Our “Warhol-Homewood” project aimed to strengthen the Homewood community by reconnecting locals with Pittsburgh and its art.
Drawn in direct consultation and collaboration with then Warhol Museum Director, Tom Sokolowski, these first project sketches reflected our respect for the Homewood community and for Andy Warhol’s art. The site, owned by One House Development President, Dawn Webb Turner, is located on Gerritt Street in Homewood just up the street from Westinghouse High School. It contains a large abandoned house that we planned to transform into a community art center.
Our intent was to create an informal place where Warhol Museum art could be displayed outside of the museum walls. The design for an outdoor exhibition and performance space was the ultimate result.
Appearances can be deceptive: Homewood may appear to be a neglected community, but its core is vigorous. This truth is illustrated by a stage cut into the existing vacant home. The cut reveals a huge Shepard Fairey mural hidden within. Visible to the right of the stage is the entrance to a silk screen studio where visitors would be encouraged to create their own work.
The mural, figural in nature, resembling street graffiti, represents the people of the community and their energy. During museum operating hours, hidden doors in the facade open revealing additional imagery. A display of Andy Warhol prints demonstrates the connection between Fairey’s work and Andy Warhol’s while reconnecting Andy to his Pittsburgh blue-collar roots. At night a screen lowers, movies are displayed, and the darkness is evicted.
The building is like Homewood itself and its people, where hidden brilliance often lies just behind an ordinary facade.