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Artist Zweig selected for Mellon Park Walled Garden

| Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Brooklyn artist who created public sculptures in several U.S. cities will create a piece for the restoration of a Shadyside garden, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy announced.

Janet Zweig was chosen by a committee organized by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's Office of Public Art. She will create a pattern of lights embedded in the lawn of the Mellon Park Walled Garden in memory of Ann Katharine Seamans, a sculptor and dancer who enjoyed the garden.

The lights will reflect the precise arrangement of 150 stars and planets that were over Pittsburgh at the time Seamans was born at 7:11 a.m. on Nov. 20, 1979.

"The Ann Katharine Seamans Memorial posed a unique and exciting challenge: to reveal a glimpse of the remarkable spirit of Annie Seamans, to provide a place where those who knew her can feel connected to that spirit, to give park visitors an experience that conveys her energy in a more public and universal way, and to respect the beauty of the historic walled garden while enlivening its magic," Zweig said in a press release.

Zweig's most recent work includes a 1,200-foot frieze at the Prince Street subway station in New York, two sculptures for a bridge in St. Louis and a system-wide interactive project for the light-rail train stations in Minneapolis.

The 35-acre Mellon Park spans Fifth Avenue in Shadyside and is the former Richard Beatty Mellon estate. The Walled Garden dates to 1935 and is anchored at one end with a flagstone terrace and fountain and enclosed on three sides by brick and stone.

"This project will provide a wonderful model of how to create a memorial artwork that is well-integrated with the landscape and respectful of historic design, and which we hope will engage and uplift park visitors," Meg Cheever, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, said in a news release.

Zweig will give a free lecture about the design at 6 p.m. April 24 in the Ellis School Auditorium. For reservations, click here or call 412-394-3353.

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