|Commissioning Entity||Arts Excursions Unlimited|
Martha Rial, a Pulizter Prize winning photographer, specializes in documentary, editorial, and portrait photography. In the fall of 2016, Rial was a visiting artist-in-residence at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Hazelwood as part of the Arts Excursions Unlimited program, founded by artist Edith Abeyta.
During the residency, Rial taught a photography workshop to Hazelwood residents. Participants were introduced to camera mechanics, editing, and other techniques needed for photographing various subjects. Images produced during the workshop resulted in a mural titled Hazelwood Rising, a temporary public art piece located on the eastern wall of 4944 Second Avenue, or what some consider to be the heart of Hazelwood.
The mural features the works of five residents: Al Ferguson, Dasawn Gray, Joe Hepner, Harriet Stein, and George Williams. Each resident's photograph highlights the history, people, and landscape of Hazelwood. For example, in Kadence, Hepner photographed a young girl named Kadence, the daughter of a very close friend and a child he has watched grow up in the neighborhood. In Melissa, Stein also photographed many people that she knew, but chose this portrait because of the energy it exudes. Ferguson's Mill 19 was taken during a field trip to the Almono site, and Williams' Pittsburgh showcases the view of Downtown from Hazelwood; Gray's KRUNK documents a Hazelwood institution.
The photographs for the 36-foot-wide by 48-inch-tall mural were printed on heat sensitive adhesive material and were installed in December of 2016. On view until June of 2017, Rial said that she hopes Hazelwood Rising "...will serve as a catalyst for conversation in the community...[and] will empower residents to keep documenting Hazelwood [to] take control of their narrative."
By Rachel Klipa, Office of Public Art
Martha Rial, e-mail message to author, February 13, 2017.
Martha Rial's biography is available at: http://www.martharial.com/
Arts Excursions Unlimited