Originally a comical gag between friends, the new Deutschtown mural is a welcomed addition to neighborhood.

By: Neil Strebig

There’s been a Sasquatch sighting in Deutschtown.

Facing the left-hand side of 821 James Street is the “The Deutschtown Sasquatch” a new mural created by Pittsburgh artist, Jeremy Raymer.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Sean Williamson, who lives at the property with his fiancée, Jennifer White.

“At first we were a little apprehensive because it’s the side of the house, but I’ve been such a big fan of his [Raymer] that I trusted whatever he did was going to be pretty awesome,” said Williamson.

‘The Deutschtown Sasquatch’ mural on 821 James Street across from the James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy parking lot. Photo credit: Neil Strebig.

According to Williamson, the mural came about after he and White were approached by Raymer and Northside resident, Cody Walters. After discussing the concept with one another, Williamson and White decided to go ahead with the plan. And despite a few naysayers, Williamson has said the response from neighbors has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

According to Walters, the mural came about after an inside joke – of sorts – between Deutschtown residents, Jim and Kim Neel. The two would take photos of a Sasquatch action figure at various Northside locations. Eventually, the joke evolved, taking life as a social media personality after Walters created “The Deutschtown Sasquatch” Facebook page for the action figure.

The success has not only led to the creation of the mural, but also the theme for this year’s Deutschtown Bar Crawl: “Hunt for the DeutschSquatch.”

“It’s fun, it’s quirky and it’s family-friendly,” said Walters who also founded the Deutschtown Bar Crawl in 2010.

The bar crawl is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11 and will serve as a contributing factor in the mural’s fundraising, which despite the mural’s completion is still approximately $1,400 away from its initial goal of $3,200. Even though the mural is on private property it still qualifies as a piece of public art that’s funded through public support. With a number of expenses involved, including the rental of a hydraulic lift that was necessary for the completion of the 25-foot-tall mural, supporters can help donate monetary contributions through the project’s ioby page.

When asked about the possibility of selling the property in the future, Williamson remarked, “I don’t think we’re planning on going anywhere for a while. This is our neighborhood, [and] I don’t think we want to leave.”

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