Sparkle Plenty In The Square

Opening night in the Square and Diamond Diamonds scored rave reviews even before the morning papers hit the news stands. This dazzling new art installation, created by the talented Carin Mincemoyer, entranced passersby who strolled along Market Street, or as we like to call it, Pittsburgh's "Great Bright Way." On a perfect summer's eve, Diamond Diamonds lit up the skies with plenty of star power to fuel a long run in one of the city's hottest hot spots — Market Square. 

More than 15 months in the making, Diamond Diamonds was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and made possible through the work of the Office of Public Art and the City of Pittsburgh. Designed for daytime and nighttime enjoyment, it illuminates the Square's past as "the diamond" and serves as a guiding light to attract even more people to the Square and its many dining, shopping and recreational opportunities. 
But the real high-watt driving force behind Diamond Diamonds is Carin Mincemoyer. A CMU grad, the renowned artist led a team of welders, laser cutters and electricians to bring her stellar vision to light. The result is a brilliant scultpure in two parts, perched upon two city lamp posts on Market Street. Thus, her creation graces the street lights like a pair of Tiffany diamond earrings, Carin hopes that people will take a moment to look up. And what they'll see is a steel matrix of energy-saving LED lights twinkling inside 80 acrylic fixtures shaped like — what else? — diamonds. 

"I really want people to be surprised to see art hanging from the street lights when they're walking towards Market Square," Carin admits. "I picked the diamond theme to reflect on the Square's past and to play on the idea that a diamond is usually the focal point in a great piece of jewelry. I really hope that Diamond Diamonds will become a beacon that draws people from the Cultural District and other parts of Downtown to the Square." After teaming with Rick Frontera of Allegheny City Electric on a cloudy Tuesday morning to install Diamond Diamonds, Carin returned for the first night lighting with Rick, Renee Piechocki and Kate Hansen from the Office of Public Art, and Keny Marshall, artist, welder on the project and Carin's husband. 

As the power trio looked on, the turn of the century light fixtures flickered and then burned bright as Diamond Diamonds wowed onlookers, including Pittsburgh's own denizens and out-of-town visitors who stopped to snap a few photos for keepsakes. While Carin explained the theme behind Diamond Diamonds to admirers, Renee pointed out that "we really wanted to create something beautiful, thoughtful and interesting in this space. And to help people understand how it all ties in with the Square's history as Pittsburgh Diamond, we'll be installing be a plaque that details it all on each light pole."

Artist Talk and Reception
The Office of Public Art and Pittbsurgh Downtown Partnership invite you all to meet the artist in-person and view the sculptures.  On Thursday, July 14 the artist talk will take place on the 4th Floor of the Buhl Building, and the reception will take place in Market Street beneath the sculptures, block party style.  The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required.  For more info or to make your reservation, visit the Office of Public Art's webpage.

With Opening Night reviews in, Diamond Diamonds will be the sight to see when the lights go down in the city and the bright lights of Market Street switch on. 

For more background, see our previous blog posts on:
     The history of Market Square as "the diamond"
     Our first big post on the project
     Our first introduction of the project at the PDP Annual Meeting

Pittsburgh is full of great public art - check out this Pop City article.  In the "Oscar's of Public Art" Pittsburgh had three big wins.  Hear about these 2010 national winners and check out their nod to Carin's installation.  Kudos to the Office of Public Art, the artists and the many institutions that made these works possible!

Looking for the next big art project?  Point Park University and Riverlife have joined forces to improve the pedestrian access to the Mon Wharf via Wood Street. Wood Street - Mon Wharf Connection Project

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