Mural engages local youth


The Pittsburgh Project has been the home base recently for the creation of a mosaic mural gateway sign for the Fineview and Perry Hilltop neighborhoods with organizers utilizing the help from local youth to create the artwork for the project.

Robin Alexander, project manager for the mural, said the sign will be located at the intersection of Perrysville Avenue and Federal Street. With help from artists Sandy Kessler and Linda Wallen, the three have worked with neighborhood youth to produce the clay pieces that will be included in the mosaic. The project began in September 2016 and ended this January with the students meeting twice a week after school to work on the mural.

Wallen said the children who helped create the project ranged from middle school and high school students, and they used clay to make the pieces for the mural and also chose the imagery.

“There are some architecture, people, lots of bushes and trees, and some of the ornamental iron work you see throughout the community,” Wallen said.

Around 40 square feet of clay pieces were created, and Wallen said after the pieces were completed by the kids, she and Kessler would take the clay over to the Union Project to be fired in the kiln and then brought back to the Pittsburgh Project so the students would paint and glaze the pieces, then it was back to the union project to high fire the clay in the kiln.

Kessler said after the kids completed the clay pieces, adult volunteers were asked to help assemble and attached the pieces to the panels using grout. There are three panels that are 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide, which will slightly curve to add a better view of the mural as commuters come up the hill.

Alexander said she expects that the mural will be installed and landscaping will take place sometime this spring with a ribbon cutting ceremony held in May or June.

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