|All rights reserved.
1501 Arch Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Admission is Free - Donations Welcome
Randyland is the home of artist, Randy Gilson. Located in the Mexican War Streets district of Pittsburgh's Northside,
the Randyland courtyard is open most everyday between 1:00pm and 7:00pm.
Visitors are welcome to come and explore the public art displays in and around the property.
|ALL THINGS PITTSBURGH
|Randy @ Randyland
TAKEN FROM HIS WEBPAGE
Hi guys! I’m Randy Gilson and I’m the creator of Randyland!
If you’re ever strolling down Arch Avenue on the Northside, you’ll be hard pressed to miss it, my whimsical looking home with a 40 ft high mural of brilliantly
colored ladybugs, butterflies, dinosaurs and more. It’s Randyland, and it all started a little over 30 years ago when I moved into the neighborhood.
I really fell in love with the architecture even though it was in a rough neighborhood. There were a lot of empty lots littered with garbage.
It seemed like there was a lot of separation of values and people were not getting along and no one picking up any of the weeds or litter. That’s when I started
thinking that I need to do something myself.
I dipped into my savings from my job as a waiter and started cleaning up the neighborhood, starting with the litter and planting hundreds of mini gardens.
With one thousand dollars, I bought whiskey barrels and put them in front of all the empty houses with shrubbery and flowers,
and that’s when the magic started to happen!
In 1995, I purchased this dilapidated, abandoned building with a credit card and began turning it into my expression of art,
which was later dubbed by a friend, “Randyland.”
Over the years, I’ve created many pieces of street art, in addition to 800 gardens, 50 vegetable gardens and 8 parks. Doing all of this on a shoestring budget
taught me how to recycle. So when I bought the building, I thought well why not use the same ideas? I could recycle paint, wood and things I find
in the alley ways. So I started applying these ides into this building and turning it into a giant outdoors art gallery.
I think the seed for Randyland was planted in me long ago from my inspiration, my mom. She raised 6 children as a single mother, sometimes homeless
and many times scraping for food, but that adversity has taught me many life lessons.
While struggling, she taught us that no matter how many people are ahead of you, there are tenfold behind you and that we have to embrace that.
But as much as I’ve done in this neighborhood, I couldn’t have done it alone. As I kept going from one project onto the next, more and more people joined me,
pitched in, and began to take pride in the neighborhood. The more people that helped, the more I realized that I have so much more to give.
When you do more for others, you find that you do more for yourself. And that’s the story of Randyland.