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Public Art Program To Liven Up Market Square

One Pittsburgh group is trying to bring a little more life to the downtown area during the winter months.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, in conjunction with the city of Pittsburgh, will begin a three-year project to bring temporary public art to the city’s Market Square.

Artists are being asked to submit proposals for existing works of art to be displayed in the public plaza, or submit their qualifications to create new works.

The art will be exhibited from February through April 2014, 2015 and 2016 and has to be able to be displayed outside. All work will be judged by a team of residents, art professionals and city staff.

Artists can earn up to $75,000 for newly created works and up to $50,000 for existing works, according to the city.

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership said the project is part of a continuing initiative to get people to visit and stay in the city’s “Golden Triangle.”

“All these efforts are to create interesting opportunities for folks to get into town, to stay in after they’re off of work or to come in from around the city and enjoy a beautiful downtown with some great public spaces,” he said.

The artist selection process will be handled by the Office of Public Art.

Waldrup said the judges will be choosing one artwork per year to be displayed in Market Square.

“We’re not picking art just for 2014,” he said. “We’re actually picking art for 2014, 15 and 16 and we hope to get some great pieces that folks in Pittsburgh will really appreciate and enjoy visiting.”

Market Square underwent a $5.1 million renovation in August 2009 and reopened in October 2010.

All applications for the public art project are due to the Office of Public Art by 5 p.m. Sept. 20.

Funding for this project came from The Heinz Endowments and an anonymous donor.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."