The Temporary Public Art & Placemaking Pilot Showcases Community Projects at Open House

Jun 13, 2017

On Thursday, June 8th, local artists, community stakeholders and partners gathered at Alloy 26 to get a sneak peek at the temporary public art projects that will be installed in 6 neighborhoods in Summer 2017.

The Temporary Public Art and Placemaking Program is a partnership between Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art. As part of this pilot, a series of six temporary works of public art are being created in each of Neighborhood Allies’ target neighborhoods. The projects are the result of in-depth collaboration between the artists and the community-based organizations (CBOs) selected to participate in this program. The vision, form, location, installation duration, and materials for the projects have been determined though the collaboration of the artists and communities.

At the Open House, teams from each neighborhood had the opportunity to present and share how the community and artist partnership came up with their ideas and provide a sneak peek at what their temporary works of art will not only look like, but what they will be representing.

The Artists | The Community Partners | The Neighborhoods | The ART

TPAP Artists [from left to right] Njamieh Njie, James Simon, Ann Tarantino, Jennifer Chenoweth, John Pena, Davia Davis, Jessica Rutherford, Shernise Allen | Photo Credit: Office of Public Art

Njamieh Njie | Hill House Association | Hill District

The Hill Family Album | Revisiting the past, rethinking the present, reimagining the future. This project will collect and document Hill District community members stories–the people, places, memories and imagination–and display them visually for all to see.

East End Arts Team: Daviea Davis, Shernise Allen, Jessica Rutherford | Legacy Arts Project | Homewood

Celebrate Homewood | The past, present, future and the African culture and roots of its many residents. Colorful mosaic panels will be created with the inspiration & collaboration of 8 Homewood-based groups. The panels will be displayed throughout the community on a walking tour.

John Pena | Larimer Consensus Group | Larimer

Larimer’s History, from the resident perspective. Resident interviews completed by the artist have produced powerful stories and quotes which will be transformed into physical text-based artworks–picture a freestanding sign, or billboard–and displayed on vacant lots throughout the community, bringing life and history back to the now vacant land.

Ann Tarantino | Millvale BDC, Millvale Community Library, SPMMMV | Millvale

Bright Thread, a  public art project for Millvale. A drawing, comprised of a single line, will stretch from Riverfront Park through the center of town. Viewers who follow the line to its final destination in Grant Avenue Pocket Park find an intimate view of its imagined continued trajectory inside a “portal” attached to the park wall. The drawing will literally and conceptually connects the outer edges of the borough while inviting movement throughout it.

James Simon | South Hilltop Men’s Group | Southern Hilltops

Art Stops: Penguins! Penguins are all about community, sharing, survival, friendship,loyalty, responsibility, discipline, the greater good, dedication, living harmoniously, sacrifice, and grace. Various groupings of penguins will be installed and displayed in selected spots for the Hilltop neighborhoods. The Penguin installations will transform ordinary street corners, bus stops, and green spaces into sensational, fun, sculptural settings. Each penguin will be custom made with his or her own unique personality. The Penguins can be holding a fish (its lunch) a newspaper, a purse, a brief case, playing a guitar, or on a cell phone. The sculptures will be created in clay and fired and glazed with colorful exterior glazes.

Jennifer Chenoweth | Wilkinsburg CDC, Community Art and Civic Design Commission | Wilkinsburg

Come OVER, Come EAT, Come PLAY. Explore and share the beauty of the architecture of sacred spaces in Wilkinsburg with the community. Blueprints and architectural drawings of historic buildings throughout Wilkinsburg are the inspiration for the artworks that will be displayed for the public in creative, nontraditional ways and locations. This project will also produce events that create opportunities for neighbors to build trust and activate park spaces with temporary installations and activities aligned with the specific pieces of artwork and the building’s architecture.

In addition to developing works of temporary public art, artists and CBOs have participated in the Placemaking Academy, a series of ten workshops structured to deepen public art and placemaking skills. The Academy is part workshop, part design studio, and part placemaking projects. The process gave the organization and artists the necessary knowledge base, networks, and training to execute future public art and design projects. For more information on the Temporary Public Art and Placemaking Pilot contact

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA