Rivers of Steel’s Graffiti Art program draws inspiration from the underground culture of local graffiti writers, urban explorers, and guerrilla artists who animated the Carrie Blast Furnaces—and similar post-industrial sites—following the collapse of the steel industry
in the 1980s.
With a reverence for the region’s industrial roots and a strong sense of local identity, these street artists recognized unique opportunities for creative self-expression and cultural production amidst the abandoned factories.
(Above image: Detail of 2019 murals created by artists Martzia Thometz, Shane Pilster and Max Gonzales “Gems” at the Carrie Blast Furnaces .)
Graffiti & Style-writing Workshops
Learn to create your own graffiti-style masterpiece at the Carrie Blast Furnaces! This workshop and accompanying mini-tour introduces participants to graffiti-style mural painting, style-writing techniques, and painting with aerosol. This workshop is offered five times in 2021 on Saturday June 19, Saturday July 24, Saturday August 21, Sunday September 12, and Saturday October 16 from 1 – 3:30 p.m.
Check out our after school and visiting artist programs for middle school, high school, and college classes. Students embark on a journey into the history of graffiti, hands-on lessons, take-home worksheets, and an immersive crash-course into the techniques of graffiti art.
The Graffiti Arts program participates in various community events throughout the Mon-Valley; featuring live painters, hosting demonstrations, and mini-workshops. In 2019 Rivers of Steel launched Homestead First Fridays with a graffiti art installation that showcased 11 local and international artists.
Rivers of Steel and the Graffiti Arts program has partnered with various organizations across southwestern Pennsylvania to create new public murals. Artists are hand-selected to ensure high quality works. They range from local talent to national and international visiting artists.