Pittsburgh Art Places


200 Larimer Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15206

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John Peña, Larimer, Text, Billboard

Artwork Type

Design Team, Social Practice, Street Art, Temporary

Larimer Stories, 2017

John Peña


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 Larimer partnership was between artist John Peña and The Larimer Consensus Group (LCG). 

Peña spent the first phase of the project interviewing and recording personal stories from long-term Larimer residents. He began with one-on-one interviews, and then moved toward organizing interviews/workshops in which the groups collectively shared an informal history of the neighborhood. 

These informative workshop and interview sessions inspired Peña and the LCG to organize a senior luncheon. During the luncheon, participants selected quotes from the interviews that best represented the experiences of Larimer residents. 

The seniors and Peña then designed a structure to present these short, neighborhood narratives. The narratives will be displayed on a metal billboard with text that will change every two weeks. This process will allow the history of Larimer, and the residents’ perspectives, to unfold over time. 

By the Office of Public Art & John Peña
Edited by Rachel Klipa 


John Peña is a multidisciplinary artist who makes art as a way of exploring the natural world and his daily interactions. His media includes drawing, painting, sculpture, video and installation. When making art in a public space, he often creates opportunities for engagement and participation. In the past, he has asked people to help me send a cloud through the mail, invited viewers to create a nature scene at a Children’s Museum, and created a pirate radio station that played extinct bird sounds. He lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA.

Biography courtesy of the artist.

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