|Commissioning Entity||Neighborhood Allies|
The Placemaking + Temporary Public Art Program is a pilot program and a collaboration between Neighborhood Allies and the Office of Public Art. This initiative commissioned six artists, or artist teams, to collaborate with an organization that serves residents from one of six neighborhoods: the Hill District, Homewood, Larimer, Millvale, Wilkinsburg, and the Southern Hilltops (Allentown, Beltzhoover, and Knoxville).
Together, the organization selected from each neighborhood and the artists/artist teams designed a temporary public work of art that deeply engaged community residents. The process took approximately two years. During the first year, artists learned about the communities in which they worked, and during the second year, collaborated with residents and their community organization to create and implement a temporary public art project.
The Homewood partnership was between the arts collective East End Art Team and The Legacy Arts Project.
The concept for Homewood Dream Big began with conversations between the East End Art Team and the community. The East End Art Team organized ten free workshops, and provided materials for individuals to create glass mosaics and flags with Adinkra symbols. During these workshops, the East End Art Team talked with residents as they created artwork. The conversations revealed feelings of sadness and traumatic experiences among younger participants; however, older residents articulated a sense of resilience.
From these conversations, the East End Art Team was inspired to use the African word Sankofa which emphasizes that knowledge from the past should not be forgotten in order to move forward. Sankofa was a way in which to connect the sentiments of both younger and older Homewood residents.
The resulting project was two-fold: hundreds of individual flags with Adinkra symbols were created throughout the community, and eight mosaics will be installed in different Homewood locations, such as: The Shop, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood, The Legacy Arts Project, and N’sideout Spaces.
By the Office of Public Art & the East End Art Team
Edited by Rachel Klipa
East End Art Team is a collaboration between three glass artists: Shernise Allen, Daviea Davis, and Jessica Rutherford.