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September 25, 2014

Crowdfunding of Oakland digital art gallery nears end

Just a few days remain in a crowdfunding effort to support construction of the Innovation Oakland (IO) outdoor digital art gallery at Forbes-Bouquet Plaza.

Organizers hope to raise $50,000 for installation costs by the end of the Indiegogo campaign that closes at midnight on Sept. 29. The effort includes opportunities to donate at levels ranging from $25 to $25,000. Perks for contributors include postcards, shirts and recognition on walkway pavers, benches and art elements.

Pitt, which owns the plaza space at the corner of Bouquet Street and Forbes Avenue, is among the partners in the $650,000 smart infrastructure demonstration project, which is billed as the first space of its kind in the United States. (See Oct. 25, 2012, University Times.)

In addition to supplying construction management, the University is allowing the use of the plaza space, initially for two years, with the opportunity for renewal, said Georgia Petropoulos, executive director of the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID), which is leading the IO digital infrastructure project planning.

Other partners in Innovation Oakland and the outdoor digital gallery include Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, City of Pittsburgh, CMU Traffic 21, Community Human Services, Northside Cultural Collaborative, Oakland Task Force, Oakland Transportation Management Association, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Revv Oakland, UPMC and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

The gallery’s digital screens will display work by local, national and international artists, as well as messages and real-time information for the public, with the capacity to live-stream events, said Petropoulos. Other plaza amenities will include Wi-Fi Internet service; “smart” light poles that have sound capability; new pavers, benches and a rain garden.

Murray Horne, curator of the Wood Street Gallery in Downtown Pittsburgh, will manage the digital gallery and curate the plaza’s audio and video.

Ground won’t be broken until all the funds are committed, but work could begin before winter, Petropoulos said.

The six-week Indiegogo campaign is part of a multifaceted fundraising effort and a first for the group, she said.

Details on the online campaign are at Donors who would prefer to contribute by check can contact Petropoulos at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 47 Issue 3