Community Murals

Enhancing the urban landscape of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities of Allegheny County.

Artist Jonathan Laidacker painting in Oakland

Combining Community and Public Art

The Sprout Fund worked with nearly 100 community groups and dozens of local artists to develop 56 large-scale works of public art.

Launched in 2003, the community murals program was modeled after successful similar efforts in Philadelphia and other cities across the country. Through support from local foundations and corporations, Sprout enhanced the visual landscape of neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Allegheny County—creating an always-open “museum without walls” of local artwork.

The program’s collaborative dialogue and design process excelled at considering the people of the community, their history, and their vision for the future. The program also raised awareness about the important role that local artists can play in shaping communities, encouraging dialogue between communities and artists while contributing to neighborhood development. The program concluded in 2010 after largely achieving its goals of creating corridors, concentrations, and coverage of murals throughout the area.

Conceived as long-lasting works, the murals were painted using materials with a 20-year lifespan. However, as many murals were created in communities already in a state of change, some of Sprout’s most prominent murals were later removed or lost to redevelopment.

Community Murals

Program In Brief

Years Active


Total Investment


Murals Created


Neighborhoods Engaged


Artists Engaged


Jury Members Engaged



Sprout Public Art 2003–2010 Video Retrospective

Learn more about Sprout’s process for creating community murals and the goals of the program.

Mural Highlights

Sprout Public Art addressed three key issues: disconnect between visual culture and day-to-day life, level of leadership and personal investment in the region’s neighborhoods, and the need to support the ideas and creativity of people living in the Pittsburgh region.

Downtown Pittsburgh

Hill District & Uptown

Strip District


Bloomfield, Garfield & Morningside

East Liberty & Homewood

Oakland, Shadyside & Squirrel Hill

Hazelwood & Greenfield

Regent Square, Swissvale & Wilkinsburg


Troy Hill & Millvale

South Side

Station Square, Mt. Washington & Sheridan

Carnegie, Carrick & Oakdale

Programmatic Activities

Community Events

Community engagement was central to Sprout’s vision for site-specific public art. Community members were engaged multiple times throughout the process to ensure that the final designs reflected and incorporated the voices of residents.

Community Brainstorming

Community Brainstorming

Community members were invited to participate in a facilitated brainstorming session. The resulting notes were made available to artists to use for their preliminary designs.

Annual Preliminary Design Exhibition

Annual Preliminary Design Exhibition

Preliminary designs were debuted to the communities through an annual show in a gallery setting.

Mural Dedications

Mural Dedications

Public dedication ceremonies offered an opportunity for Sprout to formally present the murals to the communities and acknowledge the artists and community partners for their contributions.

Selection Process

Local communities applied and were selected by the Sprout Public Art Advisory Committee to receive murals. This advisory group also selected artists for the program who were then placed in competition for the selected community mural sites.

Jury Members

A group of local artists, critics, educators, and other community stakeholders made up the jury that selected the pool of artists to participate in each year’s program.


Communities were selected through a 3 C’s placement strategy: Coverage, Corridor, and Concentration. Engaging a variety of neighborhoods was also a key part of the process.


Local artists were juried into the program on the strength of their portfolios as well as their experience doing murals or large-scale art.


Thank you to all those who made this program possible!






  • Morton Brown 2003-2007
  • Curt Gettman 2007-2013