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Community Paint Days planned for New Kensington Mural project

The Community Arts and Reintegration Project (CARP) will host two Community Mural Paint Days for the mural planned in New Kensington. The events will begin at 11 a.m. and run through 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 11. Both sessions will be held at the Voodoo Brewery (956 5th Avenue, New Kensington, PA 15068).

“No painting skills are needed,” said Tim Holler, PhD, CARP director and assistant professor of criminal justice at Pitt-Greensburg. “It’s like a giant paint-by-number project. All ages are welcome.”

The painting sessions will be held outdoors (weather permitting). Participants are reminded to bring a face covering and wear it when working with others and moving about the painting area. Space is limited, but those interested are encouraged to stop by as people will come and go throughout the designated timeframe. Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

CARP, a program administered out of Pitt-Greensburg’s Center for Applied Research (CFAR), is partnering with Westmoreland Community Action on the mural project. Funding, in part, is provided through a grant from the University of Pittsburgh’s Year of Creativity. Additional information about the mural project may be found here:

Bernie Wilke, who has more than 80 community murals to his credit, continues to provide artistic expertise and direction to the project. An adjunct professor at Westmoreland County Community College, Wilke describes himself as a visual artist who is committed to working in community settings.

The mural is symbolic in a number of ways. A selfie-spot is being incorporated that would allow a person to look like they were pouring molten aluminum into their molds. Also, in an effort to include the rich diversity that is representative of New Kensington, a diverse group of individuals will inhabit the design in a variety of ways. The location of the New Kensington mural will be the building formerly housing Walt’s Deli.

A key component of CARP is its restorative justice element that brings together community members, organizations, and youth currently on probation with the Westmoreland County Juvenile Probation Department to develop and construct the murals that will be installed on selected buildings in targeted cities throughout the county.

This is the second community mural to be initiated by CARP. Its first mural was designed with the assistance of community members from Mt. Pleasant and is now installed on the side of the American Architectural Salvage building at the entrance to the Coal & Coke Trail.

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