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Greensburg bridge text project wins public art honor |
Art & Museums

Greensburg bridge text project wins public art honor

Mary Pickels
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
An 'analog scroll' was installed along the Main Street bridge in Greensburg in early 2017. The words, part of a poem, are gradually updated to reveal the entire poem.

The public art work “Analog Scroll,” a The Westmoreland Museum of American Art and city of Greensburg commission, is among 49 outstanding public arts projects from 2017 honored Friday by the Americans for the Arts through the Public Art Network Year in Review program.

The program is the only national organization specifically recognizing the most compelling public art, according to a news release.

Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled at the Americans for the Arts annual convention in Denver.

The Westmoreland and the City of Greensburg partnered on Bridging the Gap, a public art project designed to revitalize the North Main Street bridge, which connects The Westmoreland to downtown Greensburg.

“Analog Scroll,” the resultant work by Janet Zweig, reimagines the possibilities for how residents view the bridge and collaborate with the museum, the release states.

“The Westmoreland was thrilled to work with Janet Zweig on this, our first public art project,” Barbara Jones, museum chief curator, says in the release.

“It has indeed achieved what we hoped it would, that is to ‘bridge the gap’ between downtown Greensburg and The Westmoreland. Formerly a bland and non-descript structure, the bridge has now been beautifully activated and repurposed as a support for artistic expression,” Jones adds.

Every few weeks, the three-dimensional powder-coated aluminum letters are manually pushed along tracks on the bridges, with one section removed from the front and a new section added at the end.

Over the course of a year, an entire text is displayed, gradually read by motorists and pedestrians passing by.

Every year for 10 years, the release notes, one Western Pennsylvania writer will be commissioned to write a site-specific text for the bridge, with the words advancing over the course of the year.

“Main Street Bridge, Greensburg,” by Pittsburgh poet Jan Beatty, the first writer selected for the Bridging the Gap project, began appearing on Analog Scroll in March 2017 and will be completed in July.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns and communities we inhabit and visit,” notes Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, in the release.

“As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come,” Lynch states.

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed here.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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