Carving out a neighborhood

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .


In today's City Walkabout column on page 2, I wrote about the interpretations of eight neighborhoods by artists who made wood-cut prints.

It was part of the Steamrolled Pittsburgh art project initiated by Construction Junction. Read the full story here.

I could only use one image and I used Jim Rugg's print of Downtown, but they're all interesting, so here are a few others.

The top one is Deanna Mance's depiction of the destruction of the Hill District.

The one at right is Cory Bonnet's "Midnight Moonlight" homage to Hazelwood.hazelwood

I was particularly taken by the fact that he stepped back a little to really see Hazelwood for what its future might bode.

He drove to the other side of the Mon to see its big picture.

Below left is Monika Gibson's fanciful take on the South Side Slopes and the dotting lines of the neighborhood's many public hillside steps.

slopesWhile viewing this exhibition, which remains at the Carnegie Library's Oakland branch until the end of the year, I thought about how neighborhoods are frequently interpreted by people who don't know them very well and how it usually takes an artist's eye to get it right.

Below right is Steve Cupp's Oakland, which has a claustrophobic quality with all the energy towering over and threatening to close the empty space in the middle.

This show is worth seeing in its entirety, and if you miss it this year, each neighborhood's Carnegie Library branch -- the others are Homewood, Squirrel Hill, Downtown and East Liberty -- will display the corresponding neighborhood print through the spring.oakland

It's a terrific project, but there's a rub:

Steamrolled didn't include any of the North Side, southern Hilltop or western neighborhoods -- all of which are under explored compared to the South Side and East End neighborhoods.

It would be interesting to see someone take Construction Junction's initial inspiration and broaden the idea to bring more artists and more interpretations of more neighborhoods.


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