Funded Projects from 2005

$8,500 » BikePGH, 2005 Seed Award project support

BikeFest, a project of BikePGH and Free Ride! Recycled Bike Program, established an organizational framework for hosting community events, activities, and promotions to celebrate bicycling as a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get around town.

“Birds Not Words” (2005)
Stevo Sadvary, 2005 Community Murals mural

Stevo Sadvary went out on a limb with this mosaic mural—the first of its kind for Sprout Public Art—and went to the considerable lengths of designing its hundreds of pieces of stained glass himself. The jewel-like, three-dimensional quality of the piece illuminates a Northside street corner and renders the simple, common scene of birds on a wire in a beautiful and arresting way. Sadvary has said that he was compelled to create something simple, with “instant impact” that community members and visitors would have no trouble recognizing. Taking a note from the large open spaces in the Central Northside and nearby National Aviary, he chose to infuse the mural’s urban setting with a sense of nature thriving in the city. The result is a mural that packs quite a lot into a small space.

$9,400, 2005 Seed Award project support

CivicCards promoted interest in those who served in city, county, and state government. Collectible and memorable, the cards provided an interactive way to learn about government leaders, as well as key features of Pittsburgh institutions and history. A total of 8,500 sets of 60 cards were distributed first to young professionals and students, and then made available to all citizens in Allegheny County.

Concept Album
$4,500 » Pillow Project Dance Company, 2005 Seed Award project support

Concept Album, a project of Pillow Project Dance Company, invaded the Hunt Armory in Shadyside with their Concept Album performance, an energetic, original work set to classic rock tunes of the 1960s and 1970s.

East of Liberty: A Story of Good Intentions
$6,000 » East Liberty Development, 2005 Seed Award project support

East of Liberty: A Story of Good Intentions, a project of East Liberty Development, was a documentary by Chris Ivey that captured the revitalization of the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The film was inspired by the great changes and developments in the urban landscape, specifically the demolition of the East Mall apartment complex and the displacement of its former residents.

Ellsworth Music, Dance & Arts Showcase
$5,000 » Ellsworth Avenue Business Association, 2005 Seed Award project support

Ellsworth Music, Dance & Arts Showcase, a project of Ellsworth Avenue Business Association, The third annual Ellsworth Music, Dance & Arts Showcase featured a Sprout Fund tent focusing on emerging artists who had not yet shown publicly.

Encyclopedia Destructica
$3,500, 2005 Seed Award project support

Encyclopedia Destructica was a self-printed, hand-bound zine produced in Pittsburgh. Encyclopedia Destructica collected work from artists’ sketchbooks and journals for its first four issues, released biannually in 2005 and 2006.

$1,000, 2005 Grand Ideas project support

Fotograffiti was a photography exhibition and installation at The Shadow Lounge in East Liberty that featured portraits of some of Pittsburgh’s most creative young artists, musicians, poets, deejays, models, and emcees, all shot by Vanessa German. The exhibit also included an installation of stenciled questions posed to engage viewers in a larger dialogue surrounding art and the creative life in Pittsburgh.

Games of Steel
$10,000 » Attack Theatre, Red Star Ironworks, 2005 Seed Award project support

Games of Steel, a project of Attack Theatre and Red Star Ironworks, was an athletic dance performance by Attack Theatre that used custom set pieces-including 16-foot seesaws, steel ramps, moving doors, and ladders-built by Red Star Ironworks.

$7,000 » Urban Farming Initiative, 2005 Seed Award project support

GREENLOTS, a project of Urban Farming Initiative, coordinated work between civic groups and farmers to reclaim unused urban land and revitalize the city with productive, green lots for farming, education, and enjoyment.

Harvest Dinners: The Ohio River Lifeboat Project
$4,528 » Ohio River LifeBoat Project, 2005 Seed Award project support

Harvest Dinners: The Ohio River Lifeboat Project, a project of Ohio River LifeBoat Project, was a mobile educational display that encouraged ecological consciousness as it traveled up and down the Ohio River. Constructed of reclaimed and sustainable building materials, the lifeboat hosted a series of Harvest Dinners to highlight the social and ecological history of the Ohio River through sharing of stories, experiences, and observations.

$3,500, 2005 Seed Award project support

Innpressions was a themed spoken word series that held regular open mic nights at the Firehouse Lounge in the Strip and in other locations around Pittsburgh.

Mayoral Candidates Forum
$3,680 » PUMP/ULYP, 2005 Seed Award project support

Mayoral Candidates Forum, a project of Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project and Urban League Young Professionals, offered young people in the city the opportunity to approach mayoral candidates. Held at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty, the Mayoral Candidates Forum presented a panel of candidates from both parties who addressed the concerns of young city dwellers in an open discussion moderated by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman.

Media Tonic II
$6,500 » Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 2005 Seed Award project support

Media Tonic II, a project of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, celebrated Pittsburgh Filmmakers and showcased the work of its community of artists. Fifty artists exhibited their interdisciplinary work-including installations and media-based art-to an audience of 1,500 people.

