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Artwork depicts Sewickley hospital over 100-year span

Bobby Cherry | Sewickley Herald
A mural hangs in the Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital lobby depicting the the hospital over more than 100 years. The mural — created by Moon Township resident Donna Pitaro and her daughter Rachel Pitaro — was unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.

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Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A mural hanging in the Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital lobby was more than 100 years in the making.

But it took Moon resident Donna Pitaro and her daughter Rachel Pitaro about a month to complete.

The nearly 12-by-6-foot installation was unveiled Sept. 11 in the Sewickley hospital. Visitors see the mural upon exiting a series of elevators.

It depicts the hospital through the years with an original building dating to the early 1900s, the Sewickley Valley Hospital, the now-former Sewickley School of Nursing building and the current Heritage Valley Sewickley campus.

“This lobby is a beautiful lobby, but it definitely needed something to warm it up and provide some of the history of the entire campus,” hospital system spokesman Dan Murphy said.

The mural holds special meaning for the Pitaro.

“We've always wanted to work together, and this is the first time we actually got to,” Rachel Pitaro said.

This isn't the first time Donna's work has been on display.

She serves as artist at the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon and at the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Air National Guard base in Findlay, where she paints noses of aircrafts.

“To have your artwork all over the world — it's the coolest thing,” she said.

“It's every artist's dream to have a canvas that travels.”

Donna is a self-taught artist who said she always has been interested in art.

“Ever since childhood,” she said. “I'd find a piece of paper and just want to draw. It's the same withRachel. I'd be in my art room and she'd want to draw, too.

“It's in you and you have to hone in on it to get better. If you have it, you're going to use it and get better.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or

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