Andy Warhol Bridge

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Infrastructure decisions affect the public every day — which sewer should be repaired first, which pothole should be filled next—but it’s rare to be asked to weigh in on those decisions. However, an online poll will help decide the future color of the "Three Sisters" bridges, as well as a question of regional identity.

Temporary Art Installations Boost Economy

Oct 22, 2013
Rebecca Harris

Temporary art installations are all the rage—while they’re around. This past summer Pittsburgh has seen a host of exhibits including the “yarn-bombing” of the Andy Warhol Bridge and, of course, the Rubber Duck Project.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the economic impact of these visiting art projects.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Dennis and Marilyn Funtal inched their way along the Andy Warhol Bridge Monday morning, stopping with every step to admire the 580 hand-stitched afghan panels that currently envelop the structure.

“Quite unusual,” Dennis Funtal said, “just like the City of Pittsburgh’s always been — unusual.”

The retired Brookline couple made a point to venture downtown Monday to see what's been called the largest “yarn bomb” in the United States. “Yarn bombing” is a form of street art, which unlike graffiti can be easily removed and doesn’t damage public property.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

If a "yarn bomb" can be compared to a foot race, this one was a marathon.

Over the weekend scores of volunteers beset the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, affixing hundreds of pre-made, brightly colored yarn panels to the steel span.

But it was all months in the making, with hundreds of knitting and crocheting artists from across the region getting involved in the grassroots Knit the Bridge project.

Among those hanging panels on the bridge over the weekend was Pam Volz of Mt. Lebanon.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

After participating in the successful yarn bombing of an area downtown, Amanda Gross had the idea to do something larger. As a result, Gross and the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh are graduating from trees and telephone poles to knitting the Andy Warhol bridge this weekend.

“It was just a really positive experience,” observes Gross. “So I thought, why not do a bridge?”

Yarn bombing is part of the guerilla art movement, and the process amounts to a temporary, impermanent form of graffiti.

Photo of test install courtesy Amanda Gross

Starting August 10, one of Pittsburgh’s famous steel bridges will be getting a makeover when the largest “yarn bomb” ever in the United States blankets the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Amanda Gross, outreach coordinator for Fiberart International, is the lead artist of a project called Knit the Bridge, in which she and 1,267 volunteers from all over Allegheny County have spent the last year knitting panels to cover the bridge.