. They appeared in 2019 with different captions on the website Made in Pittsburgh. Our thanks to the photographers and artists who contributed to the collection. The captions were written by Michael Simms.

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