Sunday, July 27, 2014

Downtown getting a history lesson

February 16. 2013 5:35PM

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Pittston City as an art Mecca?

That's how Rose Randazzo, downtown manager, sees it.

"People want to be surrounded by beautiful things," Randazzo said. "We're involved in three projects right now that will add some culture to the flourishing downtown."

The first is a massive mural that will cover the entire side of the Pittston Dental building. The images depict three stages of Pittston heritage.

"We're going to go from the coal miners and the breakers, to the garment industry, and then back into steam engines and mining," said artist Dwight Kirkland on Friday. "It's kind of a timeline of Pittston history."

Kirkland of Black Leaf Studio in Mifflintown will be working on his mural with his partner, Michael Colley, for the next week.

We're using sepia tones, the browns and the golds," he said. "It'll look like an old photograph."

After the mural, they plan to work on the other side of the building facing Napoli's Pizza. They'll be paining faux windows to look like the windows at the restaurant. A pocket park is currently being constructed on the site.

Blackleaf Studio specializes in award-winning murals, original fine art and illustrations, and is featured in galleries, distinguished homes and in all types of corporate advertising and marketing in the United States and abroad, according to the artist's website.

The mural is being paid for by funds from the state Local Share Assessment that come from casino proceeds and the city's Fa├žade Enhancement Program.

Another project is called Portals to Progress. The object is to decorate various doors and entranceways around the downtown.

"Maybe it will be a knocker on one door, or a wreath on the another," Randazzo said.

The YMCA has some tattoo art a door there. ArtSeen is coordinating the displays.

The final project is on display on the new Dempsey's Dry Cleaning window.

As crews were cleaning out the former Majestic Building, they found a vintage 1920s dress mannequin.

Local artist Joanne Raynis is painting the model with a tomato vine, to tie it in to the Tomato Festival.

"Get as much public art on the street as possible," Randazzo said.


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