Previously known as the center of industry, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, features a gorgeous city layout. It lies in the north-western part of Allegheny Plateau and has rivers flowing around it that define is a beautiful landscape. It is a small metropolis with its center known as the Golden Triangle due to its location on the point where the Monongahela and Allegheny River meet to form the Ohio River. Tourists visit this Pennsylvania town for the famous Carnegie museums, picturesque views, and downtown markets. However, there is another thing that makes Pittsburgh an attraction for the world and that is Jim West’s artistic pieces that tourists can find around the city.
Jim West – A Man with Art as Its Language
Born on 12th December, 1955, Jim West, also known as James West, is a renowned American sculptor. His first piece, titled “Of One,” was completed in the year 2005. Since then, he has been blessing the town with his sculptures that people can see in various locations around town. All his pieces have a story which is what makes his work interesting and captivating. West was trained in the classical format of studying and apprenticing under master artists and craftsmen in New York and on the West Coast.
Jim West is not only a thoughtful sculptor, but he is also involved as an educator of inner city, at-risk and incarcerated youth. West is also an advisor for the preservation of historical monuments. He has worked with different institutes and organizations including Children’s Dyslexia Center of Pittsburgh, Western PA President Development Council, Pace School, and Pine Creek Watershed. He is a board member of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts since 2012 and a member of the Masonic Grand Lodge Committee on the Preservation of Monuments since 2016.
Jim’s work revolves around Dialogue Art, and most of his work is made of bronze. All his pieces are either about historically significant moments or feature a deep meaning. His work is the kind that provokes the viewers to think. It has the potential to engage the viewers on an intellectual, visceral or emotional level. People can find his work displayed at museums, city sidewalks and parks, and exhibitions. The sculptures by Jim are a significant part of the city and an attraction for tourists visiting Pittsburgh.
The Highlights of Jim’s Work
Pittsburgh itself is a very beautiful city with exotic natural scenes landscape. The work of Jim is an addition to the beauty of the city. His sculptures can be found all around the city on the sidewalks, parks, museums, and in other parts as well.
In 2005, Jim completed his first piece titled, “Of One.” It is a thoughtful piece that elevates the beauty of the relationship between a man and a woman. By looking at it, the viewers are forced to think deeper about making a relationship work. From viewing it from one side, it looks like the man is providing the woman his support. When viewed from the opposite side, it looks like the woman is supporting the man. It is a portrayal of the importance of maintaining balance in a relationship. It is made of bronze piece commissioned by a private collector.
Point of View – Grand View Scenic Byway and Park
Jim’ sculpture titled “Point of View” came into existence in the year 2006. It is a landmark public sculpture that sits at the edge of Mount Washington. It is a representation of historical moments when George Washington met Seneca chief, Guyasuta, in October 1770. The sculpture captures the historical moment beautifully as it clearly displays the intentions of both individuals. Most people visit the location at the time of sunset because the sculpture looks stunning while offering a mesmerizing view.
The Walk-In front of 521 Shady
In 2011, another piece by Jim, titled “The Walk,” appeared, and it was placed in front of 521 Shady Avenue. The sculpture is a dedication to Frank West, a cousin of Jim West. For more than forty years, Frank served Pittsburgh as an architect and real estate developer. His work in Pittsburgh real estate is commendable by the way he converted the shabby Victorian houses into modern apartments. His work made the east end of the city one of the elite neighborhoods in the city. It is an important piece for the town as it displays one of the most esteemed real estate personalities of the city. Frank West contributed to improving the city neighborhoods.
No Recess Please – Hoyt Art Center
Another of Jim’ sculpture that was completed in the year 2019, titled, “No Recess Please,” is a piece that holds a deep meaning. It is a depiction of the death of a child who died while playing. The sculpture features lifeless swing hanging from a metal beam. On top of the vertical and horizontal beam support is a replica of a library that was built in Jim’s younger sister’s memory. The beam has been purposely designed in the shape of hangman’s gallows.
Other pieces by Jim West are located in museums and other visual art galleries. One of his pieces, titled “Reflections of Me,” is work inspired by breast cancer survivors. It is an impressive feature of Jim’s work that all his pieces have a deep meaning. Jim West’s sculptures are a valuable addition to the beauty of Pittsburgh and an attraction for the tourists. “The Bond,” and “In the East, Brother Ben Franklin”, located near City Hall, are iconic sculptures that tourists can be publically viewed in Philadelphia.