Skip to main content

Rivers of Steel Announces Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 Artists

By April 29, 2021December 13th, 2021Press Room
A small group of people stand in courtyard, looking up at the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 artists tour the Carrie Blast Furnaces, April, 2021.

Rivers of Steel Announces Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 Artists

New this year: Community-based Artist Residencies

Homestead, PA (April 29, 2021)—Rivers of Steel is excited to announce the selection of artists for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021, a unique visual and performing arts initiative developed for the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark and administered by Rivers of Steel.

Through Alloy Pittsburgh, Rivers of Steel seeks to examine the history, current condition, and possible future of the Carrie Blast Furnaces without permanently transforming the site’s characteristics, while offering regional artists a unique exhibition opportunity and career-building experience.

In 2021, for its fourth iteration, Rivers of Steel and the Alloy Pittsburgh collaborators are excited to unveil a new programmatic structure. With the funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 will reach beyond the walls of the Carrie Blast Furnaces to place resident artists in five neighboring communities of Braddock, Hazelwood, Homestead, Rankin, and Swissvale, Pennsylvania.

The following artists will be paired with partner organizations in each municipality for a three-month residency period. During that time, artists can communicate, collaborate, and connect with Mon Valley residents to develop their final projects at the Carrie Blast Furnaces. Each institution worked collaboratively with the Alloy Pittsburgh team to select and pair artists with the venue most suitable to their work.

  • Darnell Chambers—hosted by Dragon’s Den in Homestead
  • Reba Harmon—hosted by Three Rivers Village School in Hazelwood
  • Lori Hepner—hosted by Braddock Carnegie Library Association in Braddock
  • Sandy Kessler-Kaminski—hosted by Rankin Christian Center in Rankin
  • Jan Loney—hosted by Rivers of Steel at the Carrie Blast Furnaces (in Rankin & Swissvale)
  • Bradford Mumpower—hosted by the Wilkins School Community Center in Swissvale

“Community-based art programs, like Alloy Pittsburgh, provide a vital pathway for residents across the Mon Valley to celebrate and share their industrial heritage. They also help re-imagine the changing role of places like the Carrie Blast Furnaces in the region’s future,” said Augie Carlino, president and CEO of Rivers of Steel. “Generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and all of our local partners helps ensure these meaningful connections thrive.”

The program launches on May 17 with a weeklong research residency for the artists. During that week, the artists will explore Carrie Blast Furnaces and learn about its history through various perspectives.  They will meet with former steelworkers, Rivers of Steel staff historians and talk to other local scholars.  The keynote speaker will be Edward K. Muller, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and former board chair of Rivers of Steel. The artists will also have an opportunity to meet with former Alloy Pittsburgh resident artists to learn about their work, processes, and past experiences working in community-based residencies.

Following the kick-off week, the artists will begin working out of their community spaces. At that time, they will determine the nature of their engagement with their communities. Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 opens to the public on Saturday, August 28 and runs through Saturday, September 25, 2021. Opening reception and tour schedule to follow.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

Additional support for Alloy Pittsburgh 2021 has been provided by the Fine Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

About Rivers of Steel
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s natural and shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.

Rivers of Steel showcases the artistry and innovation of our region’s industrial and cultural heritage through its historical and 21st-century attractions―offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more. Behind the scenes, Rivers of Steel supports economic revitalization—working at the grassroots level to deepen community partnerships, promote heritage tourism, and preserve local recreational and cultural resources for future generations.

About Rivers of Steel Arts
Rivers of Steel Arts celebrates creative inquiry by crafting opportunities to interpret the region’s past, reimagine its future, and explore a sense of place. Through exhibitions, festivals, workshops, tours, and happenings, Rivers of Steel Arts helps individuals connect with their communities in meaningful ways.

Contact Carly McCoy at 412.464.4020, ext. 243 or by emailing
Rivers of Steel | The Bost Building, 623 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead PA 15120