A woman from Pittsburgh is the latest poet to have her work selected for the Bridging the Gap public art project – an installation that gradually reveals poems by displaying them in large print on the North Main Street Bridge.
The first two lines of Michelle Stoner’s poem “Mile Marker 322,” commissioned especially for the project, will be installed Friday by staff from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and volunteers from the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Day of Caring event.
Stoner, professor of poetry, sound engineer and academic program director, was commissioned to write the poem after being selected to participate in the Bridging the Gap project, which began in 2017 with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts. and the city of Greensburg.
Stoner is the third poet to feature in the public art installation known as “Analog Scroll,” which is the creation of Brooklyn-based artist Janet Zweig. The museum installation features aluminum rails and large aluminum letters designed by Zweig.
“We look forward to sharing (Stoner’s) original new poem with the community,” museum spokesperson Maggie Geier said.
Chief Curator Barbara Jones said she found Stoner’s work “powerful and poignant” when she heard it read at a previous Bridging the Gap event.
Over the course of a year, the poem will be revealed with new sections of the text installed each month by museum staff and volunteers. Once fully disclosed, the entire poem will appear on the museum’s website at thewestmoreland.org/bridging-the-gap.
Previous featured poets were Jan Beatty and Jacob Bacharach.