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Local Artist Creates 3,500-Square-Foot Mural On Penn Avenue

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A new piece of artwork is stretching through downtown Pittsburgh.

"I wanted this piece to tell a story from both sides. So as you are coming through, you may not be having the best day, but you walk through and it starts upbeat then it gets really sad, then it's hopeful at the end," said Jayla Patton.

Patton is the artist behind the 3,500-square-foot mural on Penn Avenue. She was commissioned to complete the mural, stretching from 9th to 10th streets, by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

"I feel like the purpose of this mural is to bring color to downtown Pittsburgh. And not just that, but drum up support and some attention to the businesses along the street," Patton told KDKA.

penn avenue mural
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

This mural is part of a bigger initiative by the PDP called Reforge Downtown.

"It's no secret that downtown is seeing less people commuting for work right now," said Richard Hooper with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

The non-profit organization started a discussion back in July on what could help bring people back to the streets. After conversations with business owners and residents, the answer was public art, according to Hooper.

"During a pandemic, we want to create vibrancy and excitement downtown and this also allows for some more interactions with folks as they see this and walk by. It's an opportunity to see something different that isn't typical," Hooper told KDKA.

If the mural attracts people, the goal is that restaurants and retail shops will see more business. While this is the first painting of its kind in the Steel City, it's unlikely to be the last.

"I hear there are a bunch of projects in the works, and I can't wait to see them," Patton said.

The mural on Penn Avenue is expected to stay until Nov. 2.

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