FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 6, 2015
Media Contact: Henry Reese, firstname.lastname@example.org
The dreamplace Project
Opening event for the third in a series of temporary public artworks
along City of Asylum’s Garden-to-Garden Trail
November 6, 2015—PITTSBURGH, PA:
On November 15th, Pittsburgh artist Denise Mahone will launch The dreamplace Project, the third in a series of temporary public artworks commissioned by City of Asylum for its Garden-to-Garden trail. This new public artwork investigates the collective dreams of the central North Side community. Forty-seven North Side residents anonymously submitted short stories about their night dreams to the artist. Mahone printed the narratives on fabric flags with relevant images of the North Side and the street names indicating where the dreams originated. The opening event will be held on Sunday, November 15, 2015 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. in City of Asylum’s new Alphabet Reading Garden, 1406 Monterey Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. The artist will give a brief presentation about her project and a selection of dreams will be read from 10:30 – 10:50 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The installation will be on view until January 15, 2016 in the Alphabet City Reading Garden. The Garden is a 4000 square foot landscaped park, where community residents and visitors can sit and read, enjoy a quiet moment of repose, or chat with friends and neighbors. It includes four separate seating areas, paved with artist-fabricated bricks that have been incised with handwritten alphabets in 50 different writing systems, all collected from neighbors and visitors to City of Asylum. The Garden will open to the public in the spring of 2016.
About The dreamplace Project
The dreamplace Project is the third in a series of temporary public art commissions being installed along City of Asylum’s Garden-to-Garden Trail. The Office of Public Art provided technical assistance to produce the project. A panel of North Side residents selected artists during an open call. Each installation is a collaborative effort between the artist and the central North Side community. The goal of each temporary work is to incorporate the use of body language, text, and the language of film to explore alternative modes of storytelling.
Denise Mahone drew inspiration for this project from the depiction of Khet Mar’s dream on The Pittsburgh Burma House at 324 Sampsonia Way. She organized events and produced a website to encourage her North Side neighbors to submit dreams. “For me, the depiction of a night dream in a public space awakens our awareness [to] an aspect consciousness which, in our contemporary American culture, is typically not given the space, nor language, to explicitly cross over into visible, ‘ordinary’ day-to-day life,” says artist Denise Mahone. “But, out of the shared visibility of Khet Mar’s vivid dream, I began to wonder, what else is being dreamed [of] in this particular North Side neighborhood, and might there be a way to amplify that activity in a respectful way that honors and deepens the community’s connection to each other and the place through communal attention to our dream-life?”
About the Garden-to-Garden Trail
The Trail will connect City of Asylum’s new Alphabet Reading Garden on the 1400 block of Monterey Street to its new Alphabet City center in the Garden Theater block. It is a .7 mile walk transformed and activated by the arts and resident artists with temporary and permanent public art, numerous free performances on public streets and in tented vacant lots and gardens, smartphone tours, and community- based artist residencies with public workshops and performances.
The Garden-to-Garden Trail is underwritten in part thanks to generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America.
About the Artist
Denise Mahone has lived on the North Side since 2006, after completing an M.F.A. in sculpture at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 2002. She also holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has a keen interest in how place-making, ecology, creative practice, and healing intersect.
About the Office of Public Art
The Office of Public Art is a partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and the City of Pittsburgh. OPA provides technical assistance and educational programs about public art in the Pittsburgh region. Learn more at www.publicartpittsburgh.org.
About City of Asylum
Founded in 2004, City of Asylum is a model for arts-based community development, bringing writers, readers and neighbors together through global literature and cultural exchange. Located on Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh’s Northside, City of Asylum’s campus of redeveloped houses serve both as homes for exiled writers and as public artworks. It has presented more than 280 authors and musicians from 57 countries in free readings and concerts. Sampsonia Way, the publishing arm of City of Asylum, specializes in banned books in translation and anthologies of contemporary writing from countries where free speech is under threat; SampsoniaWay.org, its online journal of free speech, literature, and justice serves as a virtual home for persecuted writers and serves a growing global audience online.