Meeting of the Minds
$8,800 » IGFM Studios, 2005 Seed Award project support

Meeting of the Minds, a project of IGFM Studios, published and distributed chapbooks by new and emerging writers and facilitated monthly readings and release parties.

New Moon Orchestra
$3,760, 2005 Seed Award project support

New Moon Orchestra was Pittsburgh’s first traditional Chinese music orchestra dedicated to the performance of Chinese and East Asian repertoire. The group premiered their work at a concert at the historic Carnegie Music Hall.

Nritya! Guinena Fare!
$6,000 » Srishti Dances of India, 2005 Seed Award project support

Nritya! Guinena Fare!, a project of Srishti Dances of India, was a showcase of two distinct styles of world dance—Indian classical dance by Srishti Dances and the Orissa Academy, and African dance by UMOJ—that highlighted diversity and multicultural traditions in Pittsburgh.

“Piece by Piece, Step by Step” (2005)
Kip Herring, 2005 Community Murals mural

“We want a vision of the future rather than a reflection of the past,” said the collective voice of the Hazelwood community. And Kip Herring responded with creating Piece by Piece, Step by Step–a great example collaborative success between artist and community. The artist was able to give the Hazelwood community exactly what they asked for while working it out in his own distinct style. Herring employs the ancient technique of trompe l’oeil, a French phrase that translates as “trick the eye,” to create a crumbling wall effect to suggest a “new” Hazelwood bursting out of the façade of the building. Combining direct references to Hazelwood, symbolic representation of hope and dreams, and artistic flourish, Herring explains, “The circular design within the piece is a symbol which represents renewal or rebirth. The three segments represent the three elements air, water and earth, all part of the continual cycle of renewal.”

“A Piece of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (2005)
Monica Cervone McElwain, 2005 Community Murals mural

Originally known as East Birmingham, the Southside has a storied history and is unique among Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods as being one of the most adaptable to the changing tides of time. This vitality is reflected in Monica Cervone McElwain’s colorful and energetic mural, loaded with symbols and snapshots of the Southside’s past, present, and future, including the Duquesne Incline, the Monongahela River, and historic buildings. The whole scene is rendered with movement and energy that reflects a neighborhood where there is never a dull moment. Monica worked with mosaic artist Stevo Sadvary to install the stained glass pieces which are dotted sporadically across the mural surface–all of which was donated by the Emerald Glass company, one of the last remaining glass foundries on the Southside.

Pittsburgh Art in Transit
$10,000 » Pittsburgh Arts In Transit, 2005 Seed Award project support

Pittsburgh Art in Transit, a project of Pittsburgh Arts In Transit, was a shared gesture of artistic and financial support extended by local artists to the Port Authority of Allegheny County. Artists supported public transit by purchasing paid advertising space on city buses and in return received a traveling public venue to display their work.

Pittsburgh Genius
$8,652, 2005 Seed Award project support

Pittsburgh Genius was a television series on Pittsburgh Community Television that profiled the city’s cutting-edge academic research and showcased Pittsburgh as a world class intellectual center. Each episode introduced the public to some of Pittsburgh’s most innovative and insightful minds, giving researchers the opportunity to discuss their work in detail and present demonstrations to illustrate their ideas in a creative way.

$8,500 » Creative NonFiction Foundation, 2005 Seed Award project support

PodLit, a project of Creative NonFiction Foundation, was a weekly, 30-minute podcast featuring news, interviews, and commentary about literary activities, literary life, and writers and editors who live in Pittsburgh, or who have connections to the city. Written, recorded and produced by Creative Nonfiction in Pittsburgh, PodLit delivered free audio content for writers, readers, teachers, students, and anyone else invested in contemporary literature.

“Rebirth” (2005)
Gregg Valley, 2005 Community Murals mural

Over a few seasons, several Carnegie community groups approached Sprout Public Art describing a vision of their revitalized neighborhood as the mythological “phoenix rising from its ashes”—a sentiment that was finally carried out in this mural. In 2004, a year before the mural’s advent, flooding devastated downtown Carnegie, PA. Artist Gregg Valley created Rebirth to illustrate the phoenix and community rising and being “reborn” from the receding flood waters, rather than the ashes from legend. Community landmarks, including the Carnegie Library and the Ukrainian Orthodox church, literally ride on the wings of the phoenix, rising, as it were, with the sun. Valley, an illustrator by trade, transferred his signature color-facet style to this, his first large-scale painting. Imbued with movement and energy, this piece led to Valley’s second collaboration with Sprout in the Uptown community in 2006.

“Season of Hope” (2005)
James Maszle, 2005 Community Murals mural

“This massive wall measures over 200 feet in length, larger than anything I have ever attempted—it was an artistic and physical test,” says artist James Maszle of Season of Hope, one of the larger Sprout murals. The location of the wall–on ground level in the heart of the Homewood neighborhood– greatly adds to the power and presence of this mural. Images from history, like portraits of young and elderly Homewood citizens, symbols such as the tree of life, and the façade of local Westinghouse High School, now adorn this very important local landmark. Called the Meadows Bowling Center, this facility is the current resting place of the first bowling alley open to African Americans in Pittsburgh. Ted Page, of the Homestead Grays baseball team, opened the bowling alley in the city’s Hill District. It then moved to East Liberty before finally coming to Homewood, where it now proudly resides. The citizens of Homewood never forgot this building’s importance, and use it now as much as a community center as a thriving bowling alley. The community group believed the mural to be an important addition to the neighborhood; “as essential as a park or new housing,” agrees Maszle.

