Sports is a serious subject for the Pittsburgh region, with a well-recognized fan base that reaches across the entire country. “Downtown Renown” is a new way to explore the history and legacy of sports stars from the city and beyond through a new neighborhood-wide art installation.
The “Downtown Renown” installation features 14 artworks and stories that celebrate the careers of Pittsburgh sports icons and athletic groundbreakers. Installed in windows around Downtown, find artistic renderings of household names from Mario Lemieux and Franco Harris, to Swin Cash, Dan McCoy, and more, showcasing a breadth of talent and accomplishments that is truly inspirational.
The artwork is that of Gavin Benjamin, who developed the unique pieces using a style that combines original analog photography and appropriated images with collage, paint, and varnish techniques, resulting in a non-traditional, but a highly vivid representation of his subjects. Commissioned under the PDP’s “REFORGE” initiative that invites the community to safely revisit and reengage with Downtown through unique events, activations, and programs, it’s a powerful reminder of the vibrancy that public art can bring to the city, especially one as sports-minded as Pittsburgh.
Click on the images below to learn more about each athlete.
Arnold Palmer • Bill Mazeroski • Charles “Chuck” Cooper • Dan McCoy • Franco Harris • Honus Wagner • Joe Greene • John Woodruff • Josh Gibson • Mario Lemieux • Roberto Clemente • Suzie McConnell-Serio • Swin Cash • Sidney Crosby
Gavin Benjamin is a multifaceted artist who combines original analog photography and appropriated images with collage, paint, and varnish to create rich, luxurious works that call back to baroque traditions, but uses elements of current culture to provoke, critique, and explore. Learn more about his work.
Downtown Renown: Pittsburgh Sports Greats is a project of the the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Reforge Downtown initiative, with support from the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center and KDKA’s Fan N’ation.