Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Art of Steel Tour: Public Art and Local History

Attention residents, historians, and bloggers from the CLE-yo-PIT belt . . .

. . . or should I just say Youngstown+ ?

Next Saturday, May 12, the Center for Working-Class Studies at YSU will offer a half-day tour of public art in the Mahoning Valley. The steelmaking history of the region can still be seen on the local landscape, not only in the remaining mills but also in a wide variety of sculptures, murals, stained glass windows, and other works of art.

Dr. Sherry Linkon, Co-Director of the CWCS and co-author of Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown, will lead the tour. Participants will visit several sites near downtown Youngstown, including:

  • St. John’s Episcopal Church (including their amazing stained glass windows)
  • the Youngstown Historical Center of History and Labor (designed by architect Michael Graves)
  • YSU’s Bliss Hall, where local sculptor and Art professor Greg Moring will discuss his latest project – a set of sculptural gates representing the community’s history.
  • “Steelworker,” a 20-foot sculpture built by former steelworker and artist Sidney Rackoff and the workers at Niles Iron and Metal.

“Youngstown has an impressive and significant collection of public art, most of it based on the community’s history,” says Linkon, “But many people don’t even know it’s there. We want to make that work visible, because we think it’s one of the key assets of this area. It’s also a good way to learn about the community’s history.”

The tour is open to anyone with an interest in local history, art, or just seeing the community from a different perspective.

The cost for the tour is $10, and the tour will start at 9am, going to around noon. Transportation from site to site will be provided. (road trip!) To register, call Patty LaPresta, 330-941-2978, by Tuesday May 8th.

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