Three artists involved in public art in New York City were looking for a change when a friend of theirs suggested they come to Pittsburgh to rehabilitate property through a program to help communities address blight.
The Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program introduced them to a neighborhood and an opportunity to use local resources and artistic creativity to transform ideas into real social and economic benefits.
That’s how Ruthie Stringer, Dana Bishop-Root and Leslie Stem are, collectively created Transformazium, an artist collaborative based in the Carnegie Library in Braddock.
They said they first came to Pittsburgh to tear down a house.
“When you take apart a building, you kind of peel back the layers of history,” Stinger said. “You can imagine the people who constructed that building and the work that went into it, the materials, the energy. That process really did inform us about the history of this neighborhood.”
The group fell in love with Braddock.
Stringer said Transformazium’s projects “examine and respond to their community.”
Dana Bishop-Root added, “we’re very interested in the justice that happens when people can learn together and work together, and produce together.”
For Transformazium, art is a living breathing thing that is in constant reaction to the world and they see their work as unique to Braddock because they are in continuous conversation with their neighborhood.