Monday, December 7, 2009

Pittsburgh Green Bridge Project

The Pittsburgh-Green-Bridge Project is a collaboration among students at CAPA High School and the University of Pittsburgh; the Mattress Factory; artists Constance Merriman, JoAnna Commandaros, Karen Page, Heather White and David Pohl; and residents of Pittsburgh’s urban community and Greenspaces. Under the guidance of artists and with the resources of the Mattress Factory, young people are creating individual and collaborative works of public art that bridge and connect Greenspaces with Brownfield or industrial sites, providing corridors of movement and interaction among people plants and animals.

Working within the structure of high school and college art classes, as well as the Mattress Factory’s teen program, a group of 15 high school students under CAPA teacher Karen Page have been matched with 15 Pitt students in JoAnna Commandaros Eco Art class. This interdisciplinary project includes study, observation, documentation, discussion, implementation and celebration.

The project is providing an opportunity for budding artists in Pittsburgh by encouraging the creation of effective and environmentally-sensitive artwork. The collaboration has been centered around Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species not native to Pittsburgh that is currently impacting Schenley Park. The groups teamed with restoration ecologists to clear a pathway and collect the knotweed. An installation reflecting the experiences of the artists, students and the community will open here at the museum this Saturday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The piece will also be on view December 13th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

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