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Sharpsburg mural project offers way for residents to support hometown

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Hosting a art project in Sharpsburg is Brittany Reno and Katherine DeVoursney showing samples of the tiles that will be placed into a mural.

A Pittsburgh nonprofit is teaming with Sharpsburg and Volunteers of America to promote pride in the community.

Public Allies Pittsburgh will host Smiles and Tiles Day on Sunday at the 16th Street park in Sharpsburg from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Members of the community are invited to participate in creating a mural to show their support of their hometown.

Katherine DeVoursney of Lawrenceville and Brittany Reno of Sharpsburg are leading the program.

The two interviewed residents about Sharpsburg and found that many had worries about absentee landlords and a lack of pride of ownership of the borough.

That led them to come up with an idea for a mural made up of 108 tiles for display somewhere in Sharpsburg.

Participants will be asked to paint something on each tile that represents Sharpsburg.

“We want people to draw something that they're proud of in Sharpsburg,” DeVoursney said.

The program also will serve as a promotion for Volunteers of America's All of Us Care program, which provides various programs for local students.

Reno said she sees a lot of potential in Sharpsburg that can be helped through the project.

“We think it has so much potential,” Reno said. “It's a diamond in the rough, it just needs a little polishing.”

Possible locations include one at the pocket parks in the borough or somewhere near Main Street.

Reno said it could be something that gets people to visit Sharpsburg's downtown.

“It'll attract more foot traffic, I think, to Main Street,” Reno said.

DeVoursney said it also could encourage people to slow down and notice businesses in the borough.

Help is needed to construct and install the mural once it is finished.

Volunteers are needed to help on the day of the event.

Organizers said they hope the mural is something the community takes pride in and keeps people connected to Sharpsburg.

“We want everyone to take ownership,” DeVoursney said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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