Mellon Park Art Installation
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, garden visitors experience the night sky twinkling from the lawn. During the day, 150 stone markers are hidden in the grass, each bearing the star's name and unique inscriptions.
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.
Want to be a part of this beautiful piece of the park? Click here to learn how you can sponsor a star!