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Public Art Project Installed In Front Of Tree Of Life, Nearly One Year After Massacre

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
The fence in front of the Tree of Life synagogue has been decorated with 101 images from young people around the country and in New Zealand. It has been installed nearly one year after a mass shooting took place in the building.

A collaborative art project in front of the Tree of Life synagogue site in Squirrel Hill has been installed. #HeartsTogether: The Art of Rebuilding, includes 101 images printed on a windscreen that stretches in front of the building along Wilkins Avenue. 

More than 230 submissions were received, all from kids and young adults. The theme is uplifting images: many feature holding hands and depictions of diversity.

The images came from 11 U.S. states and New Zealand, with a number of them from high schools and cities that have experienced mass shootings, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and Columbine High School in Littleton, Col. Submissions from Parkland, Fla. make up about a third of the images.

Credit Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA

Tree of Life board member Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg said it's meaningful that young people from these places participated.

"The fact that they could envision hope and light after what they went through gives us hope as well," Eisenberg said.

Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers said the Synagogue community has drawn strength from the submissions.

"This collection could be an uplift not just to our neighbors, and not just to Pittsburgh, but really to the world that there is far more good in the world than there is evil," Myers said. "In the end, good will always triumph."

The art project will be up until the fence in front of the synagogue comes down, which Eisenberg said could take years.