The Community Arts and Reintegration Project (CARP) will host a second Community Mural Design Day at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 20. This will be a virtual meeting using Zoom.
“We’ve made a great start,” said Tim Holler, PhD, CARP director and assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Pitt-Greensburg. “We’re holding this second Community Design Day to allow more people and community organizations to share their ideas and suggestions.”
Past and present members of the New Kensington community as well as representatives of community organizations are invited to participate in the discussion. Registration is required and may be completed online. Upon registering, a link to the online meeting site will be shared via email.
CARP, a program administered out of Pitt-Greensburg’s Center for Applied Research (CFAR), is partnering with Westmoreland Community Action on the mural project. Funding, in part, is provided through a grant from the University of Pittsburgh’s Year of Creativity. Additional information about the mural project may be found here.
Bernie Wilke, who has more than 80 community murals to his credit, continues to provide artistic expertise and direction to the project. An adjunct professor at Westmoreland County Community College, Wilke describes himself as a visual artist who is committed to working in community settings.
Approximately 20 people registered to participate in the first Community Design Day held in May. Based on the ideas and suggestions shared during the meeting, Wilke drafted an initial design. Key concepts include a steel beam structure and a giant aluminum ribbon that are both representative and symbolic in a number of ways. A selfie-spot is being incorporated that would allow a person to look like they were pouring molten aluminum into their molds. Also, in an effort to include the rich diversity that is representative of New Kensington, a diverse group of individuals will inhabit the design in a variety of ways. The location of the New Kensington mural will be the building formerly housing Walt’s Deli.
In addition to working with the community to generate the design of the mural, community members will be invited at a later date to paint the panels that will make up the mural. A key component of CARP is its restorative justice element that brings together community members, organizations, and youth currently on probation with the Westmoreland County Juvenile Probation Department to develop and construct the murals that will be installed on selected buildings in targeted cities throughout the county.
This is the second community mural to be initiated by CARP. Its first mural was designed with the assistance of community members from Mt. Pleasant and is now installed on the side of the American Architectural Salvage building at the entrance to the Coal & Coke Trail.