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Artists Hope To Turn Public Steps Into Works Of Art

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh has more than 700 sets of public steps, and a group on the South Side has a creative idea to transform some of them.

They're starting with the Oakley Street steps where they want to install about 7,800 mosaic tiles on the risers to create a work of art when you view it from a distance.

"We have the most sets of stairs in the United States, Why not take advantage of them?" said Adam Jette, a member of the group.

It's been done in other cities. San Francisco has a colorful set of tiled steps. A set of steps leading to a museum in Philadelphia have been transformed to display an image of artist Salvador Dali.

Artist Laura Jean McLaughlin has been enlisted to create the design here.

After getting input from people on the South Side, she unveiled two preliminary designs at a meeting Tuesday night. One shows a steelworker with homes above. The other shows a woman and flowers growing out of a steel mill.

McLaughlin has worked with other groups on mosaics before, such as one outside Whole Foods in East Liberty.

They'd like to begin work this summer, but of course, these plans come with a price tag.

They figure they'll need to raise about $6,000, so they've turned to crowdfunding.

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