Metal and lace sought for public art park project honoring women of Pittsburgh's industrial history | Visual Art | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Metal and lace sought for public art park project honoring women of Pittsburgh's industrial history

click to enlarge Artists Oreen Cohen (left) and Alison Zapata (right) of OOA Designs pose next to their sculpture in Wightman Park - CP PHOTO: AMANDA WALTZ
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
Artists Oreen Cohen (left) and Alison Zapata (right) of OOA Designs pose next to their sculpture in Wightman Park
Got any scrap metal or lace lying around? Make it part of a new art project set to go up in Pittsburgh's Emerald View Park.

The city of Pittsburgh's Art in Parks project is currently seeking scrap metal, including old pipes, toolboxes, and other materials, as well as images and photographs of lace patterns as part of a public sculpture going up in the Allentown park. The concept is described as "honoring the contributions of women at home and within Pittsburgh's industrial history."

Taking on the project is OOA Designs, a woman-owned and run company founded in 2018 by Oreen Cohen and Alison Zapata. The duo asks that people donate any scrap metal they may have, and submit photos of lace, preferably anything that has been in their family. According to a project description, the lace patterns will be part of a collage of the "intricate steel structure."


This isn't the first park project overseen by OOA Designs. The two artists previously completed a series of sculptures for the updated Wightman Park in Squirrel Hill, all of which were unveiled in Oct. 2020.

Those who have no material to donate can still contribute to the Emerald View Park project through a survey on the Art in Parks website, where users can answer questions about their family's history with the city's industrial past, upload archival photos, describe their relationship with the park, and more.

The new permanent artwork is set to be installed in fall 2022.

The sculpture will further the mission of Art in Parks to "encourage the public to reimagine the way they interact with and enjoy public art in park spaces." Launched by Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning Public Art and Civic Design in 2018, and funded by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Art in Parks started as a pilot project to install seven small-scale artworks in six city parks. In July 2021, the city hired local arts leader Casey Droege to help expand the program.


Besides Emerald View Park, Art in Parks works were also slated for Frick Park, Highland Park, Riverview Park, and Schenley Park.

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