Artist James Simon has completed his installation of "Rooster Waiting For The Streetcar" at Townsend Park in Elliot! Below is some information on this project as well as some of the artist's initial concept sketches. Thanks to James for this vibrant mosaic to welcome visitors and residents alike to the neighborhood of Elliot.
Townsend Park is located at 803 Ernie Street in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood, adjacent to the West End. The park's recent renovation included landscape improvements, playground equipment, a new half basketball court, fencing, benches, pedestrian lighting, and a new ADA entrance.
As part of the Percent For Art program, a public art piece was planned for the wall facing Chartiers Avenue. Earlier this year, a Request For Proposals was put out by the City for an artist to design and implement this project. Applicants were scored by representatives of City departments, the Council Office, and members of the Elliott community. The selected artist was James Simon. To create a design for Townsend Park, James worked with the Public Art & Civic Design Division (PACD) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) to gather community input and to develop a complete concept for a permanent art installation.
James is a local artist based in Uptown. He passionately believes in the power of art to transform neighborhoods and his work can be found worldwide. Educated in the early 1980s in a private apprenticeship in Oxford England, Simon is known for his dramatic large scale works, such as the Liberty Avenue Musicians In Downtown. He works in a variety of mediums, including ceramic, concrete, bronze and mosaic.
More examples of James’ work can be seen at his website, www.simonsculpture.com.
In the artist's words:
The "Street Car" creates a colorful welcoming mosaic to the Elliot Neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The streetcar is a metaphor of community, that ties the past, present, and future of the neighborhood representing diversity, harmony and even alternative energy (electric transportation). The windows will have a variety of folks looking out celebrating a unique neighborhood of all age groups and ethnicities. A women will be exiting the streetcar with her dog, holding a bundle of beautiful flowers representing beauty and hope.