Checkers Games into Art: A Monument to Play in East Deutschtown
From East Allegheny / Deutschtown, Neu Kirche activated a vacant lot in the East Deutschtown section of the neighborhood through a commissioned public art project that incorporated the participation of neighbors. For the first installment of the series, local artist Jesse Kauppila artist played a game of checkers with 71 community members ranging in age from 5 to 85. By documenting each game, the artist created a fifteen-foot brick visualization of every move made in the games, highlighting the labor required to construct relationships along with the role the built environment has in sculpting our social interactions. The art work was permanently installed for outdoor, public exhibition on Concord Street in East Deutschtown.
“I wanted to visualize the vitality of the Northside, and of East Deutschtown in particular,” said artist Jesse Kauppila. “There is a lot of new activity in that part of the Northside that people don’t always get to see.”