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Keywords

mural, Hill District, grocery story, Charles "Teenie" Harris, Crawford Grille, New Granada Theatre

Artwork Type

Mural, Permanent



Our Vibrant Future and Hill District Heyday

2013


Leslie Ansley



Photo

PhotoPhotoPhoto
Commissioning Entity Hill House Association
ADA Services The work is on the inside of the grocery store, which is accessed by automatic doors.

In the fall of 2013 The Hill House Association commissioned Leslie Ansley to create artworks for the new Shop 'N Save grocery store located in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh resulting in the creation of two murals: Our Vibrant Future and Hill District Hey Day. In their original form, both murals were created as smaller to-scale paintings, which were then reproduced in larger-than-life scale and attached to the wall as printed “wallpaper” murals.  

Our Vibrant Future covers the interior wall of the stores entrance visible through the storefront windows. This mural, with its colorful and energetic design, is the embodiment of Ansley’s signature style. The design shows a modern Hill District full of character, strength, vitality, and music.  

Hill District Heyday is located on the stores interior wall above the store Bakery and Deli Counter. The intention of this work is to honor the rich history and culture of the neighborhood. The Hill District's heyday took place from 1930 to 1950. Often referred to as Little Harlem, the Hill District is considered to have been a major cultural center of African American life during this time period.  In order to convey this, Ansley has included images the prominent American swing era singer and band leader Billy Eckstein and accomplished American photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, both Pittsburgh natives and products of the Hill Districts heyday. There are also images of neighborhood landmarks, The Crawford Grill Jazz Club and The New Granada Theatre included in this work.  

 

Leslie Ansley is a Pittsburgh-based painter. Her work has been shown at the African-American Museum in Philadelphia, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta,  and the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. 

Ansley on her work: “I reveal myself by creating portraits that speak beyond their façade to the universal reservoir of human memories and moments.  Through form, pattern and texture, I explore ways to give voice to untold stories, emotions, and dreams.  My goal is to inspire and awaken the thoughts of the viewer to their own familiar spaces and significance.” -- leslieansleyfineart.com