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Latina artist selected among teams for Pittsburgh 2021 Art in the Parks Program

OOA Designs, a Pittsburgh-based, woman-owned and operated artist collaboration between founders Alison Zapata and Oreen Cohen is one of the artist teams chosen for the 2021 expansion of the Art in Parks program. Alison of Hispanic decent and her partner Oreen of Jewish American background, have been chosen to create art for Emerald View Park in Mt Washington.

Established in 2018, their studio OOA Designs creates aesthetic and functional public art that embraces color, forms and nature within their collaborative work. Their art also strives to tell the stories of the community and have meaning to those who see it every day, and they look forward to continuing to share the stories of their City.

Alison Zapata (right) and Oreen Cohen (left) of OOA Designs

We couldn’t be more thrilled to create an original work of art for the citizens of Pittsburgh. We firmly believe Pittsburghers should have access to great works of art from a variety of artists in their everyday lives. Public art can serve to inspire, uplift, and provide spaces of reprieve. We are grateful for this opportunity!

Alison Zapata and Oreen Cohen, OOA Designs

The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning Public Art and Civic Design (PACD) division selected eight local, national, and international artists and artist teams to create high-impact permanent public art installations in the five Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) parks: Emerald View, Highland, Schenley, Frick, and Riverview.

Each funded installation will be bold, forward-looking, creative projects that will have a radical impact on the region.

“The Art in Parks project is exactly the type of idea the RAD Board envisioned when we launched the RADical ImPAct grant program,” said Dusty Elias Kirk, RAD Board Chair. “We wanted our regional assets to dream big about shaping the future of our creative landscape and this project does just that. Having large-scale works of art in our public parks will not only enhance our region’s quality of place, but it will also give our communities the opportunity to engage with art in accessible, everyday ways.

We are excited about the dynamic group of artists the City has selected and we look forward to seeing their work come to life in our RAD parks.

Dusty Elias Kirk, RAD Board Chair

Other chosen artists include Ali Ruffner & Ruby Perkins, Marlana Adele Vassar, The Urban Conga, Suphitsara Buttra-Coleman, Sans  façon and Steve Gurysh.

The selected artists will collaborate with the City on site selection, design, and installation. Community engagement will be a critical component of design development. Final concepts will be reviewed and approved by the Art Commission. Implementation of each project will be staggered, depending on project complexity and weather, beginning this summer, and wrapping up in late spring 2022, with the project close out anticipated in June 2022

“This expansion of our Art in Parks program provides an incredible opportunity for Pittsburgh to build upon our existing public art landscape,” said Mayor William Peduto. “We are excited to work with such a diverse group of artists that represent a variety of perspectives and discover how they will use the Art in Parks program to strengthen our communities, add vibrancy to our parks, and humanize our built environment.”

Felicitaciones to Alison, Oreen and all of the artists chosen for this amazing project!

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