A North Side-based group known most for its support of exiled writers is spreading the word, literally.
The City of Asylum has partnered with the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art to connect its Alphabet City, a literary center, to its Alphabet Reading Garden, the residential part of the neighborhood, by creating what it is calling a River of Words. The “River” will consist of area neighbors hosting words made out of plastic placed on the outside of their homes.
“The goal is to make a really vibrant, active walking path right through the middle of the Central North Side,” said Henry Reese, a spokesperson for the Asylum.
Reese believes the community will grow stronger as people explain why they chose to host their particular word, “Hopefully people will begin to talk to one another, understand one another and occupy common spaces and common mental spaces with one another.”
The artists are all Venezuelan natives: writer Israel Centeno, graphic designer Carolina Arnal, and visual artist Gisela Romero.
The City of Asylum and the Office of Public Art will have two open houses to help the community learn about the project and then attendees will be given the chance to pick words they wish to host. The first of these open houses will be on June 12th at 6pm in the Alphabet City Tent on Sampsonia Way.
The project will be open to the public on July 25th.