Bridging the Gap: Public Art Project

“Main Street Bridge, Greensburg” by Jan Beatty

The site-specific poem “Main Street Bridge, Greensburg by Pittsburgh writer Jan Beatty is the first commissioned poem for the Bridging the Gap public art project. Read the poem as it’s revealed on the North Main Street bridge, and catch up with past verses on our website.

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About the Project

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art and the City of Greensburg have partnered on Bridging the Gap, a public art project to revitalize the North Main Street bridge that connects The Westmoreland to downtown Greensburg. Working with Pittsburgh’s Office of Public Art, an Artist Selection Panel, which was comprised of local residents, Museum staff, representatives of the City and PennDOT, considered dozens of artists for the commission. In the end, Janet Zweig was selected to design and create the public art project. Zweig has been working in the public art realm for over 23 years. She has designed public art installations for the City of Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City and New York. Locally, she has successfully collaborated with LaQuatra Bonci Associates Landscape Architecture to build a memorial in the lawn of Pittsburgh’s Mellon Park.

Ms. Zweig’s installation utilizes both the east and west sides of the North Main Street bridge. Three-dimensional text extends the length of both sides of the bridge, producing an experience of serialized poetry that slowly unfolds over time. The Museum will commission writers from the western Pennsylvania area to produce poems or prose of a specific length for display on the bridge. As residents and visitors drive or walk across the bridge, they can read an installment of the text, making it an especially appealing site for repeat visits and inspiring curiosity of what will come next. The full text with author credits will be available on this webpage at the end of each year.

Funding for the project was provided in part from a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant program award, The Heinz Endowments, Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Program, Community Foundation of Westmoreland County/Revitalizing Westmoreland, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Carol R. Brown, The Tomahawk Hill Foundation and supporters of an Indiegogo campaign hosted by the Museum. Throughout the project, technical support has been provided by the Office of Public Art, Pittsburgh.

Click through to read the full press release and view a featured article and video from TribLive about the project.

About Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Greensburg is in the midst of a cultural renaissance. In the span of a few years, there has been a renovation of the historic Palace Theatre, the construction of the new Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center, Seton Hill Visual Arts Center, and the transformation of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, which recently underwent a major renovation and expansion. As part of the Museum’s expansion, a new green space was added for the community, providing opportunities for the public to gather. Bridging the Gap will serve as an inviting gateway from the Museum into downtown (and vice versa) and will help to invigorate street life, making Greensburg a more inviting and vibrant place for residents and visitors alike.