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New mural on Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall celebrates music and African culture

A new mural at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh celebrates the importance of music with a nod to traditional African culture.

“Playing the Cosmic Strings” is a 60-foot-wide photographic mural by Mikael Owunna, a locally based artist with a growing national and international profile.

The mural depicts a human figure painted to suggest the cosmos grasping a web of glowing strands. Owunna was inspired by the creation stories of his Nigerian heritage, which honor music as spiritual.

The mural was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and installed by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which is marking its 50th anniversary at Heinz Hall.

It was formally presented Tuesday, in an event hosted by the PSO. Speakers included Mayor Bill Peduto.

“Playing the Cosmic Strings” hangs on the side of Heinz Hall facing the Benedum Center, across 7th Street at the corner of Penn Avenue.

Owunna said the mural will hang for three to five years.

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