An art exhibit that encourages a person to be photographed with metal angel wings adorned with renderings depicting important aspects of a community’s heritage is coming to Irwin this summer.
The popular Wings Across Westmoreland is set to tentatively land in the courtyard of the Lamp Theater at 222 Main St. on Aug. 6, said Terri Yurcisin, vice-chairman of the board of directors of The Lamp Theater Corp., which oversees the renovated theater which is the site. concerts and plays. The project has been under discussion since last summer, she said.
The wings will be placed along the railing of the Lamp Theater courtyard, which houses the restaurant and seating tables, Yurcisin said.
“It’s a fun thing,” Yurcisin said.
“We can’t think of a more appropriate location than The Lamp Theater for our next pair of wings. Besides the final installation, the process of working with another arts organization to place art in communities is equally rewarding. said April Kopas, CEO of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.
The design will feature community landmarks inside each of the wings, which are approximately 4½ feet long, with space in the middle for an “angel” to represent a photo. The scenes of what the community actors want on the backstage, are painted on a piece of canvas. The Lamp Theater Board of Trustees funded the project, which cost approximately $600.
The wings will contain icons of The Lamp, Old Post Office Building, Clock Tower Building, John Irwin House, Fourth Street Arch and Irwin Park. Yurcisin said he consulted a book on the city’s history and worked with Carl Huszar, president of the Norwin Historical Society.
Representatives from The Lamp, Irwin Borough, Norwin Public Library, and the Norwin Historical Society helped decide which landmarks to include in the design.
“This process was a true collaboration of effort that led us to this unique wing design project,” Yurcisin said.
The design chosen for the interior of the wings gives those involved in the project the opportunity to incorporate the region’s heritage to “educate individuals about the history of the community,” Kopas said. Residents and visitors can appreciate the city’s history while enjoying the art, she added.
The collaborative process to decide on the design of the wings also included a discussion with Patrick Mahoney, the Trust’s arts incubator, about what best represents the community. Mahoney started the project four years ago in Greensburg. Greensburg’s wings have served as the backdrop for countless selfies, portraits of senior citizens and wedding photos, Kopas said, which inspired the Trust in 2019 to expand the initiative to other towns in the county.
The “Wings” were also installed at the Obscure de Sobel brasserie in Jeannette; Ligonier town hall; the Five Star Trail in Youngwood; the Smithton Borough Building; Mount Pleasant Library; the Casino Theater in Vandergrift; and seasonally at Overly’s Country Christmas. Kopas said they would like to expand the initiative to places like New Kensington, Latrobe and Monessen.
“Art connects us, and the Wings project reminds us how much art inspires communities. Similar to our own Palace Theater (in Greensburg), it was the community that came together to reopen the closed doors of The Lamp in 2015 and create a cultural beacon for the town of Irwin, making it a great home for the Wings,” Kopas said. .