Pittsburgh Art Places


5900 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15206

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Mural , East Liberty

Artwork Type

Mural, Removed

Lend Me Your Ears

Jordan Monahan and assistant Alison Zapata


Commissioning Entity Sprout Fund

Covering 8,500 square feet, Lend Me Your Ears was The Sprout Fund’s largest community mural. The original design only included the side facing Penn Avenue, but when the community group learned that an adjacent building was to be torn down and that the mural would become the new gateway for the community, they raised the funds to extend the mural, covering both sides of the building. In addition to a massive canvas, artist Jordan Monahan, age 19 at the time, was given great freedom in designing the mural.

With some direction from the community group, Monahan chose a small number of highly spirited images to create a striking and vibrant gateway for East Liberty. The children depicted are from the community, and segments of the old marquee signs from the Enright and Regent theaters can be seen where the two walls come together. Rather than utilizing the traditional dove image, Monahan used pigeons as a symbol of peace because of the plethora of pigeons coasting through the sky over East Liberty. The diversity of the community is expressed through the many colors of the television test pattern running through the mural. By limiting explicit references and letting the images do the work, Monahan created a graphic landmark for East Liberty, incorporating the attitude and identity of this neighborhood into an engaging piece of public art.

Unfortunately, this mural was removed from its location at the end of 2015. 

Text provided courtesy of the Sprout Fund

Jordan Monahan is a Pittsburgh based artist. 

Alison Zapata has been working as a visual artist and art educator throughout Pittsburgh for more than fifteen years.  She works primarily as a painter, with a focus on portraiture, murals, and multi-media collage.  Her paintings are collected throughout the United States.  My interest lies in building community and interpersonal relationships through the exploration of art.  She is a rostered with Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Artists in Education initiative and the Creative Aging Roster.  In the summer of 2009, She studied in Rio De Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil as part of the Fulbright Art and Culture Research Abroad Program sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the Andy Warhol Museum.  Through a grant awarded from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum,  she worked to create two summer arts programs in Hazelwood, PA.  She currently works as a teaching artist for Gateway to the Arts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and Citiparks.  Alison’s paintings have been featured in Good Housekeeping and Pittsburgh Magazine.  She has a B.A. in Art Education from Carlow University. --Courtesy of www.zapatastudios.com