Top Places To See Art In Public Settings

June 5, 2011 1:10 PM

Not only is the Cultural District a great place to take in a show or visit a gallery, it is full of art pieces in public places. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council put together a walking tour of art in public places around the Cultural District. Artists were commissioned to create works for this dynamic environment, and we’ve got the highlights of what you can see along this tour. Here’s a link to the original walking tour.

For Pittsburgh

by Jenny Holzer
4th Floor Terrace
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
(412) 565-6000

Jenny Holzer’s largest LED project in the United States boasts 688 feet of blue LED tubes. The work is intended to tell the public stories about Pittsburgh from important books. The text scrolls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Thirteen Geometric Figures

by Sol LeWitt
Mezzanine Level
Wood Street T Station
601 Wood St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 471-5605

A series of abstract shapes are placed upon the wall of the T station, and what they are meant to be is up to you to decide. They are intentionally vague in order to inspire the viewer to think about what the shapes could be.

168 Light Bulbs

by Jim Campbell
Wood Street T Station, located at Wood Street & 6th Avenue
601 Wood St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 471-5605

The light bulbs create different patterns and shapes for the viewer to look at, depending on the traffic around the T station. When the streets are quiet, the idea is to picture the memory of people and cars going by. In the middle of rush hour, however, the piece has many of the 168 lights lit up.

Magnolias for Pittsburgh

by Tony Tassett
Seventh Street & Penn Avenue Parklet; Downtown

Two magnolia trees are hand-crafted out of bronze and placed among five natural magnolia trees. Each tree is adorned with over 800 painted petals each. Viewers can view the change in seasons by comparing the natural parts of the space to the permanently blooming bronze trees.

Agnes R. Katz Plaza

by Louise Bourgeois, Michael Graves & Associates, and Daniel Urban Kiley
Seventh Street & Penn Avenue; Downtown

The plaza was built to honor Agnes Katz, an avid supporter of the arts. Katz Plaza is a central feature of the Cultural District. Within the plaza is a 25-foot high fountain that has heated water; as a result, it can be run year-round. Spread throughout the plaza are eyeball benches and trees planted closely together to allow the branches to weave into each other.

Pittsburgh Recollections

by Romare Bearde
Platform level of the Gateway Center T Station

If you look closely among the skyscraping office towers, parking garages, and city streets, you will see that the retail district of Pittsburgh has some unique pieces of art. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has put together a walking tour that maps out these pieces, and we’ve got the highlights from the tour here! This mural combines Pittsburgh’s cultural and social history. The subject matter came from the artist’s experiences living in Pittsburgh during his teenage years.

The Puddler

by Unknown Artist
300 Sixth Avenue building, Wood Street entrance

This stained glass mural shows a steel puddler. Their job was to convert cast iron into wrought iron or steel. If you see it at night, the mural is lit up and you can see sparks coming from his ladle.

Pittsburgh People

by Jerry Caplan
Wood-Allies Parking Garage Parklet at 232 Boulevard of the Allies

There is a small park on the side of the parking garage that is fenced off; however, if you look through the fence, you can see terra cotta figures of different shapes and sizes all throughout the park. There is also a column that features reliefs of actual people that lived throughout Pittsburgh’s history.

Forest Devil

by Kenneth Snelson
Mellon Square, Smithfield Street between Oliver & 6th Avenues

Forest Devil is a free-standing structure made of 16 stainless steel tubes linked by cables. The piece was commissioned for the 1977 Three Rivers Arts Festival. Kenneth Snelson’s interest in the patterns of physical forces in space is reflected in this work.

Three Birds in Flight

by Mary Callery
Regional Enterprise Tower, 425 Sixth Avenue Entrance

The entrance looks like a glass aviary, with the birds suspended above. The three birds were designed specifically for this entrance.

The Two Andy’s

by Tom Mosser and Sarah Zeffiro
628 Smithfield Street

Are you a contemporary art fan, or do you favor more classic historical pieces? Either way, the Grant Street Corridor has something for you to enjoy. Light and sound works are combined with classic, historic pieces in the walking tour created by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. KDKA has put together a list of a few of the works of art you can see along this tour! The two Andy’s in this mural are none other than Andy Warhol and Andrew Carnegie. The two Pittsburgh greats are seen getting a makeover together on the side of a building on Smithfield Street & Strawberry Way.

V/7/24/365 and Phantasm

by Jeremy Boyle and Gerard Damiani (V/7/24/365) & Laurel Beckman (Phantasm)
Strawberry Way, various places

V/7/24/365 is an artwork based on sound and solar power. A solar panel collects energy, and then a constantly changing musical composition is played for people walking through to hear. Phantasm features installations of different images that evoke a comparison between life forms. The photos used in the installations change and the project will continue to evolve, so check back every once in a while!

Fortune on Her Wheel

by John La Farge
Frick Building at 437 Grant Street

Henry Clay Frick wanted to show his power to the world, and selected the Roman goddess Fortuna to illustrate this. The glass work is supposed to symbolize wealth within an unstable time.

Chairs for Six

by Scott Burto
One Mellon Center, 5th Avenue & Grant Street

This piece was designed to have social meaning. It was the artist’s intention to create a place for people to sit in a circle and carry a conversation.

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