As part of the development of the New Fern Hollow Bridge, artists Carin Mincemoyer and John Peña were commissioned to create works of public art.

Following the collapse of the previous bridge structure in January 2022, an emergency declaration led to an expedited process of design and development to ensure the new bridge was functional as soon as possible. From the beginning of this process, public art projects were planned in order to make sure that the bridge had character and visual appeal as well as functionality.

Led by the Office For Public Art, planning and implementing the artworks involved a collaborative effort between governmental entities and the local community.

Below, find out more about these two unique site-specific artworks!

Trail Meander

Carin Mincemoyer, 2023

Sited along the Tranquil Trail beneath the bridge, Trail Meander forms an S-curve shape along the trail and incorporates seating and sculptural elements resembling river boulders and driftwood, referencing the history of the site and its formation over geologic time largely by the movement of water. The artwork responds to the efficiency of travel across the bridge above by offering a slower path and an invitation to engage with natural elements alongside the nearby creek.

The wood elements, made of black locust, osage orange, and red oak, some of which were sourced from trees previously removed from Fern Hollow, will weather and eventually deteriorate, moving through the cycle of nature.

400 Million Years of Water

John Peña, 2023

Placed along the walkways of the Fern Hollow Bridge, 400 Million Years of Water contemplates the geological history of the land and water directly below. Peña utilized sandblasted patterns to illustrate distinct moments in time when water significantly shaped the landscape of Fern Hollow. These events range from the current Fern Hollow Creek to the 400-millionyear-old seas of the Paleozoic Era. Metal placards on the southern railing describe the geological context for each event. In researching these histories, Peña consulted with geologist and paleontologist John A. Harper, who has written extensively on water events in the Pittsburgh region.

Cover photo credit: Sean Carroll