The Pittsburgh Chair
A Community Poster
This design was developed in April 2017 for the Pittsburgh's Sprout Fund "Belonging: a community art project" and was one of 17 selected for inclusion on the community voices poster for Sprout’s Belonging Community Art Project.
From the website www.belonging.art :
<< Pittsburgh is a place where we all belong. This city owes its resilience to the spirit and creative energy of the people who have made Pittsburgh their home, built communities here, and contributed to our shared future. In 2017, at a critical time in our nation’s history, The Sprout Fund and its partners sought to positively affirm the notion that we all “belong” through a community art initiative.
Sprout invited people living in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to submit original works of art that express the concept of “belonging.” Nearly 250 submissions were received, including many from local youth. Winners were selected through a combination of juried art processes and online voting that drew more than 14,000 votes. >>
My project takes a fairly common practice in Pittsburgh and other cities, where people "save a parking spot" for themselves, by placing an old chair on the road. Something that should be welcoming and inviting - a chair - gets all a new, selfish, meaning. The design I propose reverts the malpractice and invites people over, to join us, and take a chair to sit, rest, remain with us. <<We saved a spot FOR YOU >> is a new old paradigm, that too often we forget, busy as we are in our daily routines focusing only on ourselves. This is a cultural challenge, and an invitation to rethink what we know, and stay open to the world - and who comes from abroad.
The overall winner of the competition was Bob Ziller and his design was selected for its artistic merit by a jury of art professionals from nearly 70 finalist submissions. The additional 17 designs—including mine!— that received “honorable mention” designation were selected by the jury of art professionals, a separate jury of local youth, or were among the top 5 most popular adult or youth submissions through the online public.
(The 17 community posters, selected and awarded $100 honorarium)