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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Soupaneur 6 and a Surfeit of Murals

1/6/12 15M
Saw a lot of new streets and a few new murals today, 15miles in about 28F. We began by riding to some of the murals that we'd learned about yesterday.

This mural in North Oakland, at 645 Clyde Street, is Stevo Sadvary's homage to "Girl Before a Mirror" by Pablo Picasso. The buildings are an apartment complex for international students at CMU.

This mural, Sunny Side (in Shady Side, inevitably, at 926 South Aiken) had ice accumulating on it today, but you could click the image below to see it on a more temperate day.

Next we went to see Octavia, by Laura Jean McLaughlin, in her new location in Friendship, at CMU Professor Kristen Hughes' community garden.

Stopped to get a better photo of the MLK Mural at Station Street Hot Dogs, 6290 Broad Street in East Liberty:

Having been on the bikes for about an hour and becoming a bit cool, we decided to head over to Whole Foods and Soupaneuring Stop Six, the final soup-stop to meet the First Annual Soupaneuring 2012-2013 Challenge.

A completely unexpected mural discovery, We Get Back Up, at 250 Paulson Avenue in Larimer by KH Designs.

Next we went looking for a mural on Frankstown Road that we'd had some vague information on but nothing solid, and it turned out to be a pretty significant work of art:

This mural is a representation of "The Block" (1971) by Romare Bearden, which was a tribute to the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. Each of the six panels of "The Block" presents an aspect of the neighborhood, such as the Evangelical church, the barbershop, and the corner grocery store.

The original mural, on display at NY's Metropolitan Museum, looks like this:

Stevo Sadvary had told us about a "bird park" at an elementary school at 8080 Bennet, where he did an installation he calls "Tweet Tweet". The project took an unused corner of the school property, placed bird-friendly plants and birdhouses, and included mosaics of different birds:

By this time, we had warmed up and the 28F was no longer an issue. We had one more mural we wanted to get to, which we'd heard of in an email exchange with Jeffrey Katrencik and Colleen Black. The directions were from memory and a few years old, but they told us to go "through a tunnel, down the street, turn right and go a few blocks" - wow, did we have low expectations and were we surprised.

The Whitney Avenue Tunnel

The Whitney Avenue Tunnel is a walkway connection Penwood Avenue on one side of the East Busway, and Hamnett Station on the other side. We found some tremendous murals in there, although some are suffering from leaking water on the tunnel walls.

The Whitney Avenue Art Gallery

The Whitney Avenue Art Gallery is a project by Wilkinsburg artist Lazae LaSpina to decorate abandoned homes and reposition them as "homes-in-waiting".

The Hamnett Station Park and Ride Murals

This is the "Pittsburgh Angel" by Colleen Black:

This is Joe Magarac by Jeffrey Katrencik:

After that, we rode to Squirrel Hill and Commonplace Coffee, then rode Forbes back into town. It was a very nice ride, very good food, once we got pedalling the temp was OK, and it was very fruitful in terms of documenting murals. Writing this blog post was almost harder than the bike ride.

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