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Vandergrift’s ‘Vand-gough’ mural to be unveiled April 21

April 8, 2018 GMT

The communally painted mural at the Vandergrift arts festival last year soon will become public art when it is mounted at the end of Davis Field, where it will be seen by motorists on the Route 56 Bypass coming and leaving town.

Known as the “Vand-gough” by local artists, the 28-foot-long, 8-foot-wide mural serves as a tribute to the town’s name and growth.

Not surprisingly, the prominent colors are Kiski Area School District blue and gold.

The Vandergrift Improvement Program (VIP), the sponsor of the Vandergrift Fine Arts Festival, will unveil the mural April 21 following a community cleanup, according to Aleesha Kelly, festival chairwoman.

At least 100 people attending the arts festival last summer painted some part of it as the wooden panels were temporarily situated near the intersection of Columbia and Grant avenues.

The mural theme chosen by VIP was “Unity for Art” so “everybody can engage as a community to work together,” said Kelly.

After the mural was painted, it eventually ended up inside the empty storefront at 134 Grant Ave., the former J.C. Penney store, and, most recently, a set for the Cinemax TV series “Banshee.”

More recently, local artists applied some finishing touches, like outlining the letters spelling Vandergrift to make the name “pop,” adding the names of sponsors and, lastly, a protective coating.

The designer of the mural is Joan Marangoni of Washington Township, owner of Joan’s Art Connect on Grant Avenue and an art teacher at Fox Chapel Area High School.

Marangoni said the mural illustrates “growth. And how we are rooted in the community and wanting to grow and showcase our talents and interests of becoming a newer and younger community for the arts.”

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.