Photo by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania, June 26, 2020
In the heart of Pittston, Pennsylvania, a vibrant mural titled “Inspiration Pittston” graces the walls, capturing the essence of the city’s rich history, diverse community, and unwavering spirit.
Michael Pilato, known for his large-scale murals, collaborated with Ukrainian-born artist Yuriy Karabash to conceive “Inspiration Pittston.”
Their resulting stunning piece of public art, measuring an impressive 150 by 70 feet, has become an emblem of inspiration, resilience, and unity for the people of Pittston. Let us delve into the significance and beauty of this remarkable mural. The colossal size makes it the third largest mural in Pennsylvania, accentuating the mural’s impact, enveloping viewers in a visual feast of colors and stories.
Unveiling the Mural
Hundreds Gathered for the grand unveiling of the Pittston Inspiration mural in 2015 which marked a milestone in the city’s revitalization efforts. Stretching across the exterior wall of a building on Main Street, this magnificent mural immediately became a focal point, captivating both locals and visitors alike.
Themes and Symbolism
The mural seamlessly weaves together various themes, highlighting the city’s history, notable figures, and achievements.
One of the central themes of the mural revolves around the coal mining heritage that shaped Pittston’s early years. It pays tribute to the resilience and hard work of the coal miners, acknowledging their contribution to the city’s growth. The mural also includes images of influential figures from the region, such as baseball legend Tommy Lasorda and beloved comedian Joe Amato, celebrating their impact on Pittston’s cultural fabric.
Another important aspect of “Inspiration Pittston” is the depiction of everyday citizens. Initially commissioned to feature 40 individuals, the mural now includes over 80 people.
Michael said, “We were commissioned to do 40 people on the mural (in Pittston) and now there are over 80 people featured. Yuriy and I usually do murals that really show the whole community, and we couldn’t do that with just 40 people, so for the extra people, Yuriy and I decided to donate our time. I fell in love with Pittston and its people.” This display of generosity reflects the artists’ deep appreciation for the community’s spirit and their commitment to representing its diverse population.
A striking feature of the mural is its interactive element. The artists incorporated QR codes within the artwork, allowing viewers to scan and access additional information about the depicted individuals and historical events. This interactive aspect bridges the gap between art and technology, encouraging a deeper engagement with the mural’s narratives.
Impact and Community Involvement
The creation of “Inspiration Pittston” was not limited to the artists alone. It was truly a collaborative effort that involved much of the community. Residents of Pittston eagerly shared their stories and provided historical photographs, ensuring the mural was a true reflection of the city’s spirit.
As a result, the mural has a profound impact on the community, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among the people of Pittston. It serves as a reminder of the city’s resilience in the face of challenges, inspiring both current and future generations to strive for greatness.
The Sunday Dispatch:
Historical Marker Map:
ABC News 16 WNEP-TV:
The Pittston Progress:
Carnegie Hero Fund Commission:
The Times Tribune:
The mural “Inspiration Pittston” by Michael Pilato and Yuriy Karabash stands as a powerful testament to the spirit of the Pittston community. Through its engaging storytelling, vibrant colors, and celebration of both historical figures and ordinary citizens, the mural encapsulates the essence of Pittston’s past, present, and future.
As visitors and locals stand before this remarkable piece of public art, they are greeted by a visual narrative that inspires, educates, and unites. “Inspiration Pittston” has become a cherished landmark, reminding us all of the strength that lies within a community, the power of shared stories, and the beauty of resilience.
With its dimensions of 150 by 70 feet, “Inspiration Pittston” commands attention, serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Michael Pilato and Yuriy Karabash’s dedication to featuring over 80 individuals in the mural showcases their commitment to capturing the essence of the entire community. Their decision to donate their time reflects their deep connection and love for Pittston and its people.
This magnificent mural serves as a visual testament to Pittston’s history, culture, and the spirit of its citizens. It is a source of pride, instilling a sense of belonging and unity within the community. “Inspiration Pittston” invites us to embrace our shared heritage, celebrate our achievements, and face the future with optimism and determination.
As we witness the profound impact of “Inspiration Pittston,” it becomes evident that public art has the power to transform communities. Through its sheer size, interactive elements, and inclusive representation, this mural has revitalized the streets of Pittston, inviting conversations, sparking curiosity, and fostering a deep sense of connection.
“Inspiration Pittston” will continue to inspire generations to come, reminding them of the collective strength, resilience, and spirit that make Pittston a remarkable place to call home. As residents and visitors pass by this monumental artwork, they will be reminded that they, too, are a vital part of the ongoing story of Pittston, a story that is vibrant, diverse, and filled with endless possibilities.