Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Hip art in smog town
DONORA – The new Donora Smog Central used to be Central Pharmacy when the borough’s downtown saw better times.
So it didn’t take much work to alter the sign above the storefront entrance before the place reopened this week. It’s now become the headquarters for events surrounding the commemoration of the infamous Donora smog of late October 1948.
Students and staff in the art department at California University of Pennsylvania did an outstanding job of creating a hip art gallery in the old store at McKean Avenue and Fifth Street.
The artwork on the walls and floor relates in rather cool ways to the environmental movement that is rooted in this southwestern Pennsylvania town.
There is a giant robin’s nest made from grapevines resting near the shop window. the artist, Newt Berdine, named it "A Bird's Eye View," and it's yours for $350.
A large mural depicting the skeleton of a fish among molecules hangs on a back wall.
But some people in this old decaying steel town don’t seem to “get it,” said DeAnn Pavelko, who is on the smog events committee.
They probably never will.
(Note: This blog is loaded with Donora history, information that can be found through the search engine, top, left. Knock yourself out.)