Archive

ShareThis Page
Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s bridge project takes step closer to reality | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s bridge project takes step closer to reality

gtrbridgegap100616
Westmoreland Museum of American Art
An altered photo with letters superimposed on a Greensburg bridge wall shows how the Westmoreland Museum of American Art's “Bridging the Gap” public art project will look when completed.

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art is almost ready to begin “Bridging the Gap.”

Greensburg City Council this week approved agreements with the state and museum allowing work on the long-delayed public-art project on the North Main Street bridge. The museum now needs approval from PennDOT before construction can start.

“The installation won’t take very long once we get that final approval,” said museum Curator Barbara Jones, who is supervising the project.

Workers will install small tracks on both sides of the bridge, facing the sidewalk. Brooklyn artist Janet Zweig will create dozens of black aluminum letters — each about a foot high — that museum employees will be able to slide on and off the tracks.

The museum plans to commission 10 area writers to write a story or poem to be displayed. Each will ever so slowly “scroll” across the bridge, with a few words manually added to the end of the message every week or so as earlier passages are removed.

The plan is to reveal each written work a few words at a time over the course of a year. The 10 commissioned pieces will provide enough material to last a decade.

The text of each message will be updated on a website as new letters are revealed.

Jones said the project has picked its first author — a Pittsburgh-area writer whose identity she is not ready to make public.

“This one is going to be the test,” Jones said. “Does it really work out for a full year?”

The museum will offer an open call for writers to submit works to be considered for display.

“We’re coming up with the process for the other writers to submit,” Jones said.

The tracks will be locked so that only museum employees can change the message.

The concept of the scrolling text was Zweig’s second attempt at designing the museum’s “Bridging the Gap” project. An earlier proposal called for viewing windows on the bridge overlooking sculptures on the museum’s grounds, but trees blocked the view. The museum could not get permission to trim or remove them from Norfolk Southern Railroad, which owns most of the land between the bridge and the museum.

“Bridging the Gap” was slated to be finished last fall but was delayed as the museum came up with a new plan.

The cost of the project is about $170,000, largely funded through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Westmoreland County.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.