The Artist on Gist Street

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This morning in Pittsburgh, I met an artist who’s art has gotten so big it’s begun spilling out onto the streets. He told me it started with a cement sculpture he left out to bake in the sun. His neighbors were so impressed by it they were soon asking for more, even offering up the exterior walls of their own houses as a raw canvas for the artist to work with. He hung large portraits and painted entire murals, each piece growing in size and intensity until the entire neighborhood took on a visionary glow. As he talked to me I noticed there was this calm glint in his eyes, a warmth of abundance, as if he knew the old ways have already crumbled, and it is now an artist’s responsibility to build what’s next.

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Photos of murals by James Simon on Gist Street in Pittsburgh

The Artist on Gist Street

Those Rolling Pittsburgh Hills

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Today, biking along the river in Pittsburgh under a late summer sun. Herbs like sage, lavender, and chamomile growing wild on the trail’s edge. The whole city filled with this element of letting nature take hold and overgrow its concrete boundaries. Insects and wildlife living alongside their human counterparts.

What better place to celebrate the seasonal equinox? Tonight we will be performing at a mini-festival atop a hill in a naturally reclaimed baseball field left to become a forest, called Bandi Shaum. There will be a little bit of poetry, a little bit of folk music, some casual campfire cooked potlucks, and of course the trumpeting bellows of the wandering unicorn, Ma Ja Ka!

Looking forward to it!

Those Rolling Pittsburgh Hills