Shalom Sankofa Bus Tour of the Hill District
$1,500 » Shalom Pittsburgh, ULYP, Black/Jewish Dialogue, 2005 Seed Award project support

Shalom Sankofa Bus Tour of the Hill District, a project of Shalom Pittsburgh, The Urban League Young Professionals, and The Black-Jewish Dialogue, transported participants through the Hill District, the center of Jewish life in Pittsburgh from the late 1800s to mid 1900s. The tour included visits to old synagogues and Jewish landmarks, as well as a film screening and remarks by Councilman Sala Udin.

$8,200 » SOUNDpgh, 2005 Seed Award project support

SOUNDpgh, a project of SOUNDpgh, was a series of installation, performance, and web projects that explored the human interaction with sound. The project brought attention to the importance of daily aural experience and created site-specific sound installations and diverse street performances to spark a conversation with the existing urban soundscape.

Static Free
$7,825 » SPACE/Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 2005 Seed Award project support

Static Free, a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and SPACE Gallery, was a four-component exhibition showcasing Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh locale as an active component of the national and international street art scene. Static Free included an exhibition at SPACE Gallery of national and international artists; an outreach symposium consisting of films, lectures and performances; a public art project in partnership with Friends of the Riverfront; and a gallery exhibition at Future Tenant emphasizing non traditional arts in traditional spaces.

Steel City BioFuels
$10,000 » Steel City BioFuels, 2005 Seed Award project support

Steel City BioFuels, a project of Steel City BioFuels, manufactured and distributed sustainable, clean, environmentally friendly biofuel made from recycled vegetable oil. The group also provided alternative fuel advocacy, education, and outreach.

$6,250 » Thank You, Felix productions, 2005 Seed Award project support

SYLVIA, a project of Thank You, Felix! Productions and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, was a play about a dog that helped build a broader network of pet adoption awareness.

“The Two Andys” (2005)
Tom Mosser & Sarah Zeffiro, 2005 Community Murals mural

The Two Andys brings a bit of humor to the aesthetic public walkway of Strawberry Way in downtown Pittsburgh. Artists Tom Mosser and Sarah Zeffiro collaborated with the downtown community group to come up with a design that conveyed a sense of reinvention and revitalization with regard to the area. The two Andys depicted here are Andrew Carnegie, a well-known Captain of Industry who made and gave away much of his steel fortune here in Pittsburgh, and native Pittsburgher Andy Warhol, a world famous artist and leader of the pop art movement in the 1960s. Both were incredibly influential men, and their legacies live on in Pittsburgh. Conveying the city’s continuing efforts of revitalization, Mosser and Zeffiro’s mural portrays these two prominent men of Pittsburgh receiving a makeover at the salon. As with many of Sprout’s Public Art murals, this piece brings together Pittsburgh’s past and recasts it as a new vision for the future. Along with the revitalization theme, the mural is filled with hidden symbols and allusions to other Pittsburgh icons. August Wilson was a famous African American Pittsburgh playwright whose play Fences adorns the front cover of the magazine held by Andy Warhol. On the back of the magazine is a woman’s profile, superimposed where the three rivers of Pittsburgh come together, which honors the women of the region. A once dilapidated brick wall above a hot dog shop is now a symbol of pride and renaissance. Recently, the mural has become a part of Pittsburgh’s history in yet another way: representing the city as the cover of University of Pittsburgh architecture professor Franklin Toker’s book, Pittsburgh: A New Portrait.

Wheeling Through History
$1,400 » Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh, 2005 Seed Award project support

Wheeling Through History, a project of Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh, was a tour of the North Side during Young Preservationists’ “Places & Spaces” conference that highlighted the positive aspects of the neighborhood and provided a fun, engaging activity for participants. Young Preservationists duplicated aspects of the event at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the fall of 2006.

“Worm’s Eye View” (2005)
Kate Bechak, 2005 Community Murals mural

For the inspiration of this mural, artist Kate Bechak only had to look a few blocks away to another Sprout Fund East Liberty mural. Cleverly corresponding and re-casting many of the features of the much more visible and bombastic Lend Me Your Ears, Bechak’s mural relies on subtle wit and charm to make this street-level scene the perfect contextual complement for East Liberty’s artistic and cultural rhythms. Consistent with the graphic sensibilities in Lend Me Your Ears, Worm’s Eye View uses suggestive imagery rather than direct symbols to convey a vision of the neighborhood. Featuring a “blinged out” pigeon with a toe ring and necklace and a portrait of Pittsburgher and legendary composer Billy Strayhorn as the logo on a sneaker, Worm’s Eye View, like its title suggests, picks up the details that the rest of us might miss.