The Westmoreland Museum of American Art to Hold Public Meeting on Bridging the Gap Project Redesign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Claire Ertl, Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Barbara L. Jones, Chief Curator
GREENSBURG, PA, Monday, May 16, 2016 – The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh-based Office of Public Art and the City of Greensburg, will hold a public meeting on Monday, May 23, 2016 from 3:30-5:30 pm at the Greensburg Salem Middle School in Room 003 where artist Janet Zweig will present her new design concept for the Bridging the Gap project, which works to connect the Museum to downtown Greensburg and vice versa through a site-specific art installation. This meeting is an initial step in the process of moving forward with the fabrication and installation of the project.
Due to complications associated with property owned by Norfolk Southern Corporation, which is adjacent to the Museum, Ms. Zweig was asked to rethink her original design and has developed a new plan for the project. Ms. Zweig’s new proposal will now utilize both the east and west sides of the North Main Street Bridge in an effort to ‘bridge the gap’ between downtown Greensburg and the Museum by giving residents and visitors a changing and dynamic cultural experience. The artist envisions a project that is both inspiring and welcoming to visitors and residents, designating the area as a “place for the arts.”
About Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap, a partnership between the City of Greensburg and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, is a public art project funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area that focuses on the North Main Street bridge, which connects the Academy Hill historic neighborhood with downtown Greensburg. This non-descript utilitarian bridge, made of concrete and chain link fence, span railroad tracks, which transect the City. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art sits at the top of the hill that is connected to downtown by this bridge which acts as a gateway to the Museum from the business and cultural district downtown and vice-versa. While the bridge provides a functional pathway over the railroad tracks below, it contributes little aesthetically to the area.
The goal of Bridging the Gap is two-fold: to rejuvenate the area through the arts and improve the pedestrian experience on the bridge while adding a visually appealing element to this roadway leading to and from the Museum. Adding a site-specific work of art to the bridge will draw pedestrians to it, thereby leading them up to the Museum property, and invite them into the building itself to experience the collection of American art housed within, reinforcing the connection between the City of Greensburg and The Westmoreland.
About Janet Zweig
Artist Janet Zweig lives in Brooklyn, NY and is renowned for her work in the public realm. Recently installed public works include a performance space in a prairie on a Kansas City downtown green roof; a series of kinetic works in Milwaukee; a generative sentence on a wall in downtown Columbus; a sentence-generating sculpture for an engineering school in Orlando; and an artwork integrated into the Ann Katharine Seamans Garden in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Park. Other public works include a 1200′ tile frieze at the Prince Street subway station in New York, and a system-wide interactive project for eleven Light Rail train stations in Minneapolis, incorporating the work of over a hundred Minnesotans. Her sculpture and books have been exhibited widely in such places as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Exit Art, PS1 Museum, the Walker Art Center, and Cooper Union. Awards include the Rome Prize Fellowship, NEA fellowships, and residencies at PS1 Museum and the MacDowell Colony. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and at Brown University. To see examples of Janet Zweig’s work, visit her website at www.janetzweig.com.
About The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, located at 221 N. Main Street in Greensburg, PA, recently completed a transformational renovation and expansion project, hosting a community grand reopening celebration in late October of 2015. A new LEED-certified addition adds over 13,000 square feet to the Museum and features a dynamic cantilevered design along with a stunning view of the City of Greensburg and the Laurel Highlands beyond. The Westmoreland’s permanent collection is comprised of works by major American artists from the 18th century through the present, with a special emphasis on Southwestern Pennsylvania art and artists. The Museum also offers an impressive schedule of temporary exhibitions of American art – both nationally-travelling and those organized in house.
More information is available at thewestmoreland.org.