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Arts, Sports & Culture

'Congregation' To Light Up Market Square

Pittsburgh’s Market Square is going to get brighter with the help of an interactive light, video and sound art installation.

The piece, entitled “Congregation,” will be in the city Feb. 21–March 16 and is part of the Market Square Public Art Program.

Created by Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler, the installation will be played on a 50 ft. projection screen and will run on a 25-minute loop. Lights will shine on the Market Square courtyard and visitors will be able to interact and manipulate the show simply by walking through it.

Renee Piechocki, director of the Office of Public Art at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, said the installation was a perfect fit for Pittsburgh.

“What our committee of stakeholders and arts professionals loved about ‘Congregation’ was its combination of artistic excellence and interaction,” she said. “In a city that’s known for its high tech center, as well as being known for a place to see world-class art, it was a natural.”

“Congregation” made its debut in 2010 at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, China and has also been performed in the UK. This is the first time Monkman and Wexler have had any type of art show in the United States.

Piechocki hopes the art will get people to share in the experience and interact with one another.

“The relationships that people build during those 25 minutes to play with each other, to play with the video, talk to strangers and get everything going, is a really important part and, in a way, we’re what the title alludes to,” she said.

“Congregation” is the inaugural project in a three-year program that brings temporary public art to Market Square in an effort to get more people downtown in the winter.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto hopes the art will attract more people to live downtown.

“We see people not only from the city of Pittsburgh, but throughout the region that come to downtown and then come over the Market Square to stay downtown,” he said. “Now my goal is to then get them to live downtown so we can get a lot more people living in the city.”

“Congregation” will be played Monday through Thursday from dusk to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from dusk to midnight.