When Evan and I were walking through OpenStreetsPgh on Sunday, we finally stopped and did something I’ve been wanting to do. We stopped and took a picture at the wings.
I’ve noticed this a few times as I’ve walked up East Carson Street but for some reason never investigated. Just on the north side of the street, on 16th, there’s a big black wall with giant white butterfly wings painted on it. There’s enough space between the wings for a person to stand and become the body of the butterfly. During OpenStreets there were no cars driving by or parked in front of the painting, and I had my camera, so it was a perfect opportunity to get a picture of Evan with the wings.
Luckily, the painting is signed so I could Google it and find out the backstory. Kelsey Montague (@KelseyMontagueArt #WhatLiftsYou) is a street artist who, with her sister Courtney, paints wings and other interactive murals all over the world. Her art looks like sidewalk chalk or pen and ink drawings, but on a huge scale. #WhatLiftsYou definitely has a winged theme, but this year she is starting #WhatUnitesUs, with a theme of celebrating people’s similarities instead of focusing on the differences. She also has some adult coloring books for sale, an interactive app, and a coloring book room at the Smithsonian.
When you first look at the wings, of course you see giant butterfly wings, but within the big picture are smaller, themed pictures; the one on Pittsburgh’s South Side has bridges (the city is known for having a plethora of bridges), people sitting on a star and the moon fishing, birds, fish, flowers and geometrics. I missed seeing it being created, but I’m so glad that it is here!