7:11AM 11.20.1979 79º55'W 40º27'N
An Installation in the Lawn of the Walled Garden
© Janet Zweig 2009
Both a work for the general public and a memorial, this artwork by Janet Zweig brings 150 stars and planets down to the lawn of the walled garden in Mellon Park, reflecting the exact sky above Pittsburgh at the moment of Ann Katharine Seamans' birth in 1979. The title refers to that specific time, date, longitude and latitude of Mellon Park.
After dark, a visitor to the garden sees the night sky twinkling from the lawn. In the day, 150 stone markers are hidden in the grass, each bearing the star's name and a bit of intriguing information.
Working with the artist, lighting designer Hal Hilbish, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Phil Gruszka, and industrial designer Ben Cohen created an intricate system of technology to make this idea a reality - including the subtle effects of varying brightness and flickering light that characterize the night sky. The 150 custom-domed light sticks in the lawn are connected by variously sized bundles of fiber optic strands to light boxes concealed in the flower beds.
In addition to the artwork, the entire Walled Garden restoration has been carried out in memory of Ann Katharine Seamans. It gently updates the 1929 design by Vitale and Geiffert for the once-private estate of Richard Beatty Mellon in a suitable way for the public use it now receives. Key partners in the garden restoration include landscape architects Fred Bonci and Natalie Byrd of LaQuatra Bonci Associates, and the City of Pittsburgh.
Below you will find a map of the lawn containing the location of each star. Hover over the stars to see their names, and click on them to access a page that contains:
- The name of the star
- The phrase on the stone marker in the lawn
- The star's constellation
- The names of the star's sponsors
- More information on each star
You can sponsor one of the available stars in the Mellon Park Walled Garden! Look below the map for alphabetical lists of all the available and sponsored stars. Your $500 donation will help the Parks Conservancy to maintain this peaceful space. To inquire about the project, or to sponsor a star, please contact the Parks Conservancy at 412-682-7275.
Fountain Side of Garden
Available for Sponsorship
23 Ursae Majoris
Beta Coronae Borealis
Chi Ursae Majoris
Kappa Ursae Majoris
Psi Ursae Majoris
Theta Ursae Majoris
Janet Zweig is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, New York, currently working on several public art commissions around the United States. Her most recently installed public works include a 1200' frieze at the Prince Street subway station for New York's Arts for Transit, two sculptures for a bridge in St. Louis, and a system-wide interactive project for the Light Rail train stations in Minneapolis which incorporates the work of over a hundred Minnesotans. She has installed public artworks at the University of Minnesota, in Santa Fe for New Mexico Arts, and in the Bronx for New York's Percent for Art. She is currently working on public projects for Seattle, Santa Monica, Milwaukee, Orlando, Queens, NY, and Huntington, L.I. Her sculpture and books have been exhibited widely in such places as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Exit Art, PS1 Museum, the Walker Art Center, and Cooper Union. She has won numerous awards including the Rome Prize Fellowship and two NEA fellowships, as well as residencies at PS1 Museum and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1982 and at Yale University from 1991 to 2000.
“The Ann Katharine Seamans Memorial posed a unique and exciting challenge: to reveal a glimpse of the remarkable spirit of Annie Seamans, to make a place where those who knew her can feel connected to that spirit, to give the park-going public an experience that brings her energy to them in a universal way, and to respect the beauty of the historic walled garden while enlivening its magic,” says Zweig.
Read more about Janet in the April 2009 issue of Sculpture magazine. Click here to download the article (PDF file).
Sponsor a Star
You can sponsor one of the available stars in the Mellon Park Walled Garden! Your $500 donation will help the Parks Conservancy to maintain this peaceful space. You may sponsor a star using the online form below or contact Laurie Anderson at 412-682-7275, ext. 213. Please look at the list of available stars above, and if you are interested in a specific star, please input the name of that star (along with information about honor and memory gifts) in the "Guest Information" fields on the next page. You will be contacted shortly by a member of the Parks Conservancy staff to confirm your donation.
Please enter the quantity you would like and then hit submit to continue.