Sandy Kessler Kaminski’s “Welcome to the Strip”

Pittsburghers know the Strip District as the home of fresh foods from around the world, open air markets, wholesale import outlets, and the many restaurants and taverns that make the neighborhood a popular site for daytime and weekend shoppers. The Strip has another side to its personality: the center of Pittsburgh’s club nightlife. Sandy Kessler Kaminski represented both sides of the coin in her piece Welcome to the Strip. This mural incorporated both of these faces as well as the district’s distinctive features like the impressive Pegasus sculptures that adorn the 16th Street Bridge.

Painted 10 stories above the street, Welcome to the Strip was Sprout’s highest-placed community mural. It acted as a landmark for The Strip District that could be seen from the expressways and areas a significant distance away. This mural also served as a gateway to Pittsburgh’s 16:62 Design Zone that begins at the 16th Street Bridge. The Design Zone stretches from the 16th Street Bridge to the 62nd Street Bridge in Upper Lawrenceville, and is home to more than 100 shops, galleries, studios, and professional service firms—a fitting home for public art.

“I met and worked with some amazing people when painting this mural. I will never forget being out there during sunrise, when Pittsburgh was waking up. I am upset to see “Welcome” go, but I hope that there will be more opportunities for large-scale painters, like myself, to create something on that scale here in Pittsburgh.” – Sandy Kessler Kaminski

Dedicated in September 2004, Kaminski was assisted on the commission by Kiera Westphal. The Sprout Fund’s community partners on the project were Neighbors in the Strip, Advertisers Reproductions Inc., Laurel Foundation, PPG Industries Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and American Eagle Outfitters Foundation.

Image Gallery

Photos Credit: Rob Larson

View all images as an album on Flickr. Internationally licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.