Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Art Projects Mark Pittsburgh's 250th

A 20-foot-tall creature composed of bridge parts will be among the signature art projects in Pittsburgh's 250th birthday celebration. The steel and fiberglass sculpture is named "ARCH." It will have parts resembling all Pittsburgh bridges that span the three rivers. ARCH will go up at the corner of Fort Duquesne Boulevard and 7th Street in late August and remain there for six months.

ARCH is one of four art projects that are getting a total of $1 million from the Heinz Endowments. Another project is a work commissioned for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Mendelssohn Choir called "The Good Life," which is based around the theme of Pittsburgh's immigrant history and the many voices and languages associated with it. The work will be performed in October.

Also receiving funding are a program that matches artist mentors with Pittsburgh teenagers, and a printmaking project based around the theme of what would happen if established scientific fact turned out to be wrong. Tom Sokolowski, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum and the leader of the 250th Anniversary Arts Project, says he came up with the idea as he looked at significant events from 250 years ago. Among them was the discovery that Halley's Comet kept a regular schedule. He says he began to wonder what would happen today if Halley's Comet suddenly came on a different year... or water boiled at a different temperature... or if an hour suddenly only had 30 minutes.

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