The Curtain Call Project
Garden Passage is a proposed pedestrian connection linking the southwest and northwest plazas of CONSOL Energy Center. The $1.5 million project was included in the New Arena Public Art Master Plan, in partial response to the Hill District community’s call to reconnect the Lower Hill with the rest of the neighborhood. The Penguins, City and Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) initially committed to the project, but came across issues with funding the project. They later built a statue of Mario Lemieux in the proposed Curtian Call location.
Garden Passage, “Curtain Call” is inspired by the full-stage panorama of the Hill District by David Gallo Walter that served as a backdrop for all 10 plays in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle at the Kennedy Center. It also is a call to the residents of the Hill District to make them visible in the newly constructed entertainment landscape around the location of the old Melon Arena. Four sprawling frames stand from a terraced rain garden on the west end of the Consol. As part of the project, images and photographs of people and places in the Hill District collected by the artist team will be reproduced on acrylic tiles and appended to the steel frame. The images were personal photos of anything that had to do with the Hill.
Walter Hood, principal of Hood Design, is the renowned artist and landscape architect whose studio worked on Curtain Call project. The walkway involves a series of rain gardens surrounded by vertical frames that will display thousands of images collected through a process of engaging the local community.
The photos, collected from Hill District Residents throughout the Spring, feature a wide array of perspectives on the oft-overlooked part of the city. The vibrant history of residents who have lived in the area for years, experiencing history from a truly Pittsburgh perspective, adds a community sense of ownership to the piece that makes it unique from most projects. Currently the Hill District Consensus Group, is working to get the Allegheny County to enforce the “Percent for Arts” laws to fund the community oriented art project. By raising awareness through social media and a petition, the Curtain Call Project hopes to reinvigorate an area by engaging its people first.
Sign the Petition